InternSathi: Bridging the gap between students and quality internships in Nepal

Representational Image Photo: Pixabay 
Representational Image Photo: Pixabay

Ritika Giri of Kathmandu, currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Business Management was seeking internship opportunities. Understanding the importance of internships, Giri applied to a few companies through social media.

“None of them responded to me and I was getting frustrated,” says Giri.

One day, however, a friend came up to tell her about how she found an internship opportunity through InternSathi and how responsive they were to people’s needs.

“I used InternSathi and within a couple of days, I found one internship,” says Giri who is working as an intern in the operation management department of an advertising agency.

In today’s age, the trend of internships has seen a significant surge among recent graduates and students in their final years of study. For many, an internship is the first step towards a career in their chosen field. Not only does it offer valuable insights into office culture and working mechanisms, but it also provides a host of skills essential for their professional future. However, finding the right internships can be challenging. This is where InternSathi comes in.

Started by Kunal Sah in 2022, InternSathi is an internship-focused platform formed to help students get quality internships in Nepal and help them excel at it. Sah’s calling came after realising the challenges faced by many individuals in securing internship opportunities due to a lack of information on where to look.

“The primary goal of InternSathi is to assist young boys and girls in finding suitable internship opportunities. I believe we have been of help to young boys and girls,” says Sah.

Gradual growth

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Initially, Sah kickstarted the business through social media. Launching a website during the initial phase seemed daunting, as he only started his entrepreneurial journey and lacked confidence. As time progressed, Sah engaged himself in learning various aspects of the business.

Through continuous research and active participation in workshops, events, and conferences, he not only expanded his knowledge but also developed connections and built strong public relations with relevant individuals in the field.

“That gave me the belief I could start a website too. There are many websites where people can find jobs, but not many where they can look for internships,” he says.

Kunal Sah, founder of InternSathi
Kunal Sah, founder of InternSathi

Sah says InternSathi work with around 432 companies from various parts of the country. To smoothen user experience, InternSathi has a team of 10 skilled human resources professionals, each handling specific roles. This team, Sah says, is dedicated to simplifying the process, making it effortless for applicants to explore and find suitable internship opportunities through InternSathi.

“So far 400 people have found internships,” says Sah.

Not wanting to exploit young people, Sah says all internships that are found through InternSathi are paid.

“We’ve been clear with the companies we work with about how these internships should give at least enough money for them to commute and buy lunch. We don’t want our users being exploited,” he says.

According to Sah, 80 per cent of InternSathi’s user base is actively seeking internship opportunities in the rapidly growing IT sector in Nepal.

Challenges ahead

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While a lot of individuals are getting internship opportunities from InternSathi, there are some challenges that the companies have been facing.  

According to Sah, one major challenge currently faced by InternSathi is the lengthy hiring process by some companies. In instances where the hiring timeline is extended, applicants often lose patience and seek opportunities elsewhere.

Another challenge faced by InternSathi is related to quality control. For example, some applicants tend to apply to numerous positions without considering their qualifications and skills. For instance, an applicant trained in only one programming language applies to vacancies that specifically require expertise in multiple programming languages.

“This has led to an overflow of CV submissions, creating challenges for both the hiring party and ourselves,” says Sah. “As underskilled applicants face difficulty in securing placements, some have resorted to complaining about our services, with a few even labelling us as scammers.”

However, Sah says that the company is working to overcome such challenges.

Sustainability model

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Representational image. Photo: Pexels/ Sebastian Voortman

For any company to thrive, revenue is essential. So, how does InternSathi generate its revenue?

Once an applicant submits their CV to the hiring company, the latter can only access basic information such as the applicant’s name and academic qualifications. To unveil contact details like phone number and email address, the company that wants to hire will have to pay InternSathi a fee.

InternSathi also wants to add a private listing feature where hiring announcements will not be made public; instead, they will be directed exclusively to the targeted audience.

“For example, if a hiring company specifically wants to hire candidates from XYZ college, the information will only be communicated to individuals with official email accounts from XYZ college,” says Sah.

In light of this, InternSathi is currently establishing partnerships with various colleges as many educational institutions now provide official email accounts to their students.

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Prasun Sangroula is an Onlinekhabar correspondent, mainly covering arts, society and sports.

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