The lost childSince childhood, stories larger than life attracted me. I wanted to live life on my own terms, create legends and legacies on my own. But then, children in our country are denied access to childhood even before teenage. They are introduced to the rat race of the education and academic systems where intellect and creativity are murdered every day in the name of employment and better material standards of living. I have been a part of the same rat race and I ended up doing engineering in one of the premier engineering colleges in the country. Not that I regret it, but I believe on the way here, I lost the sparkle from my dreamy eyes.
The child who survived
A popular quote says, “A creative adult is the child who survived”. I am glad, the child within me survived. I started up because of the void I saw around me. I realised that the youth around me were disconnected. They had no platform to combine, sit back and talk their hearts out. I dreamt of a platform of creativity and bulletin for young people. And a youth magazine seemed like the best way to see this idea turn into a reality.
The idea was very nascent back then and I knew very well that I was both insufficient and inadequate for actualising my dream into reality. I needed passionate, hardworking and talented people to get things rolling. I also knew that the task would become horrendous when the publication is a monthly magazine. There an online magazine seemed better. Online magazine meant a long list of technical people like graphic designers, artists, web developers, photographers and marketing managers besides writers and editors.
My first year end semester exams were pretty near, but the idea had my undivided attention. My persistence paid off and eventually I just got the right people I needed. We started working together immediately after the exams and our hard work paid off when the first online issue of Chill Maadi was a huge success. The team was brilliantly cohesive and this bond strengthened as we kept working together. Today we have come a long way with 8 online issues, 2 fest magazines, 2 printed versions and numerous mentions in websites, journals and newspapers to our credit.Road blocks!
At the same time we’ve experienced that the road of entrepreneurship for students is not easy. My GPA rapidly slumped in the third semester. Classes 8-5 and work till 2-3 in the night made my initial days on entrepreneurship difficult. But, I knew I had to recoup from the lows and thus I decided on a more organised timetable and a balanced and more planned way of doing things. The planning helped and I was able to regain my lost touch in academics. To some extent, I now know and understand the ways that help me manage a professional course and my start-up. Planning and proper implementation is the only way out if you’re a student entrepreneur. You also need to channelise work rather than taking the entire burden by yourself. Along with time management, another bottleneck for student entrepreneurs is finance. But, the entrepreneurial scene in India is improving with the government trying to help with incubators and a lot of business plan competitions being organised. The student entrepreneurs should keep themselves updated with information related to these competitions and incubators.
Another problem that I faced was in understanding the legal aspects of startingup. I didn’t know the legal aspects of running an online journal, registering and other small things like corporate accounts. Being students, going to lawyers, banks, government offices, civil courts and chartered accountants is something very uncommon. But, I had to visit all of them for making things more serious and legally right. Student entrepreneurs should not hesitate to go through the right procedures.
I still have a lot to learn, but I know the path of entrepreneurship is exciting and fruitful. In fact I would urge all students to think of more ideas and launch more entrepreneurial ventures as our growing economy needs job generators more than the job seekers. And what better time can one get for starting up than during college? Remember, the earlier you start up, more is the chance of you being successful.
Many of us have a lot of ideas, but actualising them is the key. Passion, perseverance, persistence are all the synonyms for entrepreneurship.
The day you shed your first drop of sweat for your idea, you become an entrepreneur. If you think you are ready for this and if you’ve the passion and patience to see your idea come alive, welcome to my world, ‘the world of entrepreneurship’.
Gopal Krishna is the Founder of Chill Maadi, online magazine catering to the student community in Manipal.
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