Interview with Vasanthi Neelagiri
CEO & Founder at Booksol
Reading is fun and a great habit to have. But finding the right book is often a challenge. Well, no worries. Booksol here is your solution. Booksol will find the right books for you, based on your chosen genres.
How did you come up with the idea?
I used to teach kids around my home during my free time and I have a lot of younger cousins with whom I would interact on a regular basis. They used to hate reading and they did their home works just for the sake of their parents or fear from teachers at school. I empathized very well with them and I am sure most of the kids feel the same way.
Learning could be as much fun and entertaining as watching a movie, TV show or playing games when experienced the right way. I did some research and found that VAK (Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic) Learning Styles are the ways through which different kids learn. With my inherent problem-solving spirit I determined to look for solutions. I discussed with few of my friends and we brainstormed and created fun filled innovative modules applying all the 3 styles (Auditory, Visual and Kinaesthetic) to create a positive impact on the child’s mind with everlasting effects. We were overwhelmed when we took our first class from the response we received and since then there is no looking back. We call it FACTIVITY Learning (Fun based learning through activities). Kids would look forward to our classes. Teachers and parents are pleased with the kids’ inclination towards learning.
We are an educational services provider offering modules that supplement students’ learning in school. We help the educational institutions to strengthen their classroom learning by blending practical proficiency. We have designed creative and innovative modules that facilitate the development of various domains of mind and personality such as intellectual, emotional, social and moral development. Creativity, Enthusiasm, Positive thinking and effective expression of thoughts and ideas are some of the facets of personality development and the outcomes of these modules. We provide a friendly teaching environment through our Activity Based learning techniques.
How did you deal with all the problems and challenges that come your way?
I never considered them as problems and stressed myself out. I would always take it up as a challenge and be strong very emotionally. I believe both EQ (Emotional Quotient) & IQ (Intelligent Quotient) are very important for the success of a person. When you are emotionally and intellectually balanced there is always a solution to any problem. I believe if there is no solution then there is no problem. There will always be a way out and one should just be smart enough to identify one or have guts to explore the un-trodden path. There are no dead ends. I am a quick learner. I am stubborn about my goals but flexible with my methods. I have a knack to change from one way to another when something is not working out. But, most importantly I do not leave any stone unturned. I am not a quitter.
The first biggest problem I faced was to convince my parents. I wanted to quit my job and do my start-up full time. They said I was a fool to give up a well-paying job and a comfortable life. I was 23 then. For them, I was too young, naïve and inexperienced in the Business field. But, I believed every pro was once an amateur and every expert was once a beginner. I wanted to prove to them my worth. I would work very hard and take all their criticism as Red Bull. I didn’t quit my job until I showed them something solid about my start-up. It was very tough to manage both but I didn’t give up.
What are your future goals?
I think every entrepreneur is equipped with the power to make a difference and positive impact on the world around. I want to maximize the use of this power to really make a substantial value add-on in the sector I choose to work for. We are working with little over 20 schools in Hyderabad for this academic year. In a few decades, countries of the world will be governed by today’s school students. Their thoughts and actions will be shaped by what they know and have experienced, making education in many ways, one of the best predictors of a nation’s future success. I feel privileged that we are taking baby steps in revolutionizing the Indian Education System that would equip the kids with confidence and power to choose their path and become global leaders.
What advice would you like to give to the aspiring entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurial Journey is not a bed of roses. It is like the path less traveled but worth exploring and that would make all the difference. The road will be full of ups and downs and last minute surprises. My advice to fellow entrepreneurs is Do not just start any business or fall into the trap of fancy start-up world. Start only if you are passionate about it and solve meaningful problems. Always remember implementation is the key. Be persistent, determined and disciplined.
How does being an entrepreneur affect your personal and social life?
Being an entrepreneur is like doing 10 full-time jobs. Work is always inviting and my To-Do list for the company is never-ending. But, I think you got to treat your company like a baby. It needs your attention, care and time in the beginning for it to nurture and sustain later.
There were many sleepless nights, restless days and constantly haunting thoughts but everything just fades away when you taste the fruits of success. Work-Life balance is very important and I smartly manage to take adequate breaks and spend quality time with my family and friends. I have a lot of friends and sometimes they complain about my non-availability but they understand and support me achieve my dreams. I make up for my missings with my sweet gestures and they forget the past.
If you get a chance to change one thing about India, what would it be?
Voting Rights Awareness
The right to vote is the building block of a healthy country. It is the most powerful tool at your disposal to not only affect change in your neighbourhood or state but for better India.
Book on the shelf
“The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne
Movie/ TV Show
Despicable Me, FRIENDS
What should be the last line of your biography?
No regrets. A life worth living & a journey worth sharing!
Life in a Nutshell
Things you do in your free time
I hardly get any free time because I mostly keep myself occupied. involving myself in various different activities professionally and personally. I am a fitness freak and love to try dit fitness activities. I practised Yoga for 2 years and now I go for MMA Classes in my Gym and occasionally attend Zumba & Functional Training. I also love to travel and experience the local cultures and or
I love to travel, meet new people, listen to their stories and know about their cultures & traditions. I involve myself in a lot of diverse activities and fortunately, I have friends from different walks of life. My close friends are from the Film/Entertainment Industry. We hang out, share our stories, eat, gossip and explore the city.
A thing you carry with you always
A small Notepad (I have this habit of making a handwritten To-do list for both my personal as well as professional staff. Anytime I remember something I just scribble down and as per me this is the most effective way of executing things without being forgotten.)
A thing that annoys you the most
Traffic, Unclean Restrooms
A song that would describe you
I don’t think there exists any such complicated song 😛
Celebration means to you
For me, Celebration is spending quality time with friends & family.
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