Entrepreneur Supriya Paul on her vision to empower youth with Josh Talks

In this episode of 100X Entrepreneur Podcast, Supriya Paul, Co-founder of Josh Talks, talks about her vision to empower youth from Tier II and Tier III cities via Josh Talks.
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Supriya Paul, Co-founder of Josh Talks, a media platform, says, the startup was launched in 2015 with a vision to help audiences from Tier II and III cities get access to proper role models, learn from them, and work on their own journey.

“When we started, we were in college. At that point in time, we had just graduated and we were naïve. We didn’t know what we should start with, which is why we choose events as the first medium of Josh Talks. However, the goal was to help someone who is from a smaller town or city in India, does not speak English fluently, does not have access to the right kind of role models or the right kind of education, upskilling jobs, etc. We focused on how we can be that elder brother figure who creates that entire ecosystem for them,” she says.

Supriya Paul, Co-founder of Josh Talks [Image Credit: 100X Entrepreneur Podcast]

However, the startup realised that the events were not reaching their desired audience and thus pivoted its model to focus solely on the speaker and the content.

Speaking at the recent episode of 100X Entrepreneur Podcast, she said, “It was like replacing the TEDx college version by having Josh Talks happening on campus instead. But by doing that, we realised that we were not affecting the audience that we really wanted to have an impact on. People who were coming to the events, or were being able to afford a ticket or travel, were, again, students from Tier I India, who had access to infrastructure that we wanted to create.” 

Apart from this, Supriya explained that the event was held with an aim to focus on the content, but it brought along several other aspects such as event management, which led to focusing on several things.

So, Josh Talks decided to pivot and move completely away from that model and into a studio shot model where the focus solely remains on the speaker and their content.

Shift in focus and operations

Co-founded by Supriya and Shobhit Banga, Josh Talks provides the content to inform and upskill youth in India. Its mission is to address issues faced by the youth concerning jobs, career opportunities, and acquiring skill sets.

In 2017, the platform pivoted its model from events to focus on the speaker and the content. Today, its content is available in 10 regional languages. 

“Since last one year, we have been working on Josh Skill, which is basically creating infrastructure for the audience. Once they have seen a story or experienced a new show and they feel inspired to start their own journey, then the platform will teach essential skills that can help you get jobs. We started out with some core skills like spoken English and personality development, and now we are working on introducing other technical skills,” Supriya said.

The co-founder adds that while the startup initially generated its revenue via events and sponsorships, it later changed its model to focus on branded content and ads and is now shifting towards B2C revenue. She revealed that while the startup clocked in around Rs 40,000 in revenue in its first year, it recorded about Rs 10.5 crore last year. 

“COVID has also actually played a part. When a lot of advertising revenue has gone down, B2B partnerships have reduced overall for branded content, etc. So now our focus is also moving towards going completely B2C and focusing on this entirely,” she added.

The startup claims to have over one million app installs and over 100K paid users on Josh Skill, and provides career guidance to over 500K people per month under Josh Kosh.

In this episode of 100X Entrepreneur Podcast, Supriya Paul, Co-founder of Josh Talks, revealed her vision and talks about her entrepreneurial journey.

To know more, listen to the entire podcast here

Notes – 

02:18 – Starting Josh Talks straight out of college

05:27 – Revenue growth over time

10:13 – “I think vulnerability & purity in storytelling is what has gotten us this far.”

11:52 – What works on YouTube: consistency, authenticity, and packing as per its algorithm

14:55 – Moments of self-doubt

20:11 – Core metrics for Josh: Talks, Skills & Kosh

24:12 – Business targets over the next 2-3 years

25:23 – Hiring & retaining quality talent

26:01 – All You Need is Josh: Inspiring Stories of Courage and Conviction in 21st Century India

27:58 – Defining work-culture & core values at Josh Talks

29:25 – Strengths & weaknesses of both the co-founders

31:26 – Connecting with Ankur Warikoo as Mentor & Investor

Edited by Megha Reddy

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