Business Leader Spotlight:Varun Jain, Founder of UniHawk

Tell us about yourself and your background and your journey to founding UniHawk. 

I always wanted to travel outside of India to study overseas. Taking up a job at a call-centre to overcome the financial challenges, while at the same time honing my English language skills, I earned a scholarship to pursue my higher studies abroad. This changed my life, and after graduating with a Masters in Knowledge Management from NTU Singapore, I wanted to share my experience and expertise with fellow education enthusiasts. I have been in the business for the past 18+ years and built a broad and diverse network of like-minded education enthusiasts.

What is the biggest challenge facing students navigating the admissions process in the UAE? 

There are so many choices available to students these days that one of the biggest challenges is simply information overload. Young people are often confused about their career options and professional interests, which leaves them with so many unanswered questions about how to achieve their ultimate goals. It can also be challenging to align a child’s dreams and aspirations with the expectations of their parents and the financial capacity of the family.

What are the benefits of using UniHawk?

UniHawk helps high school students to gain admission to their dream university by navigating them through the entire process. We specialize in guiding students and their families to identify the right destination, institution, and program to match their aspirations for the future. Our multinational team of education specialists walk applicants through profile-building, careers counselling, interview skills development, scholarship application advice, and academic writing support, to help get each student into the university that is the right fit for them.

How are you re-defining the education industry? 

Education consulting is a nuanced business that truly changes the lives of students and their families. When students and parents start out on their journey to explore higher education options, they often find themselves overwhelmed with information and in need of dedicated expert guidance. UniHawk solves this problem by providing bespoke university admissions counselling and test preparation support, to help families make the right choice and secure admission to their preferred institution.

What makes UniHawk unique?

We use the EIPA (Explore, Identify, Prepare and Achieve) model to advise students. 

This involves guiding students to explore their interests and identify their strengths, to help find the right institution for them. Once they have established their goal, we then provide the support to prepare their application and successfully gain admission to their chosen university. Alongside academic grades, we focus on profile building, internships, and bespoke programs that promote personal development, like the Harvard Youth leadership program, our Pre-University Wellness Program, to name a few.

What has been the biggest success for UniHawk? 

The UniHawk team has collectively placed 12,000 applicants from more than 50 countries, helping them to navigate the admissions process for institutions around the world. UniHawk has supported students to craft a profile to earn entry to some of the world’s best schools, including Columbia, Stanford, Harvard, University of Chicago, UC-Berkeley, Brown, Oxford, Cambridge, INSEAD, LBS, Cornell, Williams, IE-Spain, HKUST, University of Toronto, and many more. This year’s cohort have earned admission to institutions such as Oxford, Cambridge and UPenn, with more than 60 places and over $1.6 million in scholarships awarded by top-tier international institutions to UniHawk students.

What interesting and successful projects are you currently involved in? 

We are preparing to stage a second edition of the Harvard Youth Lead the Change program in Dubai this July. UniHawk brought this highly selective youth leadership development initiative to the GCC region for the first time in its history last December. Following that success, we’re looking forward to welcoming more high school students from across the region to experience this life-changing mentoring program.

UniHawk is also in the process of rolling out a Pre-University Wellness Program, to help prepare students both practically and emotionally for independent living. The Program will launch this June and will be delivered over one weekend each month for four months. We are also planning Summer Programs at Oxford and Cambridge for students to explore their interests in disciplines like Medicine, AI, Law, Writing, Engineering, and Public Speaking.

Can you share a Case Study of a recent success story?

One of this year’s outstanding candidates, Siddhant Tandon, received offers from 14 institutions, including 4 schools from the top 15 in the world, and has accepted a place at Oxford University to study Economics and Management. Another, Anushka Kelshikar, has won a Trustee Scholarship to study Biomedical Engineering at the highly selective institution, Boston University.

What is next for you personally? What are your future goals?

The goal is to expand throughout the GCC region and work on the development of added value educational initiatives. We are also exploring new opportunities to develop bespoke learning and mentoring programs in collaboration with leading universities around the world.

What are your goals for UniHawk over the next 5 years and beyond? 

The goal is to expand throughout the GCC region and be a leader in the space.

How can readers find out more about UniHawk? 

Get social with us. Follow us on our social media channels or visit 

Editor-In-Chief of Bizpreneur Middle East