Ever After- Deeptha Vivekanand’s journey from a corporate trainer to a full time storytellerGanesh Nagarsekar
Deeptha Vivekanand worked as a learning consultant at a leading IT company in Bangalore where she trained people on behavioral skills.She attended a storytelling workshop in 2009 and the art of telling tales came quite naturally to her. Inspired, she started conducting workshops for various groups on the power of stories. While working with one such class of six year olds she created a small poem based on the story.From that day, each time she told a story, a boy in the class would make a small four line poem and recite it in class. A six year old boy made her realize how strong the influence of stories can be and in a way helped discover her true calling. Thus a chance encounter into storytelling led her to quit her job and pursue storytelling full time.
Ever After- was founded with a desire to nurture creativity and intuitiveness in young minds. Talking to us about the impact of stories Deeptha tells us “Stories have the singular ability to integrate logic and emotion at the same time and that facilitates the learning process seamlessly. With this premise, I decided to set up an experience centre in Bangalore for children and young adults to conduct learning programs that use stories as the anchor.” Rachna Prabhakar, a post graduate in management, works arm in arm with Deeptha and currently manages content and marketing at Ever After.
Ever After has already conducted two workshops since their inception in April 2013. Starting June they plan to have learning programs for children in the age groups 6-15. With stories at the epicenter of all these programs, the programs will coach students to be storytellers and story-makers, whilst also enhancing their communication skills. The team is also putting together a module on digital storytelling for the social media savvy generation. From building brands to making compelling and energizing presentations, the benefits of being a good story teller are endless. At Ever After they intend to help children develop the ability to question and think beyond the obvious, communicate without inhibition both in the spoken and written word and acquire life skills needed for all round excellence.
The workshops are customized according to the age group. So story telling sessions for the 6-8 age group revolves around building a good vocabulary, whereas the ones for the 9-12 age group revolve around personality development and presentation skills. For children in the age group of 13-15, digital storytelling workshops are conducted.These workshops range from 5 weeks to 4 months and cost about ₹5000. Since this happens to be a highly seasonal sector, with high demand during summer and winter breaks, Ever After has designed special after school workshops which will be held all through the year. They also plan to take the programs to school where they can run them onsite.
Currently, they have one center in Bangalore. By the end of this year, they plan to have another one in Bangalore, and one in Chennai. The plan is to set up learning centers in all cities and have a franchising model in tier two cities.They are looking out for people who would like to come on board with them on this exciting and incredible journey. Ever After is largely a one-person show at this point and given the kind of expansion plans it has, it needs to build a robust team of specialists across areas: content creation, marketing, fund raising and facilitation. They are looking for people who are deeply knowledgeable, passionate and concerned about education. The venture is also looking for seed funding to get its operations underway.