Tannisha Avarrsekar is the Founder, CEO & Editor-in-Chief Of Lokatantra, a one-stop solution to cater to every Mumbaikars’ voting needs during elections. They connect leaders and citizens, and answer all your voting-related how, when, where and who questions.
Tannisha is a Liberal Arts graduate from King’s College London, with a Major in English & a Minor in Politics. She is the author of the books Beyond the Horizon & The Journey to Freedom and has previously worked at DDB Mudra & Yash Raj Films. She also runs a strategy & communications consultancy by the name of Lokavyuha, and sits on the Board of Trustees at the Centre For Transforming India.
Today, we got a chance to interview her to know more about her work and Lokatantra.
We hope this can inspire you to become a successful person too! It is worth listening to a successful entrepreneur or to people who share their success stories? We can significantly learn many things from the experiences of them, by listening to their story.
Excerpts from our exclusive interview with her:
Q1) Tell us a little bit about your start-up (Lokatantra) and your journey, please.
Lokatantra is a digital news & media agency in the form of a website and mobile application that is helping India grow by educating the youth about politics and social causes. It connects leaders and citizens, and answers all voting-related how, when, where, and who questions. With no affiliations to any party, person, or ideology, Lokatantra brings the electorate honest and unbiased information that helps India make the most of its right to vote.
In the span of just a year, we have been able to cater to about 50,000 people across our platforms and won the MADCon Top 50 Marketing & Advertisings Leaders Award for pioneering efforts in the field of political marketing.
Q2) How did the idea for your business/startup come about?
Since I moved to London for my undergrad when I was 18, 2019 was the first election that I was able to vote in. After I came back, gathering information about the registration process, as well as probable candidates took lots of time and effort.
That’s when I began realizing that for citizens like me, who wanted to be more politically aware or socially conscious, there was the want of a platform where they could educate themselves and engage with those they were considering electing. And that’s how Lokatantra came along.
Q3) What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
As a creative, I thrive on independence and flexibility, and entrepreneurship offers me more of that than most jobs would. I like that all of my time, effort, and talent feel invariably like an investment in myself.
Q4) How did you come up with the name for your business/startup?
I wanted a quintessentially Indian name, and since the principals of democracy especially digital democracy are at the heart of everything we do, it only made sense to have a name that gave ode to that. We spelled Lokatantra with an ‘a’ to highlight the Marathi pronunciation since we started off from Mumbai, but also to stress on the ‘Loka’ bit of the word, which means ‘the people’.
Q5) What service(s) do you offer?
Lokatantra is the first-of-its-kind, online platform, that empowers young Indian voters, with extensive and detailed information about their candidates and the voting process, verifies its authenticity, and then organizes it in a manner which makes it quick and easy to understand.
On the flip side, it also collects data on citizens’ opinions on key issues through polls and surveys, and then analyses and publishes the results, to aid in the decision-making process of leaders. Thereby shedding light on both the accomplishments of politicians- especially independents who can’t afford expensive campaigns, as well as the troubles of the common man.
The platform also allows users to ask candidates questions, as well as rate them so as to help other voters from their constituency make their choice.
Q6) Why should people choose your product/services?
Because, before an election Lokatantra interviews all the candidates standing, with a uniform questionnaire to gather their opinions on issues that play a key role in deciding who to vote for and are yet often not a part of mainstream discourse.
The answers from these interviews are then fed into an algorithm, which allows voters to answer the very same questions, and then ranks the candidates in their constituency based on how much their political opinions match. What makes this quiz truly extraordinary is the fact that it takes into account the nuances of one’s answers, by letting you weigh how much each issue affects your vote.
Q7) What are your responsibilities as the business owner?
To look over absolutely every single aspect of the business, no matter how big or small.
Q8) How many hours a day do you work on average & can you describe/outline your typical day?
Around 10 hours. I start my morning by catching up on the news, emails, and calls. I reach the office by around 10:30 am and spend the first few hours working with the team on planning strategy, content, design, development, etc. After lunch, the next few hours usually go into research and editing.
I usually plan all my meetings for the second half of the day, so once they start at 4 pm they can go on till anywhere around 8 pm. I’ll then go home, eat dinner with my family and depending on how much work there is, either catch up with some friends or catch up on reading material for the next day.
Q9) What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
My greatest fear is dying before I’ve made a mark on the world, and a name for myself. I manage my fear, by using it as fuel to make me work harder every day.
Q10) Tell us about your early life.
I was born and brought up in Mumbai. My family is in the business of construction and government contracting. I attended Hill Spring International School and B.D. Somani International School in South Bombay before joining King’s College London to study Liberal Arts. I spent much of my childhood and teenage, performing Odissi dance and piano, both of which I was trained since I was about 5 years old.
I was always studious and spent a great deal of time reading. By the time I was 18, I was already working and had published two poetry compilations, directed a professional play, and given a TED talk.
Q11) What piece of advice would you give to college graduates who want to become entrepreneurs?
Take the plunge. But make sure you’re armed with as much knowledge as possible before you do.Tannisha Avarrsekar
Follow Her & Lokatantra @
|Her LinkedIn Handle||https://www.linkedin.com/in/tannisha-avarrsekar/|
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