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Name: Nivetha Padmanaban
Business: Pustaka Digital Media Pvt. Ltd., an online digital library for Indian language books
Industry: E-Commerce, Arts & Entertainment
Location: Bangalore, India
Reason for starting: I love to read books in my native language (Tamil) more than any other language. Since the age of 10, as soon as I pick up a book, I forget the world around me. I terribly missed them whenever I travel to other countries. Friends living in other countries also shared the same pain. That’s how I decided to start my own venture on ebooks focused on Indian languages.
Related: Read about Julia Pimsleur who created a language learning program for kids here.
How do you define success? I would define success as, when college girls consider me as their role model for their entrepreneurial journey. I want Pustaka Portal to become synonymous with books all over the world. Our portal has to become a one-stop shop for readers of any language of India. I hope to digitize some of the rare artefacts and literary works so that these priceless collections can be preserved for the future generations. My goal is to have all Indian languages in my platform and support all possible ebook readers and provide a rich reading experience for books in a technology platform.
Biggest Success: Pustaka platform was launched on Oct-1st, 2014. The Hindu, a reputed newspaper in India, approached me for an interview within 30 days of launch which was a pleasant surprise for me. I consider it one more feather on my cap, whenever I get appreciation mail from a customer.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? My business involves lots of manual typing work, where one has to manually type the complete printed book into Word to create the ebook. I am dealing with 4 different languages and thousands of books. I tried so many options including outsourcing, part-time employees, full-time employees etc. Finally, I addressed this by delegating to college girls from poor family backgrounds. This income helps their family and fund their studies and they are very committed. I am happy that this small income helps them to continue their studies.
Related: Read about another literary Indian entrepreneur here.
Who is your most important role model? My friend Savita Rao who is no more. I learned how to be self-confident, the importance of self-respect, to make bold decisions, to sometimes ignore people and move-on, the importance of keeping your dreams alive and many many more aspects of life.
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Edited by The Story Exchange