Ghalib. Gulzar. Faiz. What do all these poets have in common? Their love for Urdu!
Urdu is often considered to be the language of love. And Akshita Nagpal, a freelance multimedia journalist and a writer, fell in love with Urdu a few years ago when she was inspired by the books her grandfather had left behind. She wanted to read the books but had to learn the script they were originally written in — Urdu’s Perso-Arabic script. In 2013-14, she bought a book and tried learning Urdu’s script. Later, she joined a short-term course in the Persian language.
A self-taught Urdu expert, she has taught the language to more than 200 students in the last 15 months since she started her venture – Shuruaat-e-Urdu. But, how did it all start?
The ‘shuruaat’ of Shuruaat-e-Urdu
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, Akshita struggled to find work because of its impact on the media industry. It was leading to stress. One day while reading Urdu poetry, she had an epiphany that if she could read and write Urdu now, maybe she could teach others too.
Starting with an Instagram poll that got a good response, she found 10 students. That was the shuruaat of Shuruaat-e-Urdu Basic Literacy e-Course. She created an 8- week curriculum and soon started getting more inquiries launching the third batch by August 2020.
Today, she has around 200 students and recently started the 11th batch. Most are between the ages of 18-60 years. People come from all parts of India – north, east, west and south. Some people have joined from outside of India, like the US, UK, Australia, Austria, Germany and Belgium.
Her students are Urdu enthusiasts who come from all kinds of industries and professions. Some of them are media professionals, some are into writing, filmmaking, teaching professors and actors. People from all professions come to learn, like the IT sector, accounting, biotechnology, and scientists too! Around 30% have been related to the media.
How did she grow her business with Razorpay Payment Pages?
When Akshita started out, she collected payments via bank accounts and asked her students for bank transfers. But soon, she realised she wanted to automate the process and started looking for an easy and secure option.
This is when she discovered that one of her old students working with a lifestyle magazine for blind persons was using Razorpay to sell books, and thought it apt for her requirement too. And it was from the fourth batch that she started using Razorpay to collect payments.
“Collecting payments became much easier and hassle-free for me after I started using Razorpay,” says Akshita. As we write this article, she prepares to begin her 13th batch. She uses Razorpay payment pages to collect payments and give details of what the user can expect to learn from the course. She feels that people have become flexible and open to the concept of online payments.
Talking about how Razorpay can extend more support to freelancers and entrepreneurs like her who are starting out on the journey of owning and growing a business, she says that, “a dedicated customer-care number can help solve the initial roadblocks and hiccups in a faster and efficient manner.”
Her circle helps spread the word
She mainly used Instagram and Twitter to market and promote business, with 60% of leads from Twitter and 40% from Instagram. People retweet, share and help in spreading the word. She found Urdu enthusiasts on Clubhouse and started a club of people interested in learning, reciting, and discussing women’s Urdu poetry. Word of mouth helped grow the business as students spread the word about their experience.
Akshita started as a freelancer but now wants to make this a permanent part of her life with new batches for intermediate level. Her journey continues, and we continue to support her in pursuing her dream.
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