[Year in Review 2021] ‘Your story is your birthright’ – 50 inspiring quotes on the power and practice of storytelling

Stories can be insightful, inspirational and interactive. They are key in the journeys of startups and societies, as these uplifting quotes reveal! So what’s your story?

[Year in Review 2021] ‘Your story is your birthright’ – 50 inspiring quotes on the power and practice of storytelling

Tuesday December 28, 2021,

8 min Read

Launched in 2014, StoryBites is a regular feature from YourStory, featuring notable quotable quotes in our past articles. Share these gems and insights with your colleagues and networks, and check back to the original articles for more insights.

Drawn from our comprehensive coverage of changemakers and gamechangers in 2021, we present 50 quotes on storytelling in action (see last year’s quotes compilation here). See also YourStory’s Changemaker Story Canvas, a free visualisation tool for entrepreneurs and founders.

We have divided these 50 quotes into eight categories: Foundations, Pandemic era, Digital world, Business stories, Art, Journeys, The India story, and Startup stories.

YourStory wishes all founders, innovators, changemakers and storytellers a Happy Holiday Season, and all the best for success and impact in 2022!



Your story is your birthright. - Murray Nossel, ‘Powered by Storytelling’

The story is queen … and the writer is the queen-maker. - Krishna Udayasankar, Script A Hit

Storytelling isn’t about the gift of the gab; it is about believing in the story you tell. - Shan Kadavil, FreshToHome

Good stories are always beautifully empathetic. - Akshat Srivastava, ‘Warm Loving Medication’

Stories resonate best when they are placed in the context of the lives of your target audience. - Vandana Sandhir, Genesis BCW

A story can translate dry, abstract numbers into compelling pictures. - Stan Garfield, ‘The Handbook of Community Management’

Data adds accuracy to your story while making it more compelling and persuasive. - Adri Bruckner, Anjana Menon, and Marybeth Sandell, What's Your Story?

It takes a community to make a writer. We all have a story to tell. - Pratilipi


The pandemic era

The story of the development of vaccines are amazing examples of how time can be compressed and scientific mobilisation can be initiated. - Vinod Paul, NITI Aayog

We have come across a reservoir of beautiful stories of inspiration, of fighting back, of generosity, and of kindness. - Puja Marwaha, CRY

It has been heartening to hear the many stories of neighbours coming closer together to tackle this unprecedented situation for over a year now. - Vijay Arisetty, MyGate

Amidst the pandemic gloom over the last few months, success stories of India’s growing breed of unicorns (startups that cross $1 billion in valuation) brought something to cheer about. - Manish Dalal, Newfold Digital


The digital world

Stories can be written in words, but when they are written in pixels, the magic is simply unparalleled. - Shrey Bhagat, Knotting Bells

It's no secret that videos are the most effective way of storytelling. - Kaizad Hansotia, GetNatty.Live

NFTs are very inherently social. The value of NFT is bolstered by the stories, interactions, derivatives, and provenance around them. - Vaas Bhaskar, Elevation Capital

Using digital storytelling on multiple online platforms, brands are now able to create a bond with their consumers who now seek more than just products. - Divya Gupta, Aavishkaar Capital

Consumers are moving from traditional transactional ecommerce environments to one that incorporates social engagement, fun, and storytelling at the core of customer experience. - Zinnov

The social media landscape has permanently blurred or nearly erased the line between internal and external communication. - Adri Bruckner, What's Your Story?

Many successful businesses refuse to embrace the digital world early enough, and the results are for all of us to see. HMT and HMV are classic stories of this malady. - Robin Banerjee, ‘Who Blunders and How’


Business stories

No matter how many advertising slots you pick or storytelling you do, close to 40 percent of the purchase happens with personal experience. - Swagat Sarangi, Smytten

For corporate communications, it has become more important than ever to show emotion, compassion, and human connection. - Marybeth Sandell, What's Your Story?

