June 14: Gaining a competitive edge is a top priority for every student on campus and this hasn’t changed in years and most likely won’t. One must struggle to outshine their peers and to upskill but why struggle to gain access to information about competitions that serve as platforms of innovation and opportunity?
One hot summer afternoon, while preparing a submission for a leading case study challenge, in his hostel room in the IMT Ghaziabad campus, Ankit Aggarwal decided to end this cat and mouse chase. And thus was born a blog where students like himself who are eager to make a name for themselves could access important information regarding case study competitions, challenges, quizzes, and hackathons. This was the day that will change the way a college student experiences college life and also how modern India hires.
Dreams take sleepless nights and days spent fidgeting with ideas and ways of doing things. That’s exactly what this maverick and trailblazer did. He did the unthinkable and opted out of the coveted summer placement to work on his dream. A simple yet ambitious dream, of empowering the country’s talent pool by giving them access to real-time information of getting that cutting edge.
Once a free-thinker and a revolutionary will always be one. A consultancy stint with Deloitte, Sapient, Teach For India and a scholarship from Harvard Business School were simply not enough to contain the will to give the power to the talented young Indians who run the country but seldom see the limelight.
After almost half a decade, Ankit Aggarwal, sans the IIT/IIM tags set about on a mission to put together a team who will soon transform a humble information blog into a technology platform that lists all types of quizzes, competitions, challenges, hackathons, jobs and internships, courses and everything under the sun that a student may need to shine. What started as a blog in an IMT Ghaziabad hostel room is now a booming technology platform where companies engage and hire students from B-Schools, Engineering Colleges, and working professionals. Home to the hiring needs of giants like Flipkart, Reliance, Aditya Birla Group, L’Oréal, Ather Energy, Uber, and Amazon to name a few, Unstop (formerlyDare2Compete) recently completed 6 years of impacting millions. The journey may have been bootstrapped but the aspirations are, and continue to be boundless.
Entrepreneurs are the modern-day Che Guevara
Once a starry-eyed dreamer, who is also now the CEO & Founder of Unstop says, “The IIM/IIT tag gets your foot in the door, but you still need to push the door ajar to make an entrance. It is Unstop’s mission to ensure that we, through hiring challenges and competitions enable every skilled and worthy student and early professional to prove their true mettle & Go Beyond Resumes. We are sort of re-tagging the talent pool via the skills route, which is how it should have happened to begin with”.
He has always been a strong advocate of talent and caliber. In one of his weekly LinkedIn posts, he says, “The question is: What should I do to create my brand so that my past associations become least important? And, in my view, it has everything to do with your actions rather than anyone else’s. You build your present so strong that people won’t need your past to judge you. Start today as if there is no tomorrow to create your own identity.”
Today, Unstop (formerly Dare2Compete) has become the largest community of unstoppable talent actively looking for Jobs/Internships or building their CV by gaining resume points. It serves over 3.1 million+ users from 40,000 plus companies and colleges across domains consistently engaging in challenges and refining their skills.
An idea that started out as just a blog has grown into a multi-million dollar business dedicated to connecting unstoppable talent with the world of opportunities. At the very least, Ankit and his team are definitely prepped up to have a positive impact on 1% of the world’s population through their work.