With a thriving economy and the desire to do something big, Saurabh Sabharwal started Volunteering Solutions to give the students an opportunity to do volunteering and internships abroad in various fields. The startup was launched in 2007 in India and now spanning across 21 destinations in the world. The founder always wanted to do something challenging, to setup a company and provide employment to people for his own satisfaction. VolSol comprises a team of 32 associates off-shore and onsite.
Saurabh completed his higher studies in Australia and with an experience of working with Hilton in Melbourne and Crown Casino. Soon, he started to work for an international organization based in US to host their volunteers in India and from there the idea of VolSol came in.
Saurabh aims to reach out and tap potential international audience and double the client base, generating revenues of 5 million by next couple of years. Talking on the pain points he sheds light on VolSol, which facilitates and simplifies the process of international volunteering and gets projects and placements to volunteers along with full coverage of accommodation and meals. Being an international volunteer and intern placement organization, VolSol helps volunteers get the NGO, social welfare project/program and internship of their choice. The uniqueness lies in the fact that the startup is the single most entity working in areas of volunteerism on an international level from India. VolSol is not a travel company and definitely not an NGO, but the efforts and social impact on these organizations cannot be ignored.
In India parents are still hesitant to send their children abroad for volunteer work or even for internships. Therefore the product was initially launched only for international market. The biggest bottleneck was cutting through the established and seasoned brands. Over the years VolSol has managed to carve that niche. Majority of volunteers come from UK, US, Canada, Spain and Germany. Having international universities, colleges, high schools and corporate groups as well as individuals as clients is a big plus in the market.
The revenue model is entirely based on the program fee collected from the volunteers. This fee covers administrative costs, costs to the NGO, accommodation, meals and airport pickups, in some cases local transportation and travel as well. Volunteer travel is a very new trend as far as India is concerned. In countries like USA, Australia, UK and Canada, travel and volunteering abroad makes to the top most position in the things to do list. High school students, medical and healthcare students, working professionals and families choose to volunteer travel than simply go for a leisure travel abroad.
We hope in coming years Indian mindset will change and more students will be able to get maximum benefits out of such startups like Volunteering Solutions.