Meet Shradha Sharma, the person behind YourStory: India’s biggest website for stories about startups and noteworthy entrepreneurs that need to be heard of. “People are just as extraordinary as they believe themselves to be,” says she.
Shradha Sharma is the founder and CEO of YourStory, an online informational platform created to shed light on heartening stories of young entrepreneurs and their journey to success. She says,” we found that there were so many amazing stories and voices and we felt we simply had to tell their stories”.
Shraddha Sharma was born in a small town in Bihar and spent her entire childhood in Patna and came from a lower-middle-class family.
She shifted to New Delhi in 1997, and ended up majoring in History at St Stephen’s College, Delhi, and possesses a master’s degree in the same. Apart from this, she also pursued an education in design management and digital creative management (DCM) from MICA, Ahmedabad.
Prior to starting up YourStory, she worked as a brand advisor at the Times of India from 2006 to 2007. Additionally, she worked as an assistant Vice President at CNBC TV from 2007 to 2009. Shradha founded YourStory in 2008 and then quit her job a year later to completely focus on her new venture.
Shradha Sharma firmly believes that the hardest moments in life are the ones that you need to cherish most because they teach you to rise above your adversities and be stronger than ever before. “Everyone has a powerful story and in society, we need to openly talk about these stories,” she says.
She narrated a heartbreaking story during one of her speeches. When she was in 3rd grade, her school had this cool dance competition and she, like everyone else, was really excited to take part in it. It had to be a duet.
On the day of the competition, her partner looked glamorous, almost like a fairy. While she, on the other hand, had borrowed her sister’s traditional uniform because she had no other option.
The next day one of her teachers called her in front of her class and accused her of messing up the dance performance and making her beautiful partner lose, and called her dishonorable words.
She then took out her ruler and began to bear her saying, “You poor kids, coming from poor families don’t have appropriate dresses, don’t know how to dance, and you manipulated that pretty girl into dancing with you to get a mere chance to shine” These insensitive words made her tear up, but she wouldn’t be where she is now without this harsh incident.
Aside from this, she sadly lost her mother in 2010. Her mother was the primary drive behind everything in her life, she was her entire support system and beyond. Shradha had to deal with the loss of her cherished mom along with dealing with ups and downs in her professional life.
But you won’t ever get to see give up and ‘Shradha’ in the same sentence. (Well, except for this one) She once again proves that with the right amount of resilience, you have it in you to take on the world and get a grip on every single one of life’s challenges.
This third-grade incident undoubtedly played a significant role in her story and she goes on to say that there wouldn’t have been a YourStory if the third-standard incident didn’t happen.
In every underdog, in every entrepreneur, she saw the little innocent 3rd-grade her which impelled her to start telling stories and influence every single person who’s ever been told that they’re not good enough. She, therefore, says, “the key to fulfillment is adversity.” Success tends to emanate from adversities that an individual has overcome through their resilient nature.
As powerfully influential as this amazing woman is, she ironically hates giving and receiving advice as they always feel impersonal to her.
Today, YourStory has amazing narratives of over 40,000 entrepreneurs. YourStory also has a YouTube channel with over 1,00,000 subscribers where they put out extremely well-made content interviewing thousands of self-driven entrepreneurs.
She’s also been awarded multiple awards and recognitions like the NASSCOM Ecosystem Evangelist Award, Villgro Journalist of the Year Award in 2010, L’Oreal Paris Femina Award, and ET promising entrepreneurs of India Award in 2015.
Shradha Sharma has also been featured in Fortune 40 under 40 in 2016, and there are many more achievements she has achieved. From an innocent little girl to an influential and powerful woman, she’s the epitome of ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’
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