Prateek Bhargava, CEO, Mindler, India

Prateek makes everything tick at MINDLER. Double MBA from ISB Hyderabad & MDI Gurgaon, his brilliant track record includes strategy consulting, corporate strategy and education advisory with organizations like Accenture Strategy & Maruti Suzuki. Having cracked the CAT, GMAT, CLAT and many more competitive exams, he is an amazing mentor to get the secret recipe to reach your dream college. He dreams to replicate the mentoring experience he received throughout his academic & professional journey for millions of students across the country. In his second interaction with the Higher Education Digest, Prateek talks about his life as an entrepreneur and Indian career counselling sector.


  • As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you? How do you handle failures?

The motivation is to build a legacy while solving the problem we are solving. Failures are part of the journey. They teach you what not to do & keep trying!

  • What is the status of career counselling sector in India and abroad? Do we have enough qualified professional in this sector who can guide the growing number of students?

India has a counselling-deficit education sector which poses a critical challenge. We have an estimated 1 lakh professional career coaches compared to the need for 15 lakh career coaches to cater to 315 million strong student market. In comparison, U.S. has about 2.6 million student career advisors for 56 million students.

Career Guidance and Mentoring is only now beginning to gain the recognition it deserves and is witnessing exponential growth as a profession. While the developed nations have recognized the criticality of career counselling, and a vast number of progressive schools in India are also waking up to the fact, the scenario is more sober in reality. Over 90% of Indian schools do not have career counsellors and there is a massive shortage of trained career counsellors in the country today.

  • What do you put your success down to and who inspires you?

Perseverance and constant innovation. As a big sports fan, I seek my inspiration from sporting legends who whose journey is driven by patience, perseverance and passion!

  • How do you generate new ideas?

Structured ideation for me comes from spending time with the team and looking at solutions, while unstructured ideation comes from reading & learning from what the best in each industry are doing.

  • What is the significance of Mindler’s Multi-level International Certification for Career Coaches (ICCC) program?

ICCC is a 3-level certification program in Career Coaching designed by Mindler in collaboration with two USA-based career coaching bodies, CDA (Career Development Agency) and NCDA (National Career Development Association). While the main focus in the Career Guidance & Mentoring space is on building tools and services to support students, there are very few avenues to create and support existing Career Coaches

This multi – level International Certified Career Coach (ICCC) program is aimed at helping professionals build an exciting career in the career guidance space. This robust programme will bring a qualitative change in the delivery of career guidance across the world. In India, in particular, ICCC will help fill a critical gap in the career guidance space and help shape up quality career coaches in a country with the largest youth population.

The three-level ICCC program comprises of ICCC Foundation program – a 30 credits program for 2 days, ICCC Master program – a 40 credits program and ICCC Advanced program – a 50 credits program.

  • How ICCC program will bridge the gap between career counsellors and students? How will it help the aspirants in tier II and tier II cities?

The demand for Career Counselors is at a pan-India level because students everywhere need career guidance to make informed decisions. However, the trend is currently more prevalent in Tier 1 cities, simply because there is no access to such a service in Tier 2 and 3 towns. That said, India needs about 1.5 million counselors for its 350 million student population and the opportunity in this space exists everywhere.

The penetration of this service can grow by providing better access of career guidance services to students and creating more career coaches who can help parents and students not only understand the value of such a service in their lives but also make informed career decisions. ICCC program will ensure world class training and certification of career counsellors across big and small cities to create greater access to high quality career counselling for students.

  • What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?

You need to have a clear vision towards solving a real-world problem and the right team who is aligned to the vision.

  • What advice would you give to student entrepreneurs who are starting out?

While no specific education or training is required to start a business venture of your own, the odds of success increase exponentially when entrepreneurs have a solid education background and with the popularity of entrepreneurship rising, many universities/ institutes offer programs to groom budding entrepreneurs. The idea here is to build a network as well as domain expertise. I see a lot of students running towards entrepreneurship without understand the tough journey it entails. So, I always tell them to do a thorough homework on this!

I would suggest few important things a budding entrepreneur can keep in mind:

  • The most successful start-ups are founded by people who followed their passion & belief in the problem they are solving.
  • Find a mentor, who can guide you to your entrepreneur journey
  • Be focused on what you are doing.
  • You need to understand your market, start-up fails because they don’t understand their target market. So, research as much as possible
  • In one word, describe your life as an entrepreneur?


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