Education is the success key to a bright future and the Bihar government is running hard and fast with its online facilitation system for students (OFSS), tapping innovation to give a stage that enables students to apply for advanced education.
Shazia Qaiser who is aged 35 started up the company in 2014 named Revival Shoe Laundry. It was a first such service in Bihar which provides repairs, cleaning and refurbishing of not just shoes, but other leather items such as jacket and bag.
Shazia hails from Bhagalpur, the Silk City of Bihar and has a degree in physiotherapy. She has worked with WHO and UNICEF also. One day, she came across the shoe revival and laundry concept and decided she would start her own someday. She focused on market research for the first two to three years.
Shazia said, “I looked across cities for someone doing it spoke to a lot of people about the idea, and realised there was no one providing the services I was going to. So, in 2014, I decided to startup.”
Shazia started with her savings and initially invested 1 lakh. Her startup is still bootstrapped.
“For the first two years I faced losses, but refused to give up.”
Revealing an interesting story about her initial days, she says she disguised herself and at stepped out in December at 3 am – it was freezing - to ensure that her flyers actually reached people with their newspapers.
Shazia found it difficult to find employees as her startup involves the product shoes.
Shazia has two outlets in Patna and plans to open a few more this year; her vision is long term. “From networking to hiring and mentorship, they helped us learn, grow, and push harder to succeed,” she said.
Hansa studied in Patna and did her post-grad in Mass Communication started her entrepreneurial journey in 2011 with Genesys Consulting, a one-stop solution for HRR, IT and project consulting for clients in corporate, government, social sector, and PSUs.
Hansa says, “Genesys is now working in Jharkhand as well. We recently worked on a prestigious project - taking OMR-based aptitude test of 52,000 school students from all districts of Bihar. It was a six-month-long project and ended with giving final results and certificates to all winners.”
“A very senior IAS officer of Bihar identified me as ‘artful’ and asked me if could design something creative apart from dealing in HR and IT consulting. His trust in me gave me the confidence to hit this new road. I conceptualised the whole pandal into a universe and the main stage was studded with stars, planets and other celestial bodies. It was an award-winning project.”
Yashi Malviya and Sukirti Roy aged 24 started a start-up called Bihar Bytes, a platform that showcases and promotes the rich culture and heritage of Bihar.
Both said, “We are here with an idea; the idea to reinvent the way people explore Bihar.”
Both of them have studied in Bihar and are travel junkies and have travelled together extensively to boost tourism in Bihar.
“We initially started - in October 2016 - with a YouTube channel that focused on travel stories from Bihar. We worked and travelled in Bihar for another three months and saw that people in Bihar and even outside gave on channel great reviews. That’s when we thought of starting up fully and left our jobs. For the next few months, we worked on the idea.”
The girls ran the channel for four months and then took it off since they did not like its name-Gender Taboo.
Hats off to these women who are truly an inspiration to many.