As I lie on my bed gorging on memories , ‘INTERESTSHIP’ happens to be one of my fondest. 3 months ago , I merely knew this place – VENTURE STUDIO , and now it has become a part of my routine . And more than anything it has been a rejuvenating place , a place where I forget all the worries and explore the best part of myself . So undoubtedly yes , I just find reasons to come here . My journey started with a single friend cum roomie cum co-worker, Namrata Mashru (who is definitely one of the major reasons of my being here) and CEO of INTERESTSHIP , Deep Patel (the other major reason why I am here) to today where I have multiple friends (who occupy an entire lunch table !!) and Deep Patel , who has been a mentor , a guide .
So when I was told to write my next blog I was like ‘How about wishing him a POST HAPPY TEACHER’S DAY’ . And though I have closely watched him work relentlessly on INTERESTSHIP since the past 90 days I interviewed him to know what INTERESTSHIP had been to where it will be soon ?
And his journey is that of a small town guy yearning to make it big in the world out there . “ I wanted to do something on my own since college .” , he says and endearingly I reflect upon the fact that Ahmedabad has been a city of dreams for many alike me . It is a city of dreams for many alike me. It is a city with ample in it’s lap ; a city where you can definitely make a rags-to-riches story . Quitting his job and coming to Venture Studio was a major jaunt which led to an idea then and INTERESTSHIP now.
“ I was working on a different idea along with INTERESTSHIP which was then a team of 3 including Prajwal , Shreyansh and me. But then giving up on the other one , I solely devoted myself to INTERESTSHIP !” , he says recollecting those on your mark counts . And off he rode on a journey of self-discovery , of ups and downs , of learnings , of success and failures and much more . Not only the people he met but all in all the entire journey is a teacher. And funny it is , how these events sum up into our life – THE GREATEST TEACHER !!
Initially started with an aim of finding domain of interests of students , INTERESTSHIP today helps them find great domain related internships too .” Initially the response was not that great due to marketing problems but it started growing soon.”, he says and I understand that ‘It’s better to fall and get hit at the very first step.’ This used to be the time where they met the deans, principals and students and explored as to how to go about the idea.
And an obvious question pops up ‘How encouraging were the colleges?’ to which he replies, “ This is a problem which we are facing even currently. The colleges in gujarat don’t encourage internships and students are allowed a short duration to do the same which is a major setback when it comes to placement as they are afresh and untrained. Though some of the private colleges were quite encouraging about the same.” And I reflect upon the fact of how stuck up we still are with the bookish and ancient education system. With the world progressing by leaps and bounds and being run by 4G , with practical knowledge being the top notch industrial demand we force upon our students to study 2G.
And I quip him about the hurdles he tripped by , “ Many!” comes the monosyllabic reply which goes into detailing as in “ The orientation of internships back then was a challenge. At that time students used to pay to get trained and educating them about this thing was a major challenge. The second one being the bureaucracy of colleges. Many colleges were not open to internships for reasons of their own. And they still need to be more open about the idea ” , he says with a sigh and I can’t help but conclude that channelising stuck mindset is the BIGGEST CHALLENGE.
But come September 2015 , and things started going rough . With Shreyansh and Prajwal leaving INTERESTSHIP , things started going haywire. The team had to be cut down and things took a halt because of resource shortage. But the clouds that banish the sun can’t stop the sunshine ; come January and they reached their targets quite well.
Pondering over the mistakes he says , “ Always do a co-founder’s agreement ….yeah always do that . And when working in a team be open to criticize as well as to get criticized. Be selective about your team !”
And he goes on to add, “ Never ever fall in love with your idea. Circumstances can be , if not for you but for your product, that it needs to be changed or modified or flipped.”
“And how does INTERESTSHIP stand out from amongst the crowd?” to which he says,
“We provide INTEREST BASED INTERNSHIPS. Here the student as well as the company can create their profiles. We recommend certain internships to students based on their domain as well as we don’t blindly handover their resumes to the companies. We instead filter it out for them based on skill-set and interests. We are open to extending the platform to schools also apart from colleges.”
And I end with the cliched yet stunning question “Where do you see INTERESTSHIP in the coming decade?” and he answers “We are off on our journey and about to expand the venture. We are improving upon our loop holes every single time we fall.” , definitely!! I sigh wondering how big that day will be to see his venture which is now a dream of many turn into a successful company.
With this our talk and my 90 days journey comes to an end. A journey which taught me to pursue no matter what , to EXPLORE , LEARN AND GROW . And I can’t be more thankful that INTERESTSHIP happened because it brought along with it happiness, cheers , laughters, celebrations, talks on wisdom and life. It taught me to dream, dream with open eyes because it is no one but we ourselves who can fulfill them. All in all it taught me to love myself and be thankful for the gifted person I am because we are all gifted. It taught me to count my blessings and that the simple things in life- friends , food, a rooftop, rains and of course dalwadas are which sum up the most precious things we call memories. I thank you for all this , Deep Patel , and much more – for being a mentor , a guide , a teacher you were more than a leader. And with this three cheers for INTERESTSHIP – “HIP,HIP,HURRAY!!”