Speaking English with Aishwarya
What’s the YouTube channel about: For the Marathi-speaking audience, this is a great space to brush up on one’s English language skills.
Let’s hear it from: Aishwarya Patekar
Initial challenges: When I first started my YouTube channel, it was a bit of an experiment. Even though Marathi is my mother tongue, I have done my schooling at an English medium school. On the other hand, my husband did his schooling at a Marathi medium school and he was in the events industry where he had to speak English. But he lacked fluency. That’s how the idea came about. There was a time when getting 100 views was difficult. I was a bit sad that nobody was watching my channel but eventually the channel slowly started gaining views.
Subscriber count versus quality content: I think one should change or rather adapt according to trends. Earlier YouTube was all about long videos but due to changing trends now there are two formats — long videos and YouTube Shorts. I would say instead of focusing on the current views or subscriber count, as long as you are adding value to someone’s life and creating quality content, no one is going to stop you from achieving your mission and vision.
Being a woman entrepreneur: I am a woman, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a daughter-in-law, a mom, a friend, an entrepreneur and so much more. Don’t give up. You must not quit your dreams.
Views on YouTube Courses: YouTube is already a destination for people who want to learn a skill or find out more about a topic. With the launch of Courses, everyone can upskill themselves at their own pace in a more structured way. It has provided content creators like me with an increasing number of income alternatives.
What is the YouTube channel about: The channel encourages one to use organic methods of gardening.
Let’s hear it from: Madhavi Guttikonda.
Early days: I used to have a flower garden. It was later that I found my passion for food gardening. I started my channel in 2018 to share my joy and experience of growing my own food.
Innovating year after year: I frequently change the colour of the walls, position of the pots, add new elements and plants, and experiment by growing different plants which are new to me and my climatic conditions. Flowers and ornamental plants also have a significant place in my garden though I mainly concentrate on food. I ensure the garden attracts pollinators, so I add pollinator-friendly plants. My terrace is my green space where I love spending most of my time.
Being a woman entrepreneur: I would like to urge every woman to be a cheerleader for the rest.
YouTube is bringing about a change: After discovering YouTube I started to think about the world around me and my contribution to it. Financially, I have become independent. Initially, I was unaware of the financial aspect.
About the platform: Surbhi Jain, who hails from Lawa, a small town in Rajasthan, and is a former IIT Bombay student, came up with the app Neend after dealing with sleep-related issues caused by Covid. Bangalore-based Neend addresses sleep-related problems and offers stories, soothing sleep sounds, meditation, and more in regional languages to ensure that users enjoy seven to eight hours of sound sleep.
Let’s hear it from: Surbhi Jain, the founder of Neend.
Starting point for Neend: Neend was conceptualised when I faced sleep-related issues and all the stresses that come with it. After some research, I found out that India is the second most sleep-deprived country where 15-20 per cent of the population is “regularly” insomniac and 30 per cent is “occasionally” insomniac. Sleep-related issues can cause major physical problems. Despite the high demand for sleep remedies, there were not enough non-medical solutions which could provide relief. So I launched Neend. In over a year, we developed 1,000- plus “sleep stories” in five languages. The Android app now has five lakh-plus downloads.
Evolution of the app: The app’s USP is the extensive content library of stories, music and meditations. The biggest differentiator for our content is that it is available in Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu, besides English. We want to expand our offerings across three verticals — content, commerce and consultations so that we can close the Sleep Loop for our users more effectively.
Content: We plan to add more Indian as well as foreign languages.
Commerce: We have three products in the launch pipeline and two more in the R&D pipeline, besides the launch of sleep-tracking mechanisms.
Consultation: We currently have consultations starting at Rs. 99. We plan to build on this.
Help from Google Play: Google’s role in our start-up journey has been indispensable. First, it was YouTube that helped us to launch our content publicly as an MVP (Minimal Viable Product) and get a sense of the needs of our users. It was through this pilot that we could get feedback from users and build a community. Later, the distribution of the app through Google Play was a milestone and helped lay the foundation of our business. Play Store has policies that are developer-friendly. Apart from the Play Store, Google ecosystem tools, such as Google Analytics, Google Ads, Firebase and so on, have enabled us to shape strategies and products.
Being a woman entrepreneur…. Move beyond the title of ‘women entrepreneurs’ and just focus on being entrepreneurs. Stay true to your cause and focus on building skills, building teams and building a life that you’re going to be proud of.