Have you experienced the “bartering happiness” ?

Anubhuti Joshi, co-founder of Planet for growth is merely a 21 years old entrepreneur who has made her debut in the social space.  Anubhuti, along with her brother started the venture, Planet for growth, which is an online bartering portal where people exchange products just by registering themselves and provides startups an opportunity to trade without any middlemen. Fearlessly, she fought the odds to make it through and find peace with what she believes in the most, which is the “growth factor”. Helping other organizations grow in a social arena through means which are not very financially inclined. Picking up the age old barter system and making it a part of the process is an interesting concept.

Social work? Really ?

I firmly believe that many people take social space or social development as something which is different, that is one thing which always bothers me. Rather, We should treat it as a part of our daily activity and then only this sector can do the right amount of change. I consider myself fortunate that people around me were really supportive and like minded, though when I had offer letters from big corporates in my hand with a good paying job, my parents were worried why am I not doing a job like everyone else.

If you do what everyone else is doing, then where is the creativity ? 

 I think if everybody can support the female spirit of doing something, many more women will be seen taking up such roles.However, you find more people who pull you down than who pull you up and that is when clarity of vision and your passion comes in place.

Why the Barter system?

If we look around, we have so much stuff lying ideal, which we do not use and even if it is in a good condition, we end up buying more. Hereby,  we thought of re-introducing the age old barter system. Its always better if we can barter as much as we can and reduce our demands for more goods and if we can save on our pocket then why not ?. Intially people thought they can only barter products, however we also introduced language barter and other services and interestingly, people from different countries bartered reciepes so the scope of bartering is endless.

Its incredible to witness the fulfillment levels, when the smallest of organizations raise their requirements on the portal and share their work stories on our welfare hub.  The users who come to barter maximum number of times end up using the portal and call it their  “bartering happiness”.

Where is the MONEY , honey ?!!

More than a shaky revenue model, it is the mindset problem when it comes to the social space. The number of questions a social entrepreneur faces will be any day more than a person working on any other sector, so it does bother me when many people cannot vision revenue generation associated with the social sector. There is money when you create the right value at the right time.

Next month, my team is launching a welfare shop, where we are only selling products made by NGOs and small village organizations. Till now, we were working on an offline model to increase the income of the people who need a sustainable revenue model for their growth. As the vision was to create a powerful welfare network, we are now going online. Its all about keeping the math right in the social sector, the impact you want to create and the sustainability factor should go hand in hand.

Lessons learnt ?

One thing I have learnt is that starting early will always benefit you. I really appreciate that our country is acceptable towards working women but there is still a long way to go to reach a state where we can say that we are stable and secure. There are many instances, I have faced while working, where the patriarchal mindset comes in the way, whether it is related to late hours at work, attending dinner meetings  or travelling alone.

It is the people who make the society and only if people change their mindsets and not judge women on the basis of what they wear or where they go, we will create a much more acceptable environment. I like wearing my favorite brands and yes people do comment. Judgments are made all the time and sometimes, they are disturbing.

One of the comments were, ” welfare company khol rakhi hai aur itne fancy kapde pehne hue hai, thoda kurte pehna karo” . Such statements made by educated people just portrays their narrow mindedness.

Women need to be more vocal, and our society needs more such exemplary women whom they can look up to. Though we are all in for women empowerment and we are heading in the right direction. But, the truth is that the way  people are raising their daughters is not even close to how they should be actually raising them. Daughters should be raised in a way so that they can fight for their rights and dare to dream without hustling through the societal barriers of discrimination and biases.

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