Winner of Innovative Idea Award MPEC 2009
It is never too early or too late to learn the fundamentals of money. Making your money work for you is no great secret but quite often trying to understand what a finance magazine is saying is like trying to read Ancient Sumerian. It does not make sense and it seems to be written for someone else. Women and children in particular have difficulties understanding the concepts of lucre and if you too cannot tell your equity from your bonds then MoneyQuin is the Finance magazine for you. Shruti Kohli is the entrepreneur deciphering the tangles of finance for women and children on the pages of MoneyQuin.
Yourstory learnt about her concept and its ramifications from Shruti who says “MoneyQuin is a finance magazine but not just another finance magazine. It focuses on finance for women and kids.
There’s not another finance magazine or book which gives you literature on women & kids. MoneyQuin happens to be a pioneer in the field. The magazine also has a citizen’s page. Anyone who has been smart with money or has been associated with investing or credit (loans etc) can write a column and get featured on this section. Apart from this we also carry interviews of the who’s who of the finance industry.”
“I researched for 6 months before starting MoneyQuin. I realized from my research that a literary product like MoneyQuin was an inevitable necessity. Women, kids & parents needed an exclusive literary product on finance. So for six months I seriously got down to planning and by March 2009 it was ready. But I felt it was impossible to market it if I kept my job. So I quit two months back.”
“From June onwards I started vigorous marketing. I got in touch with all my contacts and told them about the magazine. We use the hits on our online version to gauge where we stand. As of now it’s 200 hits per day. We intend to see this increase to about 5000 per day within the next 3 months. I get emails from parents saying they have opened a bank account for their kids aged between 6-12 years (this is the age group we target through stories on MoneyQuin). They tell me how they have started paying their kids for any little work they do at home. So pocket money is earned and not procured as a reward for being an earnings parents’ kid.”
Shruti was a career journalist but felt her skills were better applied in an entrepreneurial environment. She explains why she chose to leave a career for the challenges of entrepreneurship and says “Well, my job was never a 9-5. I have worked as a journalist for about 7 years. I began as a correspondent with The Times of India. I have worked with the Indian Express, CNBC TV18 Outlook Money & Money Today. I left my job a month back to promote my own magazine (MoneyQuin). It feels like on top of the world. The magazine is more of a passion than just a company or work. Though I have always enjoyed the work I have done but somehow for the first time I feel I’m not working just to see that SMS in my inbox at the end of the month informing that I have been paid for the work I did through the month.”
“It’s so nice to work with kids and women of all age groups and backgrounds and at the same time interact with finance pros. I suddenly feel I have taken charge of life. I have discovered some other talents also. I never knew I could organize an event as well as a professional event manager before 22 August 2009 when I single-handedly organized a conference on finance for women & kids without any professional help. From designing the banners, backdrops etc to preparing content for various sessions…And I realised it was all worth it when people dropped a word about “the look and feel” at the conference.
Shruti at the moment is pondering how to tackle certain issues but is certain that with time she will rectify the situation. She says “They all like the concept when told about it. But reading the magazine is still quite a task. When invited to conferences they have excuses like they have to go for a haircut followed by a movie! And mind you, this comes from a very loyal reader of MoneyQuin. She writes at least one email to us every week enquiring or just dropping a feedback. So there’s will but we lack somewhere…But now that MoneyQuin is here, we’ll fill the gap between will and effort. However, Shruti reports about the success of her venture saying “MoneyQuin gets recognized every week when a new mail drops in the inbox saying that the stories carried have changed a life. But, I would consider my goal achieved the day I start getting mails from kids about MoneyQuin stories.”
Shruti is pleased that her venture has been getting positive reviews from not just readers but industry stalwarts. They spoke highly about the concept of the magazine during a day-long conference organised by MoneyQuin.
“Called ‘Money…!? Conference on Financial Literacy for Women & Kids’, it has been the biggest achievement for MoneyQuin since its launch. It was a grand success for a two-and-a-half-month-old. There were 11 industry experts ranging from CEOs of Mutual Fund companies, CIOs of life insurers to Group Heads of banks to executive directors of broking firms. All speakers who were invited turned up and praised MoneyQuin during discussion sessions. They called it a pioneer. They said before the audience that MoneyQuin would go a long way. The conference was sponsored by the National Stock Exchange.”
Entrepreneurship has a plethora of attractions to many people, and Shruti too has been enamoured by its charms. She spoke on what being an entrepreneur means to her saying “It gives me space to think freely. I feel more creative than I did when I worked under pressure of my ideas being rejected. I guess creativity always needs lots of open space to breathe. I can execute my ideas my way and from the feedback I have got, it seems my ideas rock! From the concept of MoneyQuin to the design of the magazine website, the look and feel of the venue of ‘Money…!? Conference on Financial Literacy for Women & Kids’…”
Her goals for the coming year are simple and Shruti hopes to see all of them fulfilled.
“I visualize MoneyQuin to have become a habit with each and every woman and kid (in the age group that we are targeting). You think of literature on finance for your kid or for yourself (in case of women), it’s just MoneyQuin that comes to your mind.” says Shruti.
Shruti has learnt a lot in her new life as an entrepreneur and pass on her hard won knowledge to the uninitiated saying “Be determined. Don’t be bogged down by initial hiccups. Remember once you’ve found your feet, the world’s yours.”
Yourstory wishes Shruti luck and resilience on her entrepreneurial quest, and is sure that her visions to change how we see finances will soon be real.