My Journey- From an intern to becoming a CEO
Each person’s life is a journey on a contorted road dotted with bumps and craters. So is my journey. An introvert guy who was focused on his studies alone became the CEO of FAAD later on.
As I hail from a middle-class family with zero entrepreneurial background, I never dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur.
I was an introvert throughout my schooling. I was admitted in my dream college named Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (SSCBS) to pursue Bachelors in Finance and Analysis, after completing 12th. I was good academically, and was keen on pursuing either Masters in Commerce or MBA.
Journey starts here - a company named FAAD participated in an internship fair which was held in my college. Being a Second-year student, I went for the interview and was selected. I never thought that this internship will turn out to be my first, as well as last Internship. I joined FAAD to learn and get some experience. To be honest, whatever I know about entrepreneurship, I learned during my internship period in FAAD. Although the time period of my internship was only two months, it was a life changing internship.
As an intern in FAAD, I interviewed hundreds of entrepreneures. I wrote hundreds of stories, which started appearing on different social media platforms and business magazines. These stories influenced me to an extent that I decided to work more in the field of entrepreneureship. I was fascinated and that’s how I chose to be an entrepreneur. This is why I call my internship in FAAD, “A life changing internship”.
I was then given a part time opportunity in FAAD. I learned more and got some more experience with this part time job. Meanwhile, I started a campaign named “Education Yatra” to educate underprivileged kids. My schedule was quite hectic; basically, I used to attend college because I was supposed to attend maximum lectures as my college authorities are very strict. I used to work in FAAD, attend classes to teach kids, attend stand-up comedy shows just after completing classes. Lastly, I used to complete my assignments. Hence, my sleep schedule was messed up but I was enjoying every part of this.
Every journey is full of up and downs. Every journey consists so many challenges. My journey isn’t different at all. I too had faced so many challenges at every point.
Learning everything at a young age wasn’t that easy, as people consider. I belong to a normal family that hasn’t any entrepreneur. I’m the first entrepreneur of my family. Hence, my parents too wanted me to either pursue masters or MBA like other parents. So, convincing my parents to let me get into this field was quite difficult. Managing this job along with college was difficult for me. I didn’t have only one priority to focus on. I had three priorities to handle.
I never thought of becoming the CEO of FAAD, not even in my wildest of dreams. I started working with FAAD as an intern, but as time passed, I started conducting events with FAAD and was growing with this network. Gradually, I started representing FAAD on various levels. I was enjoying this journey in which I used to interact with the community for FAAD.
This is how I became the face of FAAD. The reason I took up the internship was to gain some knowledge and experience but the journey and entrepreneurship were fascinating and continue to be so.
In 2017, our company shifted to investments. We were investing in companies and I found the first company to invest in. Meanwhile, people started recognizing me for my work and struggle. The best thing that happened to me is, people started recognizing me for my speaking abilities as well. An introverted guy getting recognized for his speaking abilities? I feel this is no less than a miracle.
In the same year, I started getting invited to different events and ended up participating in 190+ events, all the while interning in FAAD. I bagged the Young Entrepreneur Award on National Entrepreneurship Day in 2017.
I can say for sure that FAAD helped me to recognize my actual potential. I started working towards getting out of my comfort zone. By the end of my college, I became the CEO of FAAD.
By this time, I was able to handle such events and developed excellent speaking skills and because of these qualities, I got an opportunity to represent my country on the international stage. In 2019, I was given the honour of being the Delegate of India at the 21st World Business Dialogue, (Germany); Harvard Project for Asia and International Relations and World Startup Fest.
I’ve a lot to say about “Education Yatra”. People usually ask tons of questions about this campaign and they may have so many doubts as well. I’d like to answer every question and would like to short out maximum doubts as well, through this article.
When I reached at the location, I started gathering kids to teach. It was quite difficult because I had to convince not only the kids but their parents as well. Parents were stereotypically conservative and you all know how hard it is to break through the barriers; especially in India. So, I can say convincing parents was the most difficult part.
After I was done convincing the parents, I started teaching kids. The first thing I noticed was, their knowledge and the standards in which they were studying in were different. For making it easy for you to understand, a kid who was studying in class 4th didn’t have basic knowledge. When I asked him, “how did you manage to pass?”, pat came the reply, “we don’t have to learn these things to get passed. Our school teachers pass us all anyway”. Yes, I was quite shocked, just like you (the reader) are right now.
I primarily started this campaign to change the perception of education. I didn’t teach kids according to their class or age. I started teaching them according to their IQ level. See, it’s not important that a kid who is studying in class 4th, is supposed to know everything and a kid who is in class 1st can’t study more than his class’s syllabus. It completely depends on each kid’s IQ level.
After some time, I started working with the help of different NGOs as well. I’m being honest here, it’s not easy to work alone. You need to get the help of NGOs as they know how to cope up with people because NGOs are working in this community for years. I never fantasized being a superhero and dreaming of bringing about drastic changes. I just wanted to contribute my level best.
I taught 1500 children in 50+ villages and sub districts of South Delhi. I was awarded with Microsoft Top 15 Changemakers in the country below the age of 20 for Education Yatra, by the end of 2017. I never aimed at getting awards and recognition through Education Yatra. I started this campaign to make changes in the field of education. However, as destiny would have it, I received Duke of Edinburgh’s International and Meritorious Award from Mrs Sumitra Mahajan - Honourable Speaker, Lok Sabha for Education Yatra in 2017-18. In 2019, I was awarded with REX Karamveer Chakra by UN & iCongo. My journey in Education Yatra was amazing and was full of crests and troughs
The main motive of starting “Education Yatra” is breaking stereotypes. Some people don’t give much importance to education, while some can’t afford education as private schools have made it hard for lower class population. I wanted to make changes in the field of education so that it is affordable for everyone.
In 2019, I joined Delhi Government’s scheme for Entrepreneurship named Entrepreneurship Mindset Curriculum, as one of the Ambassadors. 8 lakhs children study about entrepreneurship under this scheme. In 2020, I was nominated for Padma Shri Award by Government of Delhi, for the same reason.
By the end of my blog I’d like to say one thing: start exploring yourself, find your passion and if you already have, go and follow this. Unique is a myth. There is nothing like unique. You don’t need to find a unique job or passion but the way you work makes your passion unique. Your work makes you unique and your hard work engraves your name in the annals of history.