Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Puneet Singhal, Founder of ssstart, located in New Delhi, India.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At ssstart, we are working toward normalizing speech and communication disorders and advocating for a more inclusive and accessible society for people with disabilities. We facilitate interactive workshops, write awareness blogs and articles, feature in podcasts and interviews, etc.
Ssstart's goal is to turn the societal perception of people with disability, especially those with speech impairments, from being seen as shy, anxious, and incompetent complainers to confident, courageous, highly skilled, and trustworthy leaders. Ssstart teaches social networking skills, inclusive event design, and facilitation skills through interactive, playful, and creative online and local events.
Our stakeholders are but are not limited to, teens from the slums of Delhi with disabilities or exposure to domestic violence, poverty, bullying, and mental or sexual harassment. We have been able to touch the lives of 60 teenagers directly and 250+ youngsters around the world through our online mentorship sessions. Our social media reach has created an organic impression of 100,000 and a followership of around 17,000 people across geographies.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Puneet Singh Singhal from New Delhi, India. I am a person with an undiagnosed learning disability and stammering. I see my life as the intersection of poverty, domestic violence, and multiple invisible disabilities. I am a disability activist advocating for a more inclusive and accessible society for people with different and distinct, visible, and invisible disabilities.
I have four years of experience in Fundraising, advocacy, social Media Outreach, Capacity Building, strategy & communication, Design Thinking, Project Management, community building & engagement, and workshop facilitation. I bring my experience as a neuro-diverse individual with stammering, poverty, and domestic violence to the table. I am a strong ally of the BIPOC and the LGBTQIA+ community. I ensure I listen to people of all identities and backgrounds on their wants and needs and incorporate and adjust strategies accordingly. My goal is to strive to bring thorough inclusion and unity within the disability community. Expand, collaborate and work together on other issues that aren't exclusively disability-related, such as climate change. And Remind ourselves: We are not fighting against each other. We can all win together, and that victory will be truly inclusive.
The Indian Achievers' Forum awarded me the Young Achievers' Award for 2022. Link- https://www.iafindia.com/mr-puneet-singh-singhal/
To know more about our work and future projects- https://www.global-solutions-initiative.org/young-global-changers-blog/advocacy-for-disability-inclusion/.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I am on the Diversability D-30 Social Impact list for 2022. Here is the link- https://mydiversability.com/d30-2022-honorees/puneet-singh-singhal
I was featured on Forbes for my work in spreading awareness of stammering. Here is the link - https://www.forbes.com/sites/drnancydoyle/2022/07/27/disability-pride-month-focus-on-stammering/amp/
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
You have to take care of the organization, the team, and other stakeholders with an impeccable balance with the right intent and skillset. It teaches you patience, wisdom, and grace. Even if you put in everything, things may still not go to your side, and that's the challenge to emerge out of these setbacks.
The point is to keep yourself grounded even after achieving success because when you win, you start to take things for granted. It is the failure that makes you ask the right questions and make difficult but necessary decisions.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Embrace failure by ensuring that you learn from them.
- Team building is a critical skill that can be learned, but the right mindset and attitude are rare.
- Try to understand when to have patience and when to quit.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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