Meet Saloni Goel- Founder of Katib, an application that connects creative people.
StartupEd had an exclusive interview with Saloni Goel, a young entrepreneur and founder of Katib. Read her inspiring journey below.
Tell us a little bit about your background: Your age, education? Any early influences that stayed with you?
I have always been a quiet girl noticing and observing everything around her. A 21 years old girl, born in a big joint family, always fascinated with the way society works within the four walls. My habit of reading and observing had a big impact on who I am today. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Economics and I am currently a young India fellow at Ashoka University.
Why did you not want to do a mainstream job? Was the plunge to entrepreneurship difficult – what went through your mind?
My grandfather, a 10th-grade drop-out, enabled his children to be established entrepreneurs purely based on his experiences and learnings. Throughout my life, I have seen my father and my uncles setting up one business after another and taking it to success. I grew up with a mindset of not following the crowd. For me, you just own your own life. With my little exploration in this world of entrepreneurship, I knew a mainstream job wouldn’t satisfy me. This realization made me decide that creating something from scratch that can change the world one step at a time and inspiring young people to collectively join in is worth giving a try. Hence, I jumped in the world of entrepreneurship.
How did you arrive at the idea of your venture, Katib? What was your ‘eureka’ moment? Explain the problem statement or the gap you observed in the market here, and your solution for it.
Being exposed to the social sector right after I finished with my boards, I noticed how organizations who were doing amazing groundwork but were not able to reach relevant stakeholders properly as some still hadn’t realized the power of content and social media in spreading the word and some who had lacked appropriate resources.
My eureka moment came when I was volunteering for an NGO in Delhi. When I saw my team members come across the problems that one faces while figuring out the nuances of content creation, I started thinking about how it can become easier for someone having no expertise in the field to utilize the social media platforms and create content. This led me to the idea of Katib. As an attempt to solve this lack of awareness and resources, I along with a group of friends started ‘Katib’. It sets out to a diverse set of people and stakeholders together who can create an impact through their talent, network or work. One way we are trying to do this is by creating an application that will give its user a recommended strategy for their content that will ensure maximum reach. This format will suggest the best platforms, best formats and other nuances of content creation as per the input that the user gives. The application will then also let the user connect to creative people who not only have experience in the domain but also shows a clear inclination towards the cause the user is working on.
What is your definition of success and how do you measure it?
Whenever asked this question, I always quote Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
Every night before sleeping, if I believe that I have done one or more of these things, I know that I am a step near to success.
What have been the toughest challenges you’ve faced so far, what has been your biggest success?
Balancing home and work and then dealing with the self-guilt if unable to do so became one of the hardest challenges I faced. I still face it to some extent.
My biggest success in my journey till now is the change in the attitude of my family. My family has always supported me. The challenge came when society and mindsets created friction. The trust that I gained from my family and the growth that they had right alongside me became one of my proudest accomplishments.
This is a hypothetical situation- imagine that you can invite anyone for dinner and they would surely accept your invitation. Who would you invite and why?
I will invite Jeff Bezos because he is my inspiration. The clarity with which he envisions, the focus with which he acts and the way he leads are simply amazing in my perspective. Getting to know what pushes him as a leader and as an individual would also provide me with a chance to take motivation and curate my leadership journey.
What is that one piece of advice you would like to give to all the entrepreneurs out there?
Be clear about “why” you want to be an entrepreneur. Be clear about the problem you want to solve, and always be ready to pivot if needed. Last but not least, stick to it. Entrepreneurship is a challenge, but a fun one!