A business story is a narrative with a strong human element, has plenty of anecdotes, and showcases journey milestones. - Sunil Kant Munjal, Hero Enterprise

A good business book has to tell a good story/stories. The stories have to be drawn from real life, have to be credible, interesting, and should carry powerful lessons. - TN Hari, 'The Making of BigBasket'

Business books must be read by non-business people. This is possible only when the writers believe in simplicity. - Tamal Bandyopadhyay, ‘HDFC Bank 2.0’

A book allows you to write about that business in a way that provides a bird’s eye and a worm’s eye view at once. There’s a lot more nuance, depth, and range. - Mihir Dalal, ‘Big Billion Startup’


Nature inFocus - Winner - Films

Art and culture

The story behind the art is sometimes as much, if not more, important that the tangible rendition of that process. It gives you so much more context to the struggles of the time, its historical relevance, and the thought behind the work. - Arjun Guleria, The Art Appreciation Society

Every painting becomes a micro-story, evoking different emotions. - Anusha Adabala, Chitra Santhe

All art need not be pretty but it certainly should draw a reaction from the onlooker. It must tell a story. - Kanchan Rathna, Chitra Santhe

[Photography] is not only about aesthetics, but also about stories. - Prasenjeet Yadav, National Geographic

Family histories also entail capturing the social and cultural milieu of the time. It is these personal anecdotes and stories that give us an insight into the life and times of the previous generation. - Samrata Salwan Diwan, Family Fables Co.

The more women enter the mainstream cinema, the more plurality we will see in terms of narratives, scripts, and storylines. - Deepshikha Deshmukh, 'Bellbottom'

It is important to package, market the story, and present the products of our entrepreneurs and artisans so we can create value out of their products. - Conrad K Sangma, Meghalaya Chief Minister

Every time there is a technology shift - be it radio, print media, cinema screens or television, [Indian] mythological stories are repackaged to suit that medium. - Satish Meena, Sutradhar



It’s ok to fail as long as we learn from our mistakes, and companies must talk about this more because there are valuable lessons hidden in these failures. - Anjana Menon, What's Your Story?

As many as 95 percent of techies stop learning at a point. But all the great stories emerge from the remaining 5 percent who never stopped learning. - Madhusudhan Anand, Ambee

Well-behaved or not, woman or not, each of our lives is made up of stories. - Sayantani Dasgupta, ‘Women Who Misbehave’

It is imperative for us to tell our stories because it is the only way to cultivate and preserve hope. - Deepak Ramola, Project FUEL


The India story

The year 2021 will go down in history as the year India’s tech IPO story started. - Anup Jain, Orios Venture Partners

With nearly 70 unicorns today in India, of which almost 90 percent have become unicorns after 2015, we really believe that our startup story is still in its infancy. - Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry

Small towns in India will write the next chapter of India’s startup story. - Ritesh Agarwal, Oyo

Leveraging the benefits of new-age digitisation amd pandemic-induced ecommerce boom, SMBs in India have become pivotal to India's growth story. - Vidmay Naini, eBay

In the next decade of the Indian growth story, manufacturing will play a huge role in catalysing both small manufacturers and large customers to achieve their fullest potential. - Amrit Acharya, Zetwerk

We can see a growing trend of investments in startups that are powering the India growth story, and seeing a Tier-II city startup performing competitively against a Mumbai or Delhi startup shows its capability. - Nandini Mansinghka, Mumbai Angels Network

With the right ecosystem partners backing their story, there is no reason for any Indian startup to not only churn out great ideas but also build businesses of the future. - Madhukar Sinha, India Quotient

Q2 2021 has been impeccable for the startup growth story. From being the most funded quarter, it has also added the most number of unicorns. Standing tall during the pandemic second wave headwinds, the Indian startup ecosystem has shown a strong resilience in this quarter. - Nasscom-PGA Labs


Startup stories

Stories, out of all narrative forms, are the most memorable – practice telling your vision story prior to the pitch. - Ali J Ahmad, Punita Bhatt, and Iain Acton, ‘Entrepreneurship in Developing and Emerging Economies’

Having the dream is a very important first step in the storyline of any startup. But making the dream seem real, even at an early stage, is something which often gets overlooked. - Vinay Kanchan, 'Sportivity'

You have to invest in your product. Ultimately, it is all about great storytelling. - Vijay Sajja, Evergent

It is important to have superstar stories to motivate young blood to take the entrepreneurial plunge and show confidence in the ecosystem. - Alok Ramsisaria, Grazitti Interactive

Startups and entrepreneurship are really important pieces of the world's economy, people's stories, and people growing businesses. - Cecilia Lenk, NetCapital

When you decide to go grow and scale further, you are answerable to millions of people who invest their savings into your journey and story. - Abhinav Yajurvedi, PharmEasy

YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).

Edited by Anju Narayanan