Demand for studying in foreign universities has risen significantly amongst Indian students. Earlier demand for admission to foreign institutes was limited only to higher education and scholarships programs. But now, students are seeking admission to various foreign institutes for undergraduate, postgraduate, high-school and for an array of professional courses.
Studying in foreign universities is regarded prestigious and advantageous for getting rewarding jobs in this competitive marketplace. Open foreign policies, easy remittance solutions and encouragement from foreign institutes that are offering special courses and fees for Indian students are couple of factors to promote popularity of foreign study amongst middle-income group families. Several fairs are now organized year round in various parts of the country and attract thousands of interested students and their parents seeking information on studying opportunities at various foreign institutions.
However, even today it isn’t easy to get all inside information on all the foreign institutes offering courses to Indian students. Foreign study consulting businesses, in such cases, remain the main source of information for interested candidates. In India, these students are helped by consulting agencies, who offer specialized services to them in finding diverse course choices, information of admission procedures, fees and other assistances.
About foreign study consulting business
Consultants work as mediators between foreign universities and students in helping them find the best courses from reputable education centers. As the scopes for studying abroad has increased significantly, number of students seeking admission to foreign institutes at various levels has also expanded. Staring a consulting business is both rewarding and lucrative but definitely not easy. First off, internet has made it really easy for students to get information firsthand about different institutes and courses offered by them. Secondly, the marketplace for consultants is highly competitive as they all target a small group. Staying ahead of competition by offering excellent service always is what differentiates an average consulting agency from an excellent one. However, most importantly, one needs a good understanding of the market and a consolidated marketing plan to put his business ahead of competition. Consultancies offering studying abroad solutions need rigorous marketing and branding solution to create a name in the market.
Current market trend
Obviously, demand for studying in various foreign universities has increased amongst Indian students. For many decades, top level foreign institutes have attracted Indian students for higher education and the trend only became stronger with time. Number of students seeking admission at various foreign institutes has increased significantly during the last year despite fluctuation of Indian currency which has made foreign education pricy.
For students universities in USA and Europe remain the main attraction although popularity of countries like Australia and Singapore are also on a rise. Easily available student loans for studying abroad have further worked as an encouragement.
Level of competition
Consulting agencies are required to complete on a tough ground. The marketplace comprises both small and large franchises. To survive competition most agencies now offer an array of ancillary services to customers. The list of their services may include.
- Admission information
- Admission solution
- Examination support and coaching for – GRE, GMAT, TOEFL and IELTS
- Visa processing – student visa, working visa, permanent residency
- Career counseling
- Education advisory services
- Scholarship and education loan guidance
- Assistance with application and enrollment procedure
- Pre-departure counseling
Who can start this business?
Anyone with a strong outlook and a determination with flair for entrepreneurship can start consulting agency. It needs spirit to help students in achieving their dreams. One can start it as home-based business. Since it allows one to define working hours and efforts, it is an ideal business choice for housewives, working professionals and even retired professionals.
Skill set you need
The role of an academic counselor isn’t easy. It requires understanding of students’ requirements and demands along with thorough understanding of online educational trends. Experience as a counselor can be a great help in launching a successful career as foreign study consultant. Following are a few set of skills required to establish a consulting agency and reaching the break-even.
- Understanding of world education system
- Understanding of consulting business
- Understanding of competition
- Experience of dealing with students
- Network with leading and prestigious educational institutes
- Knowledge of commission system
- Communication skills
- Level of riskProfit feasibility Investment Admin work Infrastructure Add-on infra Team building/staff
- Website building Internet has facilitated easy sharing of information. Your business would be considered non-existing if you aren’t present online. Your foreign consulting agency needs a website to manage relationship with both foreign institutes and domestic students. A professionally built website is a formidable tool for your business helping you highlight your services, solutions and expertise. Marketing plan A Comprehensive and structured marketing campaign will help in establishing your brand name in the market amongst your clientele. A consulting agency needs a well-planned marketing strategy that incorporates both off-line and online marketing solutions. Off line: Success of consulting agency depends on building relationships with students and parents. Following are some ideas of direct marketing for your consultancy business.
- Attending college campuses to create awareness amongst students
- Participating or organizing career fair
- Attending career counseling programs
- Advertising with conventional media