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Global Tree is India's leading Immigration and education consultants, not just according to red, or according to Mr.Srikar & Mr. Shubhakar Alapati, but according to a Pricewaterhouse Coopers survey that studied consultants across India. This Hyderabadi firm is making huge strides in this space, through a global, tech-savvy approach that keeps trust at the center of their business. There is much to envy about Global Tree’s growth, but the strength of the business is the sibling bond at the helm. It was a delight to speak to the brothers about the company which has been improving the future of thousands of students in the country.

The Entrepreneurial Journey
Srikar: After my engineering, I wanted to be independent. Rather than getting a job, I wanted to be able to provide a job to someone. Shubhakar: I was planning on going the workand- MBA route. I was more of a happy-go-lucky guy and 10 years back, getting a 25,000 salary right after college was good money. But very soon, I got sold.

Challenges and Opportunities
Shubhakar: When we started, we didn't know anything about accounting dealings and other aspects. It continues to be tough even now as we don't have any investors or any loans on the company. While we could have done with a lot more support, I see making decisions and being your own boss as a big advantage.

Srikar: It's a combination of plus and minus. Whether the decision is right or wrong, or whether you are making a mistake, you face it, you experience it and evolve. That is freeing and liberating. The business was running out of the house and it was totally zero investment. Slowly as people started trusting us and it took off.

The Approach
Shubhakar: A lot of clients don't actually know what they want, and what exactly suits them. They need help with what we call career mapping and course selection. So that's where our first step comes in. For example, a boy who has done mechanical engineering wants to go for computer science, because he is under the assumption that field has more opportunity, But going into mechanical itself, with a computer-aided approach opens up much better opportunities than, you know, just moving to a computer science course. These are very, delicate and small areas, which people don't understand. That’s where we first come in. A lot of people also think “Oh, I didn’t do engineering so there is no scope for me” or want to be chefs and filmmakers but can’t pursue alternative professions due to external commitments and pressures. We try to match their requirements. There are 3 categories of clients: The first type is particular about academics and studying is the main focus. The second just wants to go abroad to settle. The third- wants to train abroad, get exposure and come back to join a family business. For those who wish to settle abroad, countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand are ideal but many people are fixated on the US, where it takes forever to get a Green card.

On Building Trust Srikar: Giving an accurate picture to our clients, I would tell them: this is the university, these are the courses, this is the fee, here’s where you can get more info, & if you are confident, we will help you enroll.

Shubhakar: We try to understand the needs of the students & parents and we would be transparent with that. We don’t believe in running after sales or people.

Brothers in Arms
Shubhakar: Once I came on board we were clear about where we wanted to go: we built the brand and name and started to dream bigger. Srikar: My approach is slow, steady, and straightforward and you can say a little bit passive. Shubhakar is a dynamic and out-of-the-box thinker So he has been a big catalyst for Global Tree. If I said two offices, he would say, why not twenty? He’s been a major driving force.

Shubhakar: My brother has plans and a larger-than-life view of things. Even if we have to go through ups and downs, he is ready to take the roller coaster. But for his conviction, we might not have started the trade. We both are a good combination. I think when I'm more aggressive, I want to have more things, I want to drive fast. But he is someone who will actually holds back to weigh pros and cons and puts stability first to make sure that we don't actually fall down somewhere. So basically, his conviction and his assessment and his extra carefulness is what has helped us to go far.

Srikar: We are probably the only company with a strong presence in the 3 verticals of overseas education, immigration, and training. Most consultants tend to get stuck in either education or immigration but seldom specialise in all three. So that way our services are comprehensive. We are in a phase of rapid expansion. In 2017 we won an award by Asia One magazine, which performed a survey with Pricewaterhouse Coopers to find that in India, Global Tree was the fastest growing consultants for overseas education and immigration. They were literally behind us to come and take the award at Mumbai. One of the senior directors personally requested us to come. We never imagined that one day we would have 400 people on our payrolls, not including third parties and freelancers.

Shubhakar: Over a period of time that we have done is we have streamlined the verticals and we deal with them independently. All the accounts and administration and around 10 countries on the education front are handled by Srikar. I handle the immigration part, and the North American part of education and training. Additionally we have a strong digital presence, responding to the needs of our clients who are more tech savvy.

Global Tree in the Future
Srikar: Today we have 15 offices all across the country. We are present in Vijayawada, Guntur, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Chennai with 400 plus staff on payrolls.
In fact, we are one of the leading consultants in India for overseas education, and also for immigration. We are even in the training space, to prepare students for GRE, GMAT and IELTS. We have big plans for that. We have got a full-edged team, with a sales division, faculty, R&D, and more.

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