ChetChat

ChetChat: An online career oriented chat channel

 

ChetChat is a startup founded by Chetna Vasishth. It is an online talk show for the career oriented people.

 

ChetChat is a one of a kind career-oriented channel featuring students and experts speaking about their journey of becoming lawyers, doctors, designers, chartered accountants, dentists, entrepreneurs and CEOs. Students have also shared their experiences from universities around the globe like Harvard, Cambridge, Columbia, Oxford, University of Toronto. They speak about cracking top exams like the NEET, UPSC, CLAT, IBPS and CA entrances. You will also find videos from students pursuing pure passions like dancing, art, singing and scuba diving, prosthetic design etc.

 

We got an opportunity to talk with Chetna,  the founder of ChetChat. Read her story to know more about her journey as an entrepreneur.

ChetChat

 

Give a brief info about your startup?

ChetChat is the largest Indian online talk show in the career space.

ChetChat is a one of a kind career-oriented channel featuring students and experts speaking about their journey of becoming lawyers, doctors, designers, chartered accountants, dentists, entrepreneurs and CEOs. Students have also shared their experiences from universities around the globe like Harvard, Cambridge, Columbia, Oxford, University of Toronto. They speak about cracking top exams like the NEET, UPSC, CLAT, IBPS and CA entrances. You will also find videos from students pursuing pure passions like dancing, art, singing and scuba diving, prosthetic design etc.

We have had the good fortune of being able to interview some very inspirational people like Terence Lewis, Aarti Sehwag and some very successful entrepreneurs and CEO’s in addition to successful practitioners, and brilliant students, who have been so generous with their time and have shared my vision of guiding and motivating the youth with their experience.

 

In a short span of 2.5 years, we have created more than 160 video interviews, have over 50,000 subscribers and over 2.5M views.

 

What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?

I did my post graduate studies from XLRI, Jamshedpur and became a corporate banker.  I worked with some of India’s largest MNC banks for the first ten years of my professional career. The birth of my son saw me take a break from the corporate world.  I then set up and ran a training company for the next 10 years. My firm trained bankers from more than 10 banks, both within India as well as overseas.

Having been in the field of education for over a decade, I realized that students across India lack for authentic information. Most students and parents sadly make misinformed choices and career counsellors are either very few or very expensive. So, I thought, why not create a platform wherein I could interview students and experts and share their genuine views directly with students and parents.

 

Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?

Ours is an online platform and the choice was between setting up a website, a portal or a YouTube channel. Since we were starting off without investing too much money, YouTube seemed like the most effective platform to reach out to the most number of students and solve their problems. Today we reach out to over 175 countries and students write in to me from Trinidad, Accra and Berlin asking questions about their careers.

 

As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?

This might sound cheesy but I sleep soundly at night. And there are two reasons behind this. One is that I completely enjoy each aspect of the work involved, so nothing feels like a chore or a burden. Second and more importantly, I believe that the universe always conspires to make things work for the best. There are several times when I have felt like giving this up or have felt demotivated, and each time someone would just appear in my environment to motivate me and remind me of the importance of my work. It is almost miraculous in the way it happens, but I now realise that the work we do is bigger than ourselves and that the universe will ensure that it continues and reaches the people for whom it is intended for, at the time it is meant to reach them. So I just take my baby steps each day, and know that everything will work to perfection in the end.

 

Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?

There are hundreds of videos on YouTube in the education arena but there is no one that directly competes with ChetChat, since the kind of work we do is different. There are a few ground rules we follow

We are very selective about the people we interview and ensure high quality discussions

The information is deeply researched, genuine and student focussed. This makes our videos different from some of the others on YouTube which sometimes be more casual and have fewer pieces of in depth information which the student is really looking for

The work is primarily directed at helping others. We answer student questions personally and provide substantial guidance for free.

 

The youth are our biggest asset and I see them struggling to get basic information on their career plans, future goals and jobs. If we can shine a torchlight and set them on the right path, sooner or later, they will discover their own light for the rest of their journey. My goal is to invite every inspirