Thousands of students in India have Aditi Jhunjhunwala to thank. Through her consultancy business, she has taught them lifelong digital skills that have enabled them to successfully enroll in their university of choice. For her technological impact in the education sector, she was named ‘Entrepreneur of the Month’ in Silicon India’s April 2020 edition.
In 2018 alone, there were over 37 million students who enrolled in higher education institutions in India.1 By 2021, many of them will have graduated and be out job hunting while a new wave of students enters the post-secondary system.
It is a competitive world, with graduates vying for positions in dream companies and prospective students fighting for seats in prestigious universities or colleges. Making an impression with one’s application is therefore paramount and here to help is Aditi Jhunjhunwala, a BA(Hons) Design Communication alumna of LASALLE College of the Arts.
Aditi helms AJ Consultancy, a studio that employs design language to construct professional portfolios for students or job-seekers. To give her clients a further creative edge, Aditi also offers courses on Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, as well as workshops on typography, stop-motion animation and zine-making.
To date, her company has worked with thousands of students to help them realise their educational aspirations. Vriddhi Gupta was one such example. The interior designer in Kolkata was interested in pursuing her postgraduate studies abroad and approached Aditi for assistance. Through sessions covering topics such as digitisation, visual presentation, content curation and mobile compatibility, Vriddhi learnt to create her own brand identity to impress university administrators. She is now enrolled in the MA Interior Design programme at internationally renowned Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Italy’s largest art and design private academy.
Through Aditi’s work, India’s education sector is slowly but surely witnessing a digital transformation, with scores of students harnessing the power of technology and design to put their best foot forward. In recognition of her efforts Silicon India, a top-tier publication read by C-suites, top management, venture capitalists and business professionals across India, named Aditi their ‘Entrepreneur of the Month’ in their April 2020 issue.
“I’ve worked really hard to get here. Being recognised alongside other successful companies is a great indication of AJ Consultancy’s growth,” she gushed. “My passion for teaching and love for design was the fuel that kept me going for the past six years.”
While establishing her company, Aditi had to face numerous challenges, including advocating the importance of digital skills to staunch adherents of traditional curricula as well as changing people’s perception of design’s potential. Nonetheless for Aditi, it was a journey well-worth travelling. One of the greatest proof points is the rise in clients from non-creative backgrounds approaching her for help.
“Increasingly, more people are recognising that design isn’t just about mastery of technical skills,” she explained. “In fact, the design way of thinking teaches you a number of soft skills such as problem-solving, collaborating and communicating effectively.”
Aditi credits these life-long skills to her studies at LASALLE, adding that her design education has helped her to “navigate a complex world and provide valuable insights into sectors like business and marketing.”
When asked about her future goals for AJ Consultancy, Aditi shared that among other things, she would like to branch out from her current Kolkata base to other cities in India, organise educational trips for her clients to explore other cultures, as well as develop e-learning courses (a response to the COVID-19 pandemic).
“We are in a globalised world and especially during these unstable times, technology is even more so a great resource. My aim for AJ Consultancy has always been to prepare young individuals to meet the challenges of the future,” she shared. “Digital skills and design thinking is thus a way for them to build sustainability into their careers.”
1 As reported by India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development in the All India Survey on Higher Education 2018–19: http://aishe.nic.in/aishe/viewDocument.action?documentId=262