In 2008, When Shradha Sharma laid the foundation of YourStory; the word ‘startup’ was not so familiar and popular in media, not even a contender for the spotlight it enjoys today. Currently YourStory is India’s biggest media tech platform that has original business and entrepreneurship stories, available in 12 different languages, and has published 70,000 stories on entrepreneurs.
Today Shradha Sharma’s YourStory Media is India’s leading online media venture for Entrepreneurs and Startups, with flagship properties – YourStory.com, HerStory, SocialStory, SMBStory, MyStory. YourStory has told more than 70,000 stories of entrepreneurs and reaches over 20 million engaged readers every month. YourStory tells stories in 12 Indian languages.
It is a story of a small town girl from Bihar who had a dream in her eyes. It is a tale of a Fearless woman who successfully fought against every odd and who has the guts to believe in her dreams and bring them true at any cost. The women who went through serious struggle to raise her storytelling dream in the shape of giant media tech venture YourStory. It is the Story of Shradha Sharma who featured in Fortune Magazine’s ’40 under 40′ list of powerful Indians.
Who is Shradha Sharma?How YourStory born?
There existing very few names in the Indian start-up arena that have created the kind of recognition and effect that Shradha Sharma has accomplished. Her venture Yourstory.com has today established as a huge media brand and became India’s leading, most resourceful platform for start-ups and entrepreneurs-related stories, news, resources and research reports.
Shradha Sharma was born on 6th July 1983 in a small town in Bihar. She was raised in Patna. She was always a brilliant student and used to be class topper.
“I was born and raised in Bihar at a time when women were considered a liability. I decided to change that. From topping my class to getting admission in Delhi University—I was set to prove that women run the world!” says the 36-year-old. Shradha Sharma has achieved many Awards and Accomplishments: She got Nasscom Ecosystem Evangelist Award 2010. In 2015 Shradha Sharma was listed amongst 500 LinkedIn Influencers across the world .Also received L’Oreal Paris Femina Award’ for online influence. In 2016 she received PAT Memorial Outstanding Alumnus Award and listed as LinkedIn's most viewed CEOs under Internet category. She achieved Villgro Journalist of the Year. In 2016 and 2017, Shradha Sharma was featured in Fortune Magazine's '40 under 40' list of powerful Indians.
Shradha’s early life spent in Bihar, She grew up in Patna and completed her early life and education in Patna. Sharma earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in history from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and MBA from Maryland Institute College of Art. She did her BA and then went to study communications in MICA, Ahmedabad.
Shradha has an inspiring career journey, before venturing YourStory, in the starting period of her career Shradha Sharma worked with the Times Group (Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd) as Brand Advisor .Later; she worked for CNBC TV18 in Mumbai in the role of Asst.Vice President during the period of June 2007 – July 2009
Story of YourStory:
In 2008, Shradha worked for a news channel but it was during her time working night shifts that she turned to an old passion. “I had a dream—to write great stories, share them with the world and have fun doing it.” So she started writing a blog that covered Indian start-ups in her free time.
“People all around were doing great things but because they were not famous, they were not being given any coverage. I decided to become their voice.” Soon the blog transformed into a website and people began to take notice. Though, initially, Shradha did not have scale-up plan or business model in place, she says that her strong understanding of how to run a media business helped.
Initially started as a small blog run privately by Shradha in 2008, YourStory observed many ups and downs in order to get grown up. She utilised the most of her earned experience with CNBC and Times of India. This gave her the basic understanding of how to run a media business.
Shradha went with bootstrapped journey with YourStory for almost eight years until she was finally successful in raising funds for her venture in 2015. Presently, YourStory stands tall with a database of over 70,000 stories where she leads the team of more than 100 people who offer the content in 12 local languages with a reader-base of over 20 lakh. YourStory started with an aim to tell India’s untold stories of entrepreneurship and business. Like every other startup, Shradha’s YourStory too experienced a roller-coaster ride – full of ups and downs leaving a sweet taste of success and bitter taste of failures. But what kept YourStory going strong was her will to tell a new story for every entrepreneur.
As mentioned in LinkedIn Shradha says, “People are just as extraordinary as they believe themselves to be. On this premise, I founded YourStory in 2008, with the aim of championing the untold stories of entrepreneurship in India. The subsequent years have been a roller-coaster of highs and lows, success, and failures. But with every new entrepreneur we profile and every new story we tell, I feel blessed to be able to contribute and help shape this exciting new era in India.
I strongly believe that stories have the power to transform, connect and inspire people all over the world. But I am more curious about the stories people live than the ones that they tell. I am not interested in what the world considers beautiful. Tell me of your scars, mistakes, and failures. These are stories with character and it is these that I want to hear. Making these stories matter is what I try to do at YourStory, every single day.
In these years we have incubated the narratives of over 40,000 entrepreneurs. My prior mainstream media experience at CNBC and Times of India gives me an understanding of how media businesses run, what works and what doesn’t. I rely on those leanings to everyday improve and channelize myself to be a better professional and create a business that makes a difference (in the most real and basic way).
Once she gradually set her portal, she had a tough decision to make.it was calling a quit at her high paying job that offered her almost all the luxury she could ask for. This was her confide and her strives to be- a storyteller which made herself to quit the high paying secure job. She started telling the untold story of entrepreneurs that speaks of everything; from their reflective dark days and even experiencing the first taste of success
Obviously the start as an entrepreneur, was not easy task, she felt it down the line. The major challenge was that when she went to the a few entrepreneurs she knew on board for getting them on her portal. All shockingly as a nightmare, they refused. The same people who supported her while she was at CNBC started treating her differently.
“There were times when I was ill-treated or asked to leave when I would go for interviews because no one knew about Yourstory.com then.” As that point of time YourStory lacked the recognition and there were no big names that would go out and acknowledge her efforts. Any other entrepreneur might have leave at that point. But here we are talking about Shradha Sharma who never learnt to quit. Who knows perfectly how to handle her morale in such times? She remained persistent. And soon after, she had a few entrepreneurs by her side who would love their story to come out on YourStory.
Meanwhile the YourStory was just started; Shradha went with a great personal loss. She lost her mother in 2010.she was the source of her strength and it was moment like everything is devastating in life for her. She has also confessed that quitting the job and then while building YourStory losing a mother had put her in depression. To come out, she got into a busy work schedule and every story she came across healed her. This made her go on strong and come out of the dark phase.
Recognition and Reputation
Today Shradha Sharma’s eleven year old venture is has may big Giant investors like Ratan Tata, Vani Kola, Mohandas Pai etc. YourStory became the only platform in India that has original business and entrepreneurship stories in 12 different languages. Started From working by herself to upbringing it as a team of more than 100 people from some renowned media houses and top B-schools, Shradha says that a good team is the biggest asset for an entrepreneur. “I just went with my gut and people who I found certain connect with were roped in. Ours is an dynamic, enthusiast and committed team. Over the eleven years, we have written a story every single day and today there are over 70,000 stories that we have published.”
Unique content is the USP, With YourStory website and the app launched few years back the Shradha aims to reach out to 150 million users by 2020. YourStory entrepreneur’s stories that featured on the portal transformed and inspired her by connecting with plenty of positive entrepreneurs.
Shradha has her mind set on the stories not the people tell but the ones they live. Not the stories that are beautiful, not the fairy tales, but those where people open up their scars, mistakes, and failures. As she believes that such stories bring out the real character from a person. And to tell such stories in a way that it matters the most is something that she is inclined to.YourStory has its own amazing story of Dream,perseverance,struggle and success. Also read BasicShit Story,