Ru­ral con­nect

KSHI­TIJ MEHRA, 27, En­tre­pre­neur

India Today - - SIMPLY PUNJABI COVER STORY -

At 27, Kshi­tij Mehra is the CEO of Yu­vshaala based in Chandi­garh—a ca­reer-cum-fu­ture aware­ness en­deav­our for ru­ral youth. The en­ter­prise has young peo­ple trav­el­ling across Hi­machal Pradesh to coun­sel stu­dents on di­verse ca­reers. Yu­vshaala has an af­fil­i­a­tion with more than 1,200 schools for ca­reer coun­selling in north In­dia. In the first year of its op­er­a­tions, Yu­vshaala made sales of ap­prox­i­mately Rs one mil­lion through ad­ver­tise­ment rev­enue charged to clients. “We gen­er­ated rev­enue from ad­ver­tise­ments we got from in­sti­tutes, uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges for our in­house mat­eral,” says Mehra, who was nom­i­nated for the True Hero

Award last year. In 2010, Mehra coun­selled 10,000 stu­dents in four districts.

LIFE CHANG­ING TRIP A chance visit to Hi­machal that made him dis­cover his true call­ing. “A friend was launch­ing an in­sti­tu­tion in Kullu and took me along for mar­ket­ing pre­sen­ta­tions,” he says. “How­ever, the re­sponse we got from stu­dents in­spired me to coun­sel vil­lage kids.” Some of his stu­dents to­day are work­ing with For­tune 200 com­pa­nies like John Deere & Com­pany.

NEXT He wants to ex­pand op­er­a­tions to Pun­jab and get into par­ent coun­selling as well. Mehra soon will launch a ca­reer mag­a­zine Yu­vazine.

Con­tact: www.yu­vshaala.com

“I worked over­time to gar­ner fi­nances, lost my way in re­mote Hi­machal vil­lages and even had a school door fall on me”

VIKRAM Sharma/www.in­di­a­to­day­im­ages.com

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