In the fourth part of our series, entrepreneurs from NUJS, we speak to Om Agarwal, the co-founder of Timespade, an online career accelerator to help people get the right job and EazyCoach, among many other entrepreneurial ventures.This story is about a first generation law student taking a road less taken as per conventional law school standards and excelling at it.
An introvert till the 10th grade, Om recounts that watching the movie ‘The Secret’ changed his outlook and perception about life. He describes that the legal troubles which he had witnessed in his family from an early age,the power and respect he saw lawyers command in the society, coupled with pressure from his father, led him to join the legal fraternity. It was only 6 to 7 months before the CLAT examination that he decided in concrete terms to proceed with an undergraduate degree in law.
Talking about his college times in NUJS he cherishes the memories of meeting seniors and alumni who turned into friends, mentors and guides which in turn encouraged and helped him realise his dream of turning innovative ideas into reality and had a ‘crazy impact’ on his life. In the first year, fearing potential ragging, he approached Abhinav Srivastava, who was running a blog for CLAT aspirants, to turn it into AimCLAT a full-fledged CLAT preparation platform for legal entrances, with a couple of other seniors. Though they faced difficulties in receiving and making payments due to various technological and regulatory constraints that existed, they received good demand and revenue that Om recalls was extremely satisfying. Though the team behind AimClat split up due to differences in priorities, the startup bug had bitten him by then and with the general market environment becoming more startup friendly he decided to explore the avenue. He then went on to participate in multiple business plan competitions and engage in startup communities (online and offline), where he met his friend-cum-guide, Saurabh Maskara, who sponsored his trip to the United States of America. Om benefitted immensely from the tour as he got exposure to global tech startups and also got the opportunity to visit and learn from Ivy League universities.
Describing his experience with EazyCoach, a platform that connects students aspiring to get into their dream universities to alumni and students from the same university, Om Agarwal mentions that being a law student and a single non-technical founder of a technology based startup resulted in multiple technical and financial problems. Though the start was rocky, the effort paid off as within a short span of time, with the platform helping more than 5,000 students make it to their dream universities. Today, EazyCoach operates in India and Middle East and has been able to secure multiple rounds of funding throughout its journey.
While at college, he was also the force behind the establishment of the Entrepreneurship Cell,believing that law schools should aspire to create an inclusive environment or an ecosystem for startups where law students can associate with people who share the same passion they have. He recounts as to how law school has helped him better his research abilities and mentions that he found the course Banking Law by Shouvik Sir and Insolvency Law by Vaneeta ma'am to be extremely useful.
His latest initiative is Timespade, which he has co-founded with Sweta Gupta. It is an online job assistance platform, which he believes would eventually turn into a one-stop-shop for anything related to one’s career. Timespade operates on the model that education serves as a means to an end, with the end referring to employment. ‘Focus on your end customers. Entrepreneurship is about solving problems or inefficiencies that exist around us. Being small and nimble, you have the luxury to focus on one problem and solve it better than anyone else. Running after investors is futile approach, if your business in itself is struggling to stay afloat. People shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help’ he added when asked about the advice he would like to give budding entrepreneurs.