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Yearbook Canvas: Turning Memories into Lasting Keepsakes

Integrating yearbooks with a vibrant online community, Yearbook Canvas fosters continuous engagement and emotional connections through a comprehensive approach

The life of Surashree Rahane, Founder and CEO of Yearbook Canvas, is a testament to resilience and triumph over adversity. Born in Bhagur, Maharashtra, she faced daunting physical challenges including club foot and polymelia, leading to numerous surgeries from infancy. Inspired by her father’s resilience, she excelled academically despite using a walker throughout her school years. Pursuing Computer Science Engineering at COEP, Pune, she thrived academically and actively participated in extracurricular activities.

Her professional journey included pivotal roles at PepsiCo and HP, managing significant business portfolios across South Asia. In 2018, Surashree co-founded Yearbook Canvas, a groundbreaking tech platform specializing in digital yearbooks for educational institutions. This venture quickly gained acclaim, serving top Indian institutes and corporate clients.

A passionate scuba diver, shooter, and dancer, Surashree embodies a life lived without limits, driven by resilience, determination, and unwavering self-belief. Her journey inspires, highlighting the transformative power of perseverance and a positive mindset in overcoming obstacles and achieving extraordinary success.

In a candid interaction with The Interview World at the 3rd NAREDCO Mahi Convention, Surashree Rahane illuminated the activities and programs of Yearbook Canvas. She emphasized the enthusiastic responses from the next generation and detailed the challenges involved in sustaining emotional connections with alumni. Here are the pivotal insights gleaned from her interview.

Q: What are the key activities and programs offered by Yearbook Canvas?

A: Yearbook Canvas is dedicated to partnering with educational institutions to create meaningful connections with students and alumni. Through our comprehensive approach, we utilize traditional yearbooks alongside a dynamic online community platform to foster continuous engagement and emotional resonance. Our online merchandise store offers a range of products, mirroring the prestigious offerings seen at institutions such as Harvard and Stanford.

In addition to these services, Yearbook Canvas enriches the educational experience through the Enlightened Classroom podcast, providing insightful discussions and perspectives on various academic and personal development topics. Moreover, our Future Planner student ambassador program empowers students to take leadership roles within their communities and beyond, fostering a sense of pride and achievement.

By integrating these elements, Yearbook Canvas not only preserves memories but also cultivates a vibrant and connected educational ecosystem that extends beyond graduation.

Q: How is the Gen G of this country responding to your products?

A: We are thrilled with the overwhelming response to our yearbook services, proudly holding the position as India’s foremost provider. Our partnerships include esteemed institutions such as the IIMs, IITs, and renowned international schools like the American Embassy School in Bombay, Singapore International School, and the International School Bangalore. This strong endorsement also originates from leading schools and colleges across the spectrum.

Yet, it is imperative to extend this initiative to encompass a broader array of educational institutions, spanning urban centers and rural communities throughout India. We firmly believe in the transformative power of alumni networks, which can significantly benefit both current students and their respective institutions. Unfortunately, many schools and colleges miss out on tapping into this potential due to insufficient alumni engagement.

Alumni can also play a pivotal role in offering career opportunities, scholarships, donations, funding, and other forms of support. Moreover, our mission is to expand this initiative extensively across the educational landscape of India, ensuring that all institutions can leverage the advantages of alumni collaboration. While we have made significant strides, we acknowledge that there is much more potential waiting to be unlocked. We are committed to scaling our efforts and making a meaningful impact in education through comprehensive alumni engagement initiatives.

Q: How large is your team, and what strategies do you employ to effectively manage it?

A: Currently, our team comprises 12 members, with half of them working remotely, primarily those specializing in graphics design. Alongside our remote workforce, we have dedicated teams located in Bangalore, Jodhpur, and Gurgaon.

As three leaders holding CXO roles within the company, we are actively pursuing expansion into the US market. The United States boasts a well-developed ecosystem for student and alumni engagement and management, which presents a valuable learning opportunity for us. Our objective is to glean insights from this ecosystem to refine and innovate our practices in India. Concurrently, we plan to introduce some of our best practices developed in India to the US market, aiming to contribute positively to the educational and alumni engagement landscape there.

This expansion initiative aligns with our broader mission of continuous improvement and global outreach. We are enthusiastic about the potential synergies between the US and Indian markets, fostering mutual growth and innovation in the field of student and alumni engagement.

Q: What challenges do you foresee in maintaining alumni emotional connections while aiding students in their job searches through the alumni ecosystem?

A: In India, one of the foremost challenges lies in the prioritization of non-academic initiatives by decision-makers in educational institutions. Currently, these initiatives do not rank among the top five priorities for these leaders who play a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of their institutions.

Looking ahead, the next decade holds immense significance in fostering a comprehensive educational ecosystem. Presently, the predominant focus remains on academic achievements and their immediate adjuncts. However, we advocate for a more holistic approach that nurtures broader market development.

To address this gap, initiatives such as our podcast and ambassador program are crucial. They serve to educate stakeholders about the value of a diverse educational ecosystem. Our alumni and students, enthusiastic about contributing meaningfully, stand ready to engage and collaborate.

Realizing this vision requires proactive steps from educational institutions. By demonstrating the advantages and opportunities inherent in these initiatives, institutions can catalyze greater connectivity and engagement among stakeholders. Our current focus is squarely on addressing this challenge. Through ongoing efforts, we aim to empower institutions to lead the charge towards a more inclusive and dynamic educational environment.

Yearbook Canvas – Transforming Memorable Moments into Enduring Mementoes
Yearbook Canvas – Transforming Memorable Moments into Enduring Mementoes
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