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Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list

Three startups in Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list are from Bhopal

Three entrepreneurs from Bhopal have made it to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for Asia. Umang Shridhar and Abhishek Dubey have been named on the list for their start-ups while the publisher trio of Piyush Ghosh, Tannison Mathews and Tuhin Sen were listed for ‘The Optimist Citizen’.

Shridhar, founder of KhaDiGi a fabric supplier, is working for the welfare of artisans of Bundelkhand by providing them congenial working atmosphere with better machinery and access to the market. “This is a big achievement for me. Being from a village background, I saw the hardships of people and realized that their talent was not being recognized. When I graduated, I wanted to do something for them to improve their conditions,” she said.

Founder of Muskaan Dreams, Dubey is trying to improve the level of education in government schools so that children coming from a humble background can also get good education like those studying in private schools.

“I grew up in a village of Madhya Pradesh and saw for myself that the state of government schools was pathetic. So, I wish to ensure that the coming generation does not have to go through what I experienced. I started designing techniques to digitalize classrooms in government schools for children from humble backgrounds, which led to the birth of my company,” he said.

The journal 'The Optimist Citizen’, which was co-founded by Ghosh and his friends Tuhin Sen and Tannison Matthews, highlighted positive development in the society. The journal aims to change the mindset of people by bringing them positive news from around the world.

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Umang Shridhar - Coming from the nondescript Kishunganj, a small village in the Bundelkhand, Shridhar wanted to do something for the underpaid artisans of the region. After completing BCom (Honours) from Delhi University, she realized the need for a business-to-business model to improve the condition of the artisans and recognize their talents. KhaDiGi, a fabric supplier platform, was founded in 2017, after a lot of ground research. The firm started as a means to empower women by teaching them how to weave and spin ‘khadi’ cloth and then expanded to give a platform and market to the local artisans.

“I had seen that the working conditions and wages for the local weavers, artisans, dyers, spinners was very poor. After completing my graduation, I enrolled in NIFT to study textile designing. I spent two more years researching about the needs and problems of artisans and then developed a B2B model to make and sell fabric to big textile companies. The model is made taking into account the needs of the local artisans, and not for the sake of profit alone,” she said.

Abhishek Dubey - Hailing from Gwalior, the co-founder of Muskaan Dreams, which works to improve the infrastructure and digitalize government schools, is working to ensure that children studying in government schools also get the same facilities that private school children get. “I used to notice that government schools did not have proper infrastructure or teachers. And even if the students wanted to study, they did not have the resources,” said Dubey.

Dubey completed his Bachelors in Engineering and started working to teach kids in a shelter home. Muskaan Dreams was born in 2014 as an organization promoting education for the underprivileged. It later grew into a start-up to equip government schools with e-learning tools, digital infrastructure and provide training to teachers to operate the gadgets.

So far, the organization has digitalized 100 classrooms in seven schools of Gwalior, Indore and Bhopal, reaching more than 12,000 children and improving attendance and enrollment in government schools.

The Optimist Citizen - Co-founded by Piyush Ghosh, Tuhin Sen and Tannison Matthews of Bhopal, The Optimist Citizen is a monthly journal that brings positive news and developments to the readers. Established in late 2014, the monthly journal aims to change people's mindset by giving them something good to look forward to.

“My friends and I are avid readers and we read the newspaper daily. While we were in college, we used to be frustrated reading about murders, rapes and all kinds of scams in daily newspapers. It was then that we thought that people who are working to create change in society must also be given due credit and attention, which seemed lacking in the news back then. So the three of us started it as a volunteer project while we were in college and kept it alive even after we graduated,” said Ghosh.

The four-and-half-year-old journal is touching lives and slowly weeding out the negativity that creeps in due to negative news.

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