By Rajaram Suresh:
For a student setting foot into the campus, college life is like an open diary, waiting to be splashed with a plethora of experiences — pleasant, adventurous, nagging and surprising. Every student has a unique take on college life. But one thing which seldom changes is their attitude towards examinations — the nemeses of students that come and go every semester, without failing to leave a mark on the grade sheet.
There are those who set out to prepare right from day 1; there are those who cruise through the exams effortlessly, and there are those who start the day before the exam. “Irrespective of what category you fall in, PaperHut helps you shine,” begins Sreekesh Krishnan, a third-year undergraduate student of Electrical Engineering in Anna University. Sreekesh Krishnan is the co-founder of PaperHut, an online question paper bank for all undergraduate students spread across all streams, years and boards. “After all, exams are the only connecting bridges between semesters. All of us want to stroll safely across and not fall through the cracks,” grins Sreekesh, as he begins to explain what PaperHut is all about.
What was the spark that triggered this idea?
It all started a year back, right before the end-semester exams, we were struggling to get hold of sample papers that would help narrow down the voluminous syllabus we were expected to prepare from. Even after a week’s worth of paper-scavenging, we could not get much. It was then that I started contemplating on the idea of a ‘One stop site’. During a casual chat, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a couple of my classmates who shared the same enthusiasm for my vision, endowed with strong skill-sets. And that’s how we began.
How did you go about materializing this concept?
I was lucky to have two very dynamic individuals — Raghavendra and Thiru — in my class who had a flair for marketing and logistics. We wanted a sound technical head for this project and hence we joined hands with Krishna, a computer science student from Venkateshwara Engineering College. I took charge of business development. Once our tasks were cut out, it was just a question of acquiring question papers, segregating, scanning and uploading them. Thankfully, our wide friend-base in almost all colleges in Chennai helped us to acquire question papers with ease.
How is PaperHut different from its counterparts?
Frankly, I don’t think there is going to be much of a competition for PaperHut, as our approach towards the question bank is quite different. As opposed to blog-based question banks which are cluttered with advertisements, PaperHut is free of cost, advertisement-less, and most importantly, easy to access and navigate. We are also revamping our interface to make it highly personalized. Our new initiative of tying up with colleges officially would enable students to find all their relevant papers after they key in their student details. This filters redundant and unwanted papers and saves a lot of browsing time for students.
What does the future have in store for PaperHut?
What started out as an idea with 4 people working in a cramped room has now expanded to a permanent office with a support team of 6 members. While we want to scale-up and diversify, we try to keep the bottom-line as simple as possible — question papers should find their way to students, and we are just the mediators. The ultimate goal of PaperHut is to be a student’s aide — right from day 1 until his/her convocation. We’re looking to expand our ambit to include live streaming of symposiums, associations with placement-divisions of companies, internship offers, whilst remaining uncompromising on our most important goal — to increase the sheer volume of question papers.