Startup Name: GirlScript
Founder(s): Anubha Maneshwar
Interview with Anubha Maneshwar, Founder of GirlScript
Tell us about your education and experience.
I studied in Kendriya Vidyalaya in tier three city called Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh. After that, I took admission in Nagpur University for pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering. I graduated in 2017 and during my college days, I worked with several non-profit organizations, startups and market giants including Mozilla Foundation, Django Girls Foundation, P&G, Proctor-pocket classroom, etc.
Tell us about your startup, what products/services provided by your startup?
At GirlScript, we provide branding, social capital and media equity in India to companies who are new in the Indian market and are looking to publicize themselves among the crowd. For students, we create solutions to improvise tech education in India– We have local community programs running in 36 cities of India and 3 countries abroad and on an average 300 students learn per day through our community programs. Apart from this, we have GirlScript Summer of Code to promote open source development and help non-tech companies in building their tech projects for free through student participants in the program. We have LetsPy which is India’s biggest Python Programming BootCamp, Codepreneur Week is a unique scholarship program for students to spend a week with companies, GirlScript India Summit which is a celebration of technocrats and tech entrepreneurs. Recently, we have started two new verticals, one is GirlScript E-store to sell online merchandise, gift, laptop stickers, etc. for tech professionals and Groom School that is a training program for students to land into a tech job, where we train them in tech & non tech skills and also place them into companies.
Why the name GirlScript?
We promote diversity and equality in tech and therefore the name. Although all programs are open for all and we reserve 50% seats for women in tech.
How did you come up with this idea? and how much efforts you have taken to implement it?
As I mentioned earlier, I had already worked with several non-profits and startups before starting my own organization and I always felt a gap between industry and institutes while I was a student and therefore I started GirlScript after properly studying and realizing that there is no other Indian origin tech community in India. So we are the first organization to start a tech revolution in India and that’s the reason for our fast expansion.
I started in 8th semester of my engineering and I spent many sleepless nights to implement my ideas. It is not easy to start a venture from tier two city because here people don’t understand what are you doing, why are you doing it and I was just 21 when I started it so people underestimated me due to my age. Being a women entrepreneur, relatives gives you constant pain by suggesting you get a job or get married.
How much money did it require to start GirlScript?
My mother is a single parent and I have a younger sibling. I never asked my mom to pay for starting something, although she helps me every time when I stuck somewhere. I did a few workshops and events, raised sponsorships and then used that money to start GirlScript. The answer is I have started it with an amount of 25,000 or so.
How much was your first income? How(where) you have used/invested it ?
GirlScript was profitable before even starting because for starting it also, I raised money from different sources. I have never drawn a salary from past one and half year and I am using almost everything to expand, for branding, making company swags or for a new project. Currently, we have 6 different projects in hand and I never wanted to run out of investments when I wanted to start something new.
How do you manage your time in a day? Please give us detail about your daily routine.
I am usually a night owl. I love discussing ideas, making plans/ presentation at night. My work mostly starts at 11 AM in the morning. I don’t follow a strict routine because every week there are new trips, new calls, new people to meet. So I can’t follow any strict schedule or exercise. As I am 23 now, I don’t want to miss out on life and I love to hang out with my friends whenever possible because they are stress busters and by observing people, I understand more about their work, problems and what are the solutions.
What were the problems/challenges you faced to this date? how did you overcome them?
There are many challenges. In fact, every day you will wake up with something new. With so many distractions for college students, working with and for them is not easy. I failed JEE, lost my father, moved to a different city, had to travel most of the time for speaking at events, colleges or tech conferences. It looks extremely easy from outside but sometimes there are days when you suffer from loss or might lose everything you had till date but again you restart from zero. People judge you if you come from a small town, non-premier college, middle-class family, if you are young and that too a woman!
Do you have website for your business? If Yes, How do you manage your website?
Yes, we have different ones for different programs. girlscript.tech, gssoc.tech, codepreneur.in, groomschools.com, girlscriptsummit.tech, letspy.tech
All websites are managed mainly by our CTO and our interns or volunteers.
How do you promote your product/services?
We have not yet spent much on marketing but rather we help new companies in marketing through our community. We have hundreds of volunteers in different community chapters who are our assets and till date, we have not felt any need to set a marketing budget but in near future, we are planning to invest in paid promotions.
What are the future goals for your firm GirlScript?
There are 18.6 million unemployed Indians so our first goal is to help them , train them in technical skills and get them jobs. The next is to expand our community globally with a vision to help beginners in technology and programming everywhere. Also, our main goal is to innovate each day and bring new programs for learners each day and help new tech companies in branding as much as possible.
What you will tell our audience so that they will get motivation from you?
Everything is easy to achieve in life, if you start early, fail early and get up early. Financial independence can get you a lot of confidence but to achieve that independence, first, you need to brush up your skills and start working. Don’t treat your first job/internship/volunteering as something small, be honest with it and you will reap the results later on.