We live in a society that talks about equality and giving equal rights and equal opportunities to all the people. Still, deep down, there is some difference in people’s behavior when it comes to people with disabilities. There is a stereotype that is against such people, and they are not treated equally.
Various people are working in the direction of improving the quality of life and giving such people the opportunities they deserve. Whether the person is physically challenged or they have some other sort of impairment, various people and organizations are planning to work in the direction of making life better for these people by giving them opportunities to earn for their living. One such person working in this direction is Smriti Nagpal, who has come forward with her startup- Atulyakala, that is working to empower deaf people.
A step towards the betterment
Born and brought up in Delhi, Smriti Nagpal did her graduation in business from Delhi itself and then went to the London School of Economics for her masters. Her startup – Atulyakala, is the social enterprise that is working for deaf people to improve their life. The enterprise is working with deaf designers of the industry that are creating products to be sold in the market.
The other part of the business is in the common area where the firm runs a training center for deaf students and provide them language classes, computer classes, and skill development. They also work in the direction of spreading awareness about Indian Sign Language, as the country that has the highest number of deaf people in the world, and our country is undoubtedly lacking in awareness.
The challenges in the outset
Every startup faces specific challenges, and like that, Smriti met the same with the first challenge being when she decided to tell people that her company is a non-profit company that would make a profit. This concept was something that people could never understand always misjudged the company.
The social enterprise means that the firm was working for a social cause, and the company was not dependent on donations. The company had to follow a revenue model to work on, and the process was not easy to employee people to create a more significant impact in the first year of operations.
The firm’s collaborations and first milestones
Even though she is a solo founder of the company, throughout their work development, they have made many collaborations over the years. She believes that partnerships are vital growth of the company, and they worked with many universities, F&B brands, and international designers and artists.
The first milestone for her was when one of her team members who worked with an NGO earlier came up to him and said that when someone asks about his work, he proudly flashes the business card of Atulyakala. Coming back to the company, they attained a break-even point in the first year of their operations, and she wishes to be on the BBC 100 list and Forbes list.
The growth and the vision of the company
Atulyakala is growing at a good pace, and they have opened up their first pop store in Mumbai, and they are looking forward to open-up their store in three more cities.
The companies vision is to grow organic and maintain the mission of the company, and they are planning to launch their motor and pester stores showcasing their products. The next task on their list is to create sign hubs in several cities of the country that will act as bridges between the deaf and hearing communities.