23-year olds aim to change the world, one talk at a time

Larry Bradley

Like any other teenager, Supriya Paul, co-founder, Josh Talks, a platform that showcases meaningful ideas and stories from all across India in the form of short yet compelling talks, was undecided about what career to choose. She says, “First I wanted to be a doctor, then an engineer and finally chose commerce. But when I enrolled for graduation in Delhi University I realised three important things-that we are factory-schooled and our minds are conditioned in a certain way since we are a child; we are always taught about conventional career choices and are not encouraged to explore more and finally that we lack exposure to new ideas, stories and opportunities to help us make better decisions and do more with our lives.”

Her co-founder Shobhit’s Banga’s childhood had a different course. He trained to become a cyclist when he was 15, moving to Bangalore from Delhi, won a lot of accolades in the sport, founded a NGO and also did a job. When he joined college back in Delhi he was shocked by the attitude of his peers. “I was used to working 10 to 15 hours a day and building something I was proud of and my peers had no clue about what they wanted to do with their lives and no one was motivating or pushing them to realise what they wanted.”

It is then that both of them decided to solve the problem. They got talking and decided to create a platform that exposes people to new things and uses interesting tools such as stories, to do so. The idea was to change this attitude in people and expose them to things happening in the world today so that they could take a part in it and implement it into their own lives. And Josh Talks was born.

The concept:  Says Paul, “A day-long conference with power packed ideas and stories from all across India covering sports, entrepreneurship, social activism, space exploration, technology, innovation, performing arts and more was a stepping stone into expanding someone’s world view and sparking a new dialogue. What began as a drawing room conversation with six people is now a conference that has toured 10 cities in India, covered 200+ talks and reached over 25,000 attendees live.” The focus is on Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities because they feel that the lack of exposure is more there. Josh Talks earns revenues from sponsorships for offline events, online video integrations, partner campaigns (ads) and corporate events.

“Our target audience is the youth age group of 16-25, people who are yet to make important career decisions in their life and needs just a push in the right direction or those who are just looking to gain access to new knowledge and information. Events are a tool for us to generate the content,” says Banga. The way to distribute is online - through multiple different channels. The video content is available on YouTube, their website and on Jio Chat with a cumulative reach of 20 million people each month.

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