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Inspirational Woman: Vibha Kagzi | Founder and CEO of ReachIvy

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 Reachivy
ReachIvy is a premium education and careers advisory. We offer our expertise across -Study Abroad, Career Compass and Free Resources.

Our study abroad consultants and career guidance coaches help aspiring students get accepted into Ivy League and other top ranked schools globally, and reach their career aspirations through personal mentoring, online services and a wealth of knowledge accumulated over years of experience. Services include:

  1. Study Abroad: Counseling, college selection, essays and applications, interview preparation, test preparation, resume review, waitlist letter, financial aid letter, and ding analysis.
  2. Career Compass: Career counseling, career test, career library, LinkedIn review, resume review, and career interviews.
  3. Online resources: Relevant, rich video and written content in the form of masterclasses, video tutorials, blogs, guides, manuals and templates, online live events and information on financing your education

Vibha Kagzi holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science from Carnegie Mellon University. She has also pursued courses at the University of California, Berkeley, the London School of Economics and the Indian School of Business.

Her professional experience spans finance, fashion, media and public relations. She has worked in New York in asset management and helped establish a California-based hedge fund in India.

She is extremely passionate about education and believes that it is the ultimate social equalizer. Leveraging her personal experience at various academic and professional institutions, she hopes to provide holistic guidance to young individuals who aspire to reach leading universities.

Vibha has done a course in creative writing from Xavier’s Institute of Communications and has been featured in the Economic Times, the Indian Express and the Harbus (Harvard Business School’s publication). At Harvard, she co-wrote a case for the negotiations department that has been incorporated in the teaching curriculum at the school.

Vibha has completed a yoga teacher’s training course, is a certified open water diver, is fluent in French, having completed Level 3 at the Alliance Française and has travelled extensively, visiting over 55 countries across six continents.

Vibha is the Co-President of the Harvard Club of Mumbai and is on the Carnegie Mellon Admissions Council.

Vibha is an inspiring speaker and has been invited to speak and present at several prestigious forums in the past, including Citibank, IIT, YPO, NHRD, Teach For India, Indian Merchant Chambers, Top Colleges, Schools and Corporates across India, and other platforms globally.

Tell us about yourself, your background and what you do currently

I have completed my Bachelor of Science from Carnegie Mellon University and my MBA from the Harvard Business School. At Harvard, I co-wrote a case for the negotiations department that has been incorporated in the teaching curriculum at the school. Additionally, I have pursued courses at a number of premier institutions including University of California, Berkeley, the London School of Economics and the Indian School of Business. Immediately post my graduation from Business School I returned to India and founded ReachIvy, a premium education and careers advisory. Prior to ReachIvy my professional experience covered finance, fashion, media and public relations in a diverse range of roles that included helping establish a California-based hedge fund in India.

Despite promising opportunities in the USA, I returned to India to launch my own company as I am exceptionally passionate about education and believeit to be the ultimate social equalizer. I hope to consistently leverage my personal experience at various academic and professional institutions to provide holistic guidance to young individuals who aspire to reach leading universities.

Currently, I am the Co-President of the Harvard Club of Mumbai and am on the Carnegie Mellon Admissions Council.I have successfully completed a yoga teachers training course, I am a certified open water diver, am fluent in French, having completed Level 3 at the Alliance Françaiseand have travelled extensively, visiting over 60 countries across six continents. I believe in living life to the fullest!

Why I Started ReachIvy

When I first considered applying from Bombay to go to a top school abroad for my undergraduate studies, I was overwhelmed with a range of choices and a fundamental lack of access to expert guidance. I did not have access to the granular advice an expert mentor provides to help me evaluate and understand all the options, find my fit and then navigate the intricate application process. I used the internet as my primary means of research and somehow scrambled to get admitted to Carnegie Mellon University, without much context or understanding of my chosen path.

Similarly, when it came time to apply for my MBA, I wanted to find a top ranked University where I found a cultural and intellectual fit, but again had no guidance readily available

After I graduated with an MBA from Harvard Business School, I moved back to India to found ReachIvy, a premium education and careers advisory. My objective was to provide students with intensive guidance on study abroad and careers, from experts who have first-hand knowledge of what it means to earn a degree from a top school. I wanted to ensure that other high-caliber students could be channelled in the right direction and would not have to suffer through the anxiety and confusion I had been through.

Since its inception, ReachIvy helps students build the right profile, identify the appropriate program and crack the application process at top schools.

Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote

We are currently expanding our corporate partnerships enabling students to learn about services and products they can avail of. Companies can directly access our student base as well giving them access to a upwardly mobile, educated and premium target base.

What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?

This is a very crowded space with some very well entrenched players who have been operating for many decades. Establishing a foothold in the space is very challenging initially since parents/students are looking for track record of success. Also, getting the word out and reaching your target audience is challenging since marketing activities are expensive and initially resources are very limited. Overtime, we grew by leveraging our personal and professional networks and by proving the quality of our service.

What has been your greatest achievement personally?

On the academic front, my biggest success is securing my admission to Harvard Business School. This milestone achievement was the culmination of years of tedious work through out school, college and at work – an acknowledgment of the many years of effort I had committed to this goal.

On the professional front, my biggest success is the growth of my entrepreneurial venture, ReachIvy. What started as a sole journey with my laptop and me has grown into a sizeable organization with team members and clients in over 33 countries. We have built a formidable brand in the education space in a span of merely 5 years and are well poised for rampant growth.

On the personal front, my biggest success is the dependable family of well-wishers I have been fortunate to build. I have a strong support network both within and outside my family that allows me to take risks and deal with life’s vicissitudes.

If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?

I would probably set up a yoga centre with a cafe and work on writing a film script!

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Like most people, I too look up to a variety of world famous celebrities. The life stories and struggles of Muhammed Ali, Mother Teresa and Van Gogh are truly inspirational. However, at a more personal level, I have had several role models, from whom I aspire to imbibe specific qualities. My Mathematics teacher in the 6th grade always had a cheerful disposition; she made learning fun and the students loved her and her subject for this. My grandmother speaks only Hindi but has the ability to communicate with anyone regardless of the language they speak; she connects through her heart. My yoga instructor practices what he preaches. He continually pushes us to experiment with our bodies and food habits but is always the first to test out a new diet, serving as the perfect role model. This list could go on, but I will stop here.

What does the future hold for you?

We intend to become India’s primary platform for premium education and career related advice and content and build a ‘student-centric’ business. Towards this effort, we will continue to design, develop and structure relevant information for students by tapping into global experts on a variety of subjects. Our expansion will be entirely online; we do not intend to grow in the traditional brick and mortar model.

Additionally, we will build strategic partnerships with leading global educational institutions and ancillary businesses to bring their services to our students and share their knowledge resources on our portal. We will also continue to develop a slew of online resources and tools for students to benefit from.

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