Founded in 2013, Fourth Ambit is a specialist online platform for colleges to build and nurture active student – alumni communities. With more than 1900 colleges on board and a network of 220, 000 users, Fourth Ambit is on a mission to build one of the largest student-centric platforms in the world.
Four friends went apart after their college days. So many years passed. One fine day, all four of them came back to that old classroom, only to talk about those good old days and changes happened in their life afterwards. At the end of that get-together, four friends again went apart to wherever they came from.
It is a story of most of us as alumni of our alma mater. But, for Rahul Das, Jikku Jolly, Ruby Peethambaran and Shyam Menon, four batchmates of Model Engineering College, Kerala, being an alumni member means much more than just coming back to the old campus for a get-together. “Our college had an active alumni network, which was a great help for us during the placement time as well as when we entered the professional arena. This is not true for every other college in the country. Even the prestigious IITs are struggling to bring back their alumni to help ongoing students,” says Shyam Menon.
Believing that the alumni can make a considerable difference in the life of a student, Shyam and his friends, after spending more than 40 years between them in the corporate world, united once again to launch Fourth Ambit, a specialist networking platform to create value across stakeholders in the education ecosystem. “In 2013, We started our operations in Kerala, where we made a customized community portal for Government Engineering College, Thrissur, which has an alumni network of the past 60 years. By the mid of 2014, we had on-boarded many prestigious institutes like NIT Trichy, Manipal University, NMIMS, XIM Bhubaneshwar, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Bangalore and many more,” shares Shyam.
Fourth Ambit, as the name suggests, helps the institutes to extend opportunities for the students by bringing their successful alumni members back in the action
Fourth Ambit, as the name suggests, helps the institutes to extend opportunities for the students by bringing their successful alumni members back in the action. In fact, building online communities that will engage alumni, parents, corporate partners and other well-wishers, thereby facilitating value for their students and faculty members, is the core of Fourth Ambit’s vibrant platform. “Our community platforms can be used for skilling, promoting entrepreneurship, networking, jobs, internships, faculty capability building, higher education, social causes, technology evangelism and many more. We do it online as well as offline mode with an experienced team capable of working on the ground. This makes us unique and a trusted entity among the stakeholders of education sector,” pinpoints Shyam.
Building an Ecosystem
Until 2016, Fourth Ambit’s focus was on building customized online community portals for institute across the country. However, the company soon became a partner in Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), an initiative by Government of Kerala for creating a vibrant start up ecosystem in the state primarily to foster the growth of innovation lead technology entrepreneurship. “As a part of KSUM, the government wanted to conduct various workshops in colleges to make awareness among students about the importance entrepreneurship. We suggested an online solution for them, which was more convenient,” remembers Shyam.
KSUM was a game changer for Fourth Ambit, as their community platform saw a mass on-boarding of 120 colleges from Kerala alone. “We started thinking big at that time, as we needed to build an entire ecosystem to support the institutions that are coming on board,” states Shyam. Since then, Fourth Ambit hardly had to look back. In 2017, the company signed MoU with All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). As a part of this MoU, Fourth Ambit got the opportunity to work with the AICTE and its member institutions to leverage its online platform and technical infrastructure to setup private online community portals for AICTE approved institutions. “Signing a pact with AICTE for setting up online community portals for over 10,000 technical institutions across the length and breadth of the country was perhaps the biggest contract we won. We knew that we have become one of most trusted technology partners for government agencies,” says Shyam.
Fourth Ambit has a large network of over 220, 000 users, including students, alumni members and other stakeholders of the higher education system
AICTE – Fourth Ambit collaboration was an absolute turnaround for Shyam and his team. In 2018, Fourth Ambit and AICTE jointly launched the Kerala leg of their Internship Fair via Fourth Ambit’s online platform. ASAP (Additional Skill Acquisition Programme), an initiative by the Government of Kerala for improving employability skills of students across Kerala, was also a partner in this campaign. “We have continued our partnerships with AICTE and the Department of Higher Education, Government of Kerala, to improve the employability of students. This year, we have collaborated with them for the Grand Kerala Internship Drive, which will offer at least 10, 000 internship opportunities for students in the coming academic year,” shares Shyam.
Today, Fourth Ambit has a large network of over 220, 000 users, including students, alumni members and other stakeholders of the higher education system. Backed by a robust tech platform, led by an inspired team, supported by corporate partners, enabled by AICTE and State Universities, the team behind Fourth Ambit is confident of creating history and nurturing a self-fulfilling value-based ecosystem. “We want to build the largest student centric platform in the world. Considering the size of the Indian higher education system and the growing numbers students in the country, we do not think it is an impossible task,” concludes Shyam.