Startup of The Year Strategy4GMAT

Strategy4GMAT: Your All-in-One Higher Education Solution

Business Magazine

“Year-on-year, the focus is the same- do the best and look out for the candidates who trust us with one of the biggest decisions of their lives.”

Manan Puri (Co-Founder & Chief Everything Officer, Strategy4GMAT)

Navigating your career path is like finding your way in the dark. But when brands like Strategy4GMAT (S4G) and Dream Compass enter the field, there’s nothing to worry about! Focusing on ‘All Things Career’, both the brands are here to brighten your career journey. While S4G focuses on test preparation, and MBA/MS admissions consulting into top colleges both in India and abroad, Dream Compass is dedicated to career development, offering expert guidance to help you achieve your desired career outcomes.

“Strategy4GMAT helps students in their GMAT preparation journey and provides Admission Consulting services. We are one of the few platforms in the industry that provides both personalized counselling for admissions & application preparation and GMAT through alumni from the top B-schools across the globe” mentions Manan.

While commenting on the contribution of Dream Compass, he further adds, “Dream Compass, as the name itself suggests, is here to get you the best career outcomes- through career counselling, job interview and resume building and most importantly, running cohort-based programs to harness the power of the collective!”

The Road To Greatness is Often Bumpy

But it’s always worth it! It wasn’t easy for Manan to leave a high-paying settled job at Mercer Consulting and start a venture of his own that would demand everything from him. Recalling those days, Manan shares, “I took the plunge at the height of my professional career and COVID in 2020. It was a difficult decision to leave a high-paying, senior role with an MNC to follow my heart and do something that would bring more satisfaction and tangible results in people’s lives.”

Entering an already crowded industry and convincing a middle-class family presented its own set of challenges. However, Manan’s entrepreneurial spirit refused to be deterred. Instead, he persevered and, against all odds, achieved remarkable growth, with a threefold increase in revenue in the past three years.

Manan says his Chief-of-Staff and Internal Strategy roles in the corporate world prepared him well for entrepreneurship. He likes to roll up his sleeves and get involved in the day-to-day operations and delivery while simultaneously keeping an eye on the bigger picture to make essential decisions in areas like products, services, marketing, and pricing.

When Client Reviews Speak Volumes

Puri while speaking about the competition mentions, “Ours is a competitive industry. Therefore, we set itself apart from the rest of the market players by delivering quality services at affordable rates.” He further says, “All our reviews have one thing in common- We provide “brutally honest” services. This is rarely found in our industry, where many consultants are known to be more focused on their business than the career outcomes of their clients.” 

A key aspect of their mission is to elevate the reputation of the admissions consulting business within the Indian market.

Customers’ Delight: The First Priority

The primary focus of both brands is to maximise customer satisfaction. “We are one of the few in our industry who do not have a sales team or charge for profile evaluations, which sometimes stretch to ~2 hours,” says Manan with pride.

Both Manan and his Co-Founder, personally take the initial calls, ensuring that they are directly available to address customer inquiries and provide personalised guidance. This hands-on approach has yielded remarkable results, as evidenced by the industry-leading client conversion rate of 50%.

“One out of every two individuals who reach out to us for assistance ultimately chooses to embark on their journey with us. This speaks volumes about the trust and satisfaction that the clients place in our services,” reiterates the Co-Founder

Team: The Real Strength

No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it. This line summarises the role of the Team in the firms’ success. Manan wholeheartedly believes that it is his team that is taking the companies to incredible heights as each team member brings a very positive attitude and energy with themselves. Within the challenging constraints of a bootstrapped environment, each team member shines with innovation. Most importantly, they imbibe the same DNA- putting the candidates first.

“We have a very flexible culture and are open to people working from anywhere in the world. Our focus is on delivering quality work on time. Ensuring an open culture where the team can speak directly with the Co-Founders and each other helps foster trust and transparency, which are invaluable for the success of any team,” reiterates Manan.  

Leveraging Emerging Technologies

Manan is now looking forward to leveraging state-of-the-art technologies to deliver more efficient services and achieve better results for the clients. Hence, having AI-enabled engines for school selection, resume reviews and interview preparation are some of the immediate steps that he is planning to take. 

He aptly puts it, “In the long term, we will continue to invest in our capabilities and develop tech-driven, candidate-first products and solutions that help achieve even better career outcomes.”

While signing off, Manan puts special emphasis on the rewards. His eyes gleam when he mentions, “Our rewards are our 1,000+ students who have made it to their dream B-schools across the globe.” 

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