[100 Emerging Women Leaders] Aparna Acharekar is building a Web3-based community platform for women
In 2021, Aparna Acharekar co-founded Coto—a social community platform based on Web3 principles, exclusively for women.
Friday March 03, 2023,
3 min Read
Soon after completing her formal education, Aparna Acharekar found herself exploring the depths of the digital content space.
Early on in her career, she experienced non-traditional content creation and management and was exposed to technology.
“I take pride in calling myself an ‘early-contech’ professional. It gave me an edge. A pure content person often gets limited to creative aspects. But a contech professional is able to leverage their creativity as well as what technology has to offer,” she says.
As the world began to straddle a new era of the internet—which would later be referred to as Web3—Acharekar kept up with the times.
“Technology has always been a part of my journey,” she recounts.
Now, along with Tarun Katial, and Rajneel Kumar in 2021, after spending close to two decades in the corporate world, she co-founded—a Web3-based social community platform for women.
The idea, she says, was to create a tech-enabled “free and safe space” for women, in a decentralised way.
“Social media platforms are created out of user-generated content but as users, we hardly benefit from these monetarily. We, as content contributors have not matched the rate at which centralised platforms have grown. This is where Web3 comes in; it is decentralised and participative," says Acharekar.
“Web3 happened because we are a community platform. Web3 is all about communities and participation ,” she adds.
Coto comes with an early community creator program which incentivises early community creators on the platform with tokens.
“The value of their tokens grows at the same rate at which the company grows. Think of these as micro shares in the platform. Because of decentralisation, power does not solely rest with the company, it rests in the hands of the user who builds the social community platform,” she says.
Throughout her journey, Acharekar ensured a balance between work and family life. She would finish her work within the assigned time and avoid after-office social gatherings.
Over time, she stopped receiving invitations and people would assume she would not come. She shares that she lost out on some opportunities due to this.
“People started assuming on my behalf, thinking I would not take certain opportunities, especially the ones that meant travelling abroad, or having to stay late or away from the family…Even if they thought that I was good enough, I was kept out,” she says.
Such assumptions are born out of gender-based biases, she believes.
“We should make sure that we have always spoken our mind and never allow ourselves to go unheard,” Acharekar advises.
Drawing on her journey, she says, it is important to learn from one’s own experiences and those of others. “Be good mentors,” she says.
“For all women aspiring to be entrepreneurs, there is never a right time to start off something new. Prepare for the worst case scenario, but make sure you are positive in your journey and have it planned out,” she concludes.
Edited by Akanksha Sarma