On Her Journey to Inspire – Supriya Paul

By Team Feministaa in

She was just like anyone of us is : a simple girl wanting to go to a prestigious college, doing a a good course and then finding a decent job to settle down with. But then, over the course of time, reality hit her hard, giving way to her creativity. She felt the lack of motivation around her, and then she realised that just like any other basic human need, motivation also needs to be fulfilled.
That’s when she ventured out to accomplish this goal, along with her Friend, Shobhit Banga, to start the talk show as we all know today – Josh Talks, a platform for people to share their stories and inspire others.
Meet Supriya Paul, the “she” behind Josh Talks, who not only answers the questions put up to her as the Co founder of the brilliant talk show but also as a women entrepreneur, who has some amazing plans for the future.
Josh talks is all about inspiration. What was your inspiration behind it?
We believe that , “People with a passion can change the world”. There are so many people out there, who are doing such different and unconventional things, following their passion and in some small or big way, trying to make a difference to the world. Listening to these stories and interacting with these people, can impassion others and create in them, a drive to be successful.
And so, the premise of Josh Talks came about.
What were the problems that you faced when you decided to start Josh Talks, was your family supportive of the idea or were you restricted in any manner ?
Josh Talks is not a conventional business so yes, my family did have certain apprehensions. I was pursuing Bcom Honours in Venkateshwara College in Delhi University, and then thinking of doing CA. So giving up that, to follow a totally uncertain career path did not have them jump at it immediately. But after sometime when they attended our events and understood what we are trying to do, things changed and the support gradually grew.
Working with a male partner, have you ever faced issues such as given less importance in the society just because you are a woman ?
Initially, I would feel like his word is being given more importance, but that’s what pushed me to become more outspoken and really got me out of my comfort zone. Things are changing now, with a lot more women entrepreneurs; people are becoming more progressive and accepting of the idea of a woman leading a business.
At your age, there exists several other Indian woman who have not received in any form of education. What do you feel about this situation in our country ?
I feel like India is in a time and space, where people have stopped pin pointing problems and criticising them, but they have started innovating to solve them. I personally know a lot of start-ups in the education space who are trying their best to make sure that this problem is addressed. I obviously feel bad about the situation and so does everyone else, but now is the time to actually take a step to fight this problem and encourage others who are doing so.
Do you look upto any other woman as your inspiration ?
My mother has always been a constant source of inspiration. I have never seen her sit idle in one place for more than 30 minutes in a day. My mother joined my father’s business after her wedding, but she has grown to become the face of it and she is now managing most of it on her own. From cooking and cleaning in the morning to going to work, to making dinner, there is never a time when she stops, and I admire her for that and it also motivates me to do my best.
I admire a lot of other Indian women entrepreneurs- Shradha Sharma, Founder, YourStory and Sairee Chahal, Founder Sheroes being amongst them.
During your interactions with such inspirational achievers, is there a story which will stay with you forever and is a constant source of inspiration for you.
A story which is very close to my heart is of a girl named Sheetal. Sheetal is the daughter of a bar dancer and lives in the Kamathipura district of Mumbai known to be a red light area. While growing up, she was subjected to sexual abuse and never even had the chance to understand what was being done to her till the time she joined an NGO called Kranti and they made her aware of the situation. She decided to fight what society thought of her and her mother, and later she pursued her passion for drumming. With the help of some funding campaign recently, and some scholarship, she finished a course at one of the best drum schools in the world in Washington.
Sheetal is an inspiration for many, and I’m glad I had the chance to meet her and interact with her.
What do you feel about the emergence of women in the working sector ? Do you feel content with the current scenario or you think that it can be improved ?
Previously, when I would attend events and conferences, I would find myself to be amongst the very few women out there but now when I do the same, there is a much better turnout and I get to see a lot of women in different spaces doing some absolutely amazing things.
Do you think that women are lacking the right kind of motivation required to fulfil their dreams ?
I think the society on a whole needs to encourage the budding women entrepreneurs. Even though, the government is in the process of doing so and it’s just a matter of time when things will become better and we see more women entrepreneurs. Families play a huge role and its important to support the daughters, wives and mothers while respecting and encouraging them to pursue their dreams and aspirations. This can only be achieved when there is open communication and understanding.
As a woman, what do you think should be the importance of work in a woman’s life ?
Working gives you a different kind of high. Seeing your effort and time actually create an impact is the best feeling in the world. It also makes you independent and gives you a sense of freedom, which I think every woman desires. For all these reasons, working should be the most important in a woman’s life.
Follow your passion. Don’t think twice about what other’s will think or say, just go ahead and do what you wish to, and there is no reason for you, to not attain success.
Have you ever felt unsafe or insecure while travelling or in any other manner?
Being stared at or constantly watched is something that every woman in Delhi deals with so over time, it just becomes a part of your life and then you choose to ignore it. I do feel unsafe, on numerous occasions, especially when I travel alone.
What are the five things that a woman must include in her bucket list?
1. Solo Trip – Could be a bag packing one, or just a casual one or even one with just your girl friends.

1. Learning a musical instrument or a performing art

1. Learning a new language
1. Giving a talk in a public forum to at least 500 men.
1. Dancing in a strangers baraat (wedding) – This actually liberates you!
Supriya’s work and innovation is inspiring in itself. We hope to see her accomplish much more in life and truly feel that one can look up to her as a source of motivation, for she is amongst those woman who at a very young age, achieved more than what she could have imagined and her journey has just begun.

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