Success Stories:
Her Story Her Way

The fact that only 26% of Indian women hold bank accounts , shows we have a lot to catch up on.  

Brief introduction about yourself and tell us something about, a unique education portal?
An engineer by education, I was always highly drawn towards education and technology. Books being my first love, I always wondered why access to educational information as well as access to products in education has been such a challenge. The students in the west, have lesser pressures and easier work schedules owing to the access of every kind of study material. We intend to change this and bring the concept of self-assisted, self paced learning in education in India. Our brand Fastudent is one stop shop for all the academic needs of a student. We operate in the education niche and cater to the complete student community all the way from Play Group to Post Graduation (PG to PG). We intend and aspire to bring the highest quality international education products to every student in India.  

What ignited the spark in you to create such an innovative educational platform to pioneer a much needful change?
In the previous decade, access to educational products was directly proportional to your access to the educator. What was recommended to us was the horizon of learning that one could go for. Today, in the mobile internet age, sky is the limit. But still, access and availability of the best products in this segment, is a huge challenge. I see a clear unsatiated hunger amongst the students, who would willingly shun tutors and classroom guided learning and adopt self-assisted learning if the environment is conducive. The number of books, data and digital content that students are waiting to consume is humongous. I wished to change this, to ensure access of world class and the best of the products to every nook and corner of this country, to enable the Indian student like never before. Hence, was born the idea of Fastudent - The only education dedicated marketplace that allows you to "Zoom Ahead" at your education, and make it a happy experience.  

Please share your future goals for your portal.
Fastudent intends to reach out to 10 million customers in the coming months. We want to be the first choice of every student, for every educational need - from physical products to digital content, from core curriculum to test prep, and from career planning to admissions.  

Please tell us something about your brand Fastudent?
Fastudent is one of the leading education e-commerce brands in India. We are working relentlessly in promoting self-assisted learning and access to the world class products in education. We take pride in having the most expensive portfolio of brands, which help a student all along his education life-cycle, right from the Play Group to Post Graduation. For long, India has been producing Ivy league students, but the process of reaching out has been quite tedious and more based on luck. We want to ease up the process of acquiring educational information, and procuring educational products. We want to make Education a Happy experience for every student in India.  

What are your views on the thought, that women entrepreneurs are equally or more capable and they must be supported and encouraged, to come up front and bring a radical change?
I strongly believe, a woman entrepreneur is an entrepreneur first and a woman later. She adds a distinct capability of 360 degree decision making and passionate work ethos to a startup, besides her core skill set. The governments across the world are realizing the importance of having women on management boards of all organizations and that says a lot about the potential of women as key decision makers in companies. There is definitely a need to encourage more women to join the entrepreneurship bandwagon as is the need to use more and more technology to improve the ease of doing business in the country.  

What piece of advice would you like to give to the females who wish to pursue their dream of becoming an entrepreneur?
While the talk of breaking the glass ceiling continues to be a major point of discussion in the business world, the fact remains entrepreneurship comes with no limitations to gender, age or time. It thrives on inspiration and hope. Since ages, the world has seen a host of inspiring women Madame Curie, Coco Chanel, Madam C.J. Walker who have carried the baton of entrepreneurship all along. Closer home, Kiran Majumdar Shaw, Anu Aga, are shining examples and still are a force to reckon with. Each one of these women have been the source of inspiration for women like us. My advice to all aspiring women entrepreneurs is to reach out to a potential mentors who can help you overcome the teething challenges of setting up a startup.  

According to you, what are the top three essential skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Unwavering Passion Never-Say-Die Spirit Risk Taking Appetite

How do you manage the work-life balance?
Entrepreneurship is a passionate ride, which requires you to put on blinkers and focus on the target. A women entrepreneur can do that only with un-wavering support from family and friends. Every member in my support system works like clock-work and that allows, me to balance a toddler and a growing business, all at the same time. My heartfelt gratitude to each member of my inner circle.  

What are your views and opinions towards the ambiguous need to promote women entrepreneurship and women empowerment in India?
The fact that only 26% of Indian women hold bank accounts, shows we have a lot to catch up on. Much more still needs to be done in the form of support platforms, loan access and education. But the scenario is not so bleak, In India, female entrepreneurship is increasing like never before, with about 40% of the manufacturing entrepreneurs being women. Loads of banks and platforms have come forward with collateral free loans for women. Networking opportunities for women have grown like never before. The eco-system is evolving and a women co-founder is becoming more of a strength now, we all need to strengthen the thought process and take the baton forward.