About the founder
Anukrama founder, Geeta Bhatia was born in a Punjabi family in the national capital, moved to Chandigarh to pursue her Bachelor’s in Finance and Marketing from the Punjab University. Her desire to be independent and to challenge herself by emerging out of her comfort zone, made her shift to Bangalore. There she completed her Masters in Marketing(branding and advertising). She did not stop here and went to IIM Tiruchirappalli to continue her specialization. Bhatia has got seven years of work experience across industries like education, aviation, and hospitality.
What is Anukrama?
With millions of startup stories doing the rounds on the internet, the story of Anukrama holds special significance. Anukrama contains no glamorous ideas as other startups do; it is merely about providing better lifestyles and opportunities to deaf individuals who otherwise find it difficult to perform everyday actions and activities.
Anukrama-built on humanitarian principles- aims at precisely this. It is involved in creating employment and education facilities for deaf and dumb individuals. Alongside this, it also focuses on improving awareness regarding sign languages and its usage across India. Deafness can make the lives of individuals tougher right from when they are children. They face innumerable challenges in their early levels of education in school and later during higher education as well. They are emphasizing more on educating deaf individuals about sign language as this is the only way to better their lives and make it a little less severe. Since one cannot see deafness, it is not considered an illness or does not gather many headlines as a disability. With the start of Anukrama, the lives of deaf and mute individuals can be seen lighting up as more efforts are being made to make changes in their lives.
There are not many opportunities for the deaf and dumb, due to which they are left with just a few employment options. And since there is no means to train them for other better jobs, they are stuck with the same job for their entire lives. Such situations do not occur in foreign countries. So, Geeta’s efforts are aimed towards improving this aspect of deaf people’s lives too.
While talking to TimesNext, Bhatia, spoke of how one of her top priorities while starting Anukrama was to curtail differences between the deaf and the rest of the society. She adds that in India, a lot of changes and developments need to be brought when dealing with deaf and mute individuals, right from the person’s family becoming supportive to increasing more professionally trained personnel in the field. Talking about her team, she adds that there are two more people on board.
One is her sister, Ajeeta, who takes care of the designing involved in Anukrama. The second person is her friend, who has been supporting and advising her throughout the journey of this startup.
The inspiration behind Anukrama
Back in the year 2015, while on a skype call regarding immigration visa for her hearing-impaired sister, she realized the miraculous powers of social media and how potent a medium it can be when it comes to connecting people. This thought did not leave her and evolved into the startup-Anukrama. She brainstormed with the idea on how to empower and strengthen the deaf in our society. Bhatia remembers the first time she learned of sign language. It was in 2010 when she had accompanied her sister to a seminar on International Women’s Day at the Indian Habitat Center in New Delhi. That day sitting amidst hundreds of hearing-impaired students, teachers, professionals, and interpreters, she felt she had discovered a brilliant new world, a world where people’s lives were different from the rest of the society where individuals could hear properly. She felt the desire to make herself fluent in sign language and expand her horizons regarding its knowledge. Her sister helped her learn and also introduced her to several new signs.
Challenges faced every day
Speaking about her everyday issues, Geeta points out that being a woman, she has to fight against several deterrents on her way to success. Starting something new and life-changing has always brought problems with it, especially when it involves juggling between 2 jobs. While on the work front, she is also a marketing consultant for restaurants in New Delhi. She already has a lot of her plate beside Anukrama, so managing both her job and her startup can be quite arduous at times. Time-management has always been a savior when it comes to such situations so, Bhatia prepares her To-Do lists and keeps her planners up-to-date to utilize her time efficiently.
Milestones and appreciations
- The first milestone that Anukrama had achieved was the Tata Tea Campaign covering and detailing the history and ideas behind Anukrama.
- The second time that the startup gained recognition was when it got featured on the Women’s Digest as well as humans of Delhi page on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
Growth status and future goals
Bhatia talks of how Anukrama is expanding each day, reaching and affecting the lives of hundreds of deaf individuals. Their aim as a team is to strive hard each day to make a difference. Any new plans? Their clothing segment is in its final lap of designing, and their strategy for the next five years involves expanding their clothing brand across India.
Their vision for Anukrama has remained the same since the start and will continue to remain so until a significant change can be traced. Anukrama is all about creating opportunities for the deaf in India while expanding their team into a larger family.