#Women in Small Business

Anupama Dalmia’s venture uses literature to encourage imagination in young adults

Anupama Dalmia

Anupama Dalmia’s venture named “Beyond the Box” encourages imagination in young adults and uses the medium of literature to enrich them. Here is what she has to say about her journey:

My mission

I provide children an environment where they can express without being judged and bloom to their full potential in a comfortable pace. The outcome is a generation of critical thinkers along with empathetic and pragmatic individuals.

My mission is to assist children to unbox the joy of writing and her vision is the empowerment of youth expression. She constantly strives to give them the stimulus to become more perceptive, observant and thoughtful individuals.

Biggest Challenge

The biggest challenge in this journey was to break the mindset of parents that creative writing is equivalent to studies. The education system here is such that kids often are boxed. They write with the pressure of marks on their heads. This curbs imagination and inhibits their expression because they are often told by adults to write or think in a certain way.

But, gradually, with our child-led mentoring approach, parents saw the visible positive changes in their children and started trusting us whole-heartedly. Eventually, I was able to overcome this challenge because our unique approach was appreciated by everyone.

Perks of starting small

Being a bootstrapped venture, I did not have to worry about the “financial aspect.” I did most of the things myself and today we are a small team of 4 members. Also, we could focus on quality and that goes with the essence of our vision.

My approach as a mentor is intuitive, and ‘small’ is just perfect for an impact-driven venture like “Beyond the Box.”

Coping with Covid

The kind of work I do requires the personal touch, hence when the pandemic struck, I stopped everything temporarily for a couple of months. But when I realized that things won’t be changing any time soon, I shifted all my operations, online.

“Innovation” is what has helped me cope during the pandemic. I came up with unique and interesting online initiatives to keep the excitement of learning, going. I also changed my teaching methodology for online classes to make them more interactive and effective.

To cite a couple of examples – “Beyond the Box” is the first platform in India to have successfully completed an online “Write-A-Thon” which involved collaborative story writing. We are also the first platform in India to launch a series of virtual round-table discussions with experts on various aspects of creative writing. We came up with a YouTube channel which is growing rapidly that gives a platform to kids and adults to narrate stories penned by them. In nutshell, we realigned and adapted to the situation with creativity.

Advice to budding entrepreneurs:-

1) Innovation is extremely important for any venture to stand out. Be honest to your vision and think about the value you wish to add.

2) “Collaboration over competition” should be the mantra. Times are changing and growing together is the best way to grow. Support other small businesses and make the most of possible synergies.

3) Harness the power of social media to grow your business. If used the right way, social media can help immensely is strong brand positioning and creating valuable engagements.

Lastly, being an entrepreneur gives me the power to innovate and put my ideas into action. I wanted to create an impact on society and had a vision that could be fulfilled only by me. Thus, I took charge and put my belief in natural progression.