3 Apr 2018, 08:13 — 6 min read
Startup: Aglet Ink
Founder: Reeti Roy
Year it was founded: 2014
Sector: Business Services
Based out of: Mumbai
Reeti Roy is someone who has done it all - from studying literature in Kolkata, to doing her masters in Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics and winning five fellowships till date. The LAMP Fellowship specifically assigned her to work closely with Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor, a person she regards as a mentor even today. Her writing and research skills have been honed by the study and work that she has done; skills that inspired her to launch her private enterprise, Aglet Ink, in 2014. A firm that initially specialised in writing CVs and cover letters, the business has since grown to include workshops on branding and how to tackle interviews. Reeti is a feminist, and gives credit to her gender-blind views to her mother - her thinking, and how she raised her children. Along with Oprah, she cites the famous poet Maya Angelou as inspirations.
Academic background and diverse work experience
Growing up in Kolkata, Reeti was an inquisitive child with a passion for literature, music and art, and was encouraged by her parents to pursue her passions with gusto. Her mother ensured that she grew up as a feminist in her outlook and gender-blind in how she saw the world. She went on to pursue English Literature at Jadavpur University and Social Anthropology for her Masters from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Cementing her academic credentials, she has won five fellowships until date - The Choice Fellowship from the Seagull Foundation for the Arts, The Matador Network Travel Writing Fellowship, The LAMP fellowship, the Goethe-Institut and Zubaan Books fellowship.
As a LAMP fellow she worked under Shashi Tharoor, someone she considers an integral part of an illustrious list of mentors who have guided her on her journey so far. Her work experience has ranged from academic research in linguistics and history as a research associate to Anya Schiffrin of Columbia University, to working with the Pratham Education Foundation and UNICEF, as well as stints at elite publishing houses.
Starting out as an entrepreneur
Reeti explains what her company name signifies, “The word ‘Aglet’ means a small metal or plastic sheath, which is typically used on each end of a shoelace, cord or drawstring. ‘Ink’ is a play on the word incorporated.”
When explaining the gap in the market she is attempting to fill, she says, “Aglet Ink was born when I realised that many professionals had the required qualifications, but were unable to present themselves well on paper and express themselves through their cover letter. As the resume and cover letter is usually the first point of contact, it could be a ‘make or break’ situation for the thousands of prospective job hunters.”
“Initially, I started with only CVs and cover letters. Now I help with strategising interviews; conducting workshops on presenting yourself well; help with creating a brand story for individuals as well as businesses; handle social media for clients ranging from sustainable fashion brands to the F&B industry to even the shipping industry. I started off as a one woman army. Now, I collaborate with other designers, policy specialists and communication experts as well.”
Continuing to explain her marketing strategy, she says, “I did not spend any money in advertising or marketing. The Times of India and The Economic Times wrote about Aglet Ink and suddenly there was a huge boost in sales. I also use GlobalLinker & LinkedIn for publicising my work. Facebook also helps.”
‘Leaning In’ to channel her inner worth & confidence
Since she switched to being an entrepreneur full-time, Aglet has turned a profit; a significant achievement, and one she is rightly proud of, and attributes to her work style and ethics. She explains, “My overheads are very low, since mine is a service-oriented business. I am a very proud feminist and believe that the world is still skewed towards men. I’ve always been disheartened to read and hear about inequities in pay. I’ve even read stories where women negotiate much less than men for fear of being thought of as ‘too aggressive’. As Sheryl Sandberg, who is an absolute inspiration, has said in her book ‘Lean In’, lots of women suffer from imposter syndrome. Very early on, I found myself not negotiating my pay. But these days if I don’t get paid what I think I am worth, I walk away from the project.”
Reeti said about the platform, “I read about GlobalLinker in an article. Connecting with like-minded individuals and knowing that I have an entrepreneurial ecosystem to turn to, is fantastic.”
Advice to aspiring entrepreneurs
Reeti has some very insightful advice for growing as a person and an entrepreneur. She shares, “Always, always follow up. People are busy. It’s nothing personal and they tend to forget. There is absolutely no substitute for plain old-fashioned hard work. Sometimes, when you feel the chips are down and the world has really beaten you to pulp, read Maya Angelou and listen to what Oprah has to say. Dream big. Believe in yourself. Also, retain your humility and work ethic. I am not one to say that things magically happened or I had a Eureka moment. Everything I have achieved today is because of years and years of painstakingly difficult work.”
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Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
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