Indian GDP is fueled by the growth of the MSME (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) entities with the renewed support from the government of India under various initiatives like “Make in India”, “Skill India”, “Digital India”, etc. As per the market analysis conducted by KPMG, the Indian MSME segment can start contributing around 40% of the GDP by generating higher employability as well as meeting the growing demands of the Indian domestic market. MSMEs are not limited to certain sectors only. They span right from manufacturing, agriculture, health care, skill development, services, etc. The new trend in the MSME sector is that of the Social Entrepreneurs, who are starting their business with an intention to help and cause a change in society. These people are not the typical NGOs as they are not averse to profits, but are making a business and their entity to solve some problems plaguing society.
When Blogchatter has started the featured campaign about MSMEs and their growth in the Indian economy, I thought of writing about Meravigilia EQ Academy (MEQ Academy) and its founder Lata Singh. Her startup MEQ Academy was featured as the most promising startup in the Startup India showcase platform as well as in Infinity summit – India France startup summit in Information technology. There is a small story behind this blog post. It’s the story of how I got to know Lata and started working along with her.
How I met Lata Singh from MEQ Academy
Pandemic has affected everyone and we had to face problems that we could never have imagined. Ours was a small family with one bubbly and energetic Shrav, which most of you are aware of through his blogs and videos. Right from the time, he was born, my interest in child psychology got rekindled and I started doing a lot of courses and researching on my own. I learned the Montessori and started getting trained as a Montessori adult, as he was attending those schools. Everything was going on smoothly when the pandemic has decided to throw a curveball at us. Even then, the initial six months have passed in a jiffy without much trouble for anyone in the family.
But slowly, Shrav started showing the withdrawal symptoms and his continuous demands for attention started getting snowballed. Then, I decided to first understand his emotional needs before I can take any action. That’s when one common friend has recommended doing the Kids Life certification course with Lata Singh. This course has changed my trajectory and shown me what the kids really need at this time. From then onwards, I started helping Lata on her new projects and I also started my counseling services for both kids and parents. But am going to talk about Lata’s journey as the Social Entrepreneur as she is my favorite mentor in this area and I just opened mine only recently.
Lata’s story as Social Entrepreneur:
Lata is an NLP practitioner, Emotional Intelligence Trainer, Assessor, and Educator. She is also a certified Life Coach for both parents and kids. Though she started her career in the IT industry, her passion kept on calling her and she has decided to take a plunge into the Entrepreneurial journey after her darling daughter was born. Let’s hear about her story in her own words:
Me: Why did you start up this MEQ academy?
Lata: In 2017 few of my close friends asked me to help them learn Life Coaching for Children and Parents, as they themselves are having issues with their children. I didn’t have the authority to train them so I thought of starting my Academy where I can teach people who wish to work with Children and Parents.
Me: What are the things that you have considered while starting this academy?
Lata: My vision is to help kids and parents to handle/manage their emotions. Only an Emotionally Intelligent person would be able to survive and thrive in this uncertain world. Unfortunately, our education curriculum doesn’t cater to this need making the children emotionally intelligent. That’s the reason why we see so many atrocities and wrong things in the world today. So, that’s why I have decided to help children and adults alike and teach them emotional literacy and well-being. In fact, I realized only recently that I had become a social entrepreneur working for the social cause of spreading mental health awareness in society.
Me: Do you think that emotional health and well-being helps in green development and SDGs?
Lata: Emotional health and well-being fall under SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing). And also while talking to the children, we create awareness about other SDGs and move towards green development by using the 3 R principle of Reduce, Reuse, and Reorganize. Its easier to explain and motivate younger children and it will benefit us in the long run too.
Me: What are the biggest lessons that you learned during this journey of the start-up?
Lata: You have to be consistent in your efforts and get rid of what’s not working. Re-do, Re-adjust, re-focus as many times as needed but never lose focus on your goals. Keep going and be motivated no matter what!
Me: What has changed during this pandemic for your business? How did it impact you?
Lata: This pandemic has taught us many things. From online to physical and back to completely online, we had a lot of ups and downs. However, this time has given us several opportunities to work and grow.
Me: What are the five important lessons or tips that you would like to share with the budding entrepreneurs?
Lata: That’s difficult to capture my entire journey in five points, but let me put them across:
- Startups work through networking and word of mouth. You need to start being vocal about your products and services. Always start from your inner circle of family, friends, colleagues and neighbours.
- While offering your services to the client, talk about how your product/offering can ease their life. Nobody would be willing to buy a service/product unless they see a tangible benefits like easing their life or something.
- Never ignore the power of social media. Most of the MSME’s get their clients only through social media. If you are not an expert at it, hire someone who can help you with that stuff.
- Don’t try to diverge your products immediately. Stick to your core business area till the time you are known in the market as an expert.
- Lastly, resilience and growth mindset are the most important traits that an entreprenuer should possess, as the entrepreneurial journey is always has some ups and downs, which the business owner should travel all alone if required.
In the entrepreneurial journey, having a core trusted team always helps to tide through the uncertainties. You need to train and grow your trusted team along with you for the success of your company. As a social entrepreneur, I and my team always want to bring awareness about the mental health issues the kids these days face and try to help them in managing them. Pandemic has reinforced our belief that “An Emotionally Healthy child today would be Mentally Strong Adult of tomorrow“. So we are working with schools and parents in making their Emotional Health a top priority. As a parting note, I want to quote April Rose’s quote here:
I think Emotional Health is the major contributor to physical healthApril Rose
I am happy to say that after I had started working with Lata, I learned a lot and am now confident in my entrepreneurial journey as well. Having a mentor like Lata Singh always helps the person to deal with the uncertainties. Thank you Lata for giving me this opportunity to talk about your startup journey for a good cause as a social entrepreneur.
Growth Matters Forum is a community for business owners to explore ideas, streamline growth and create an impact. Join the community here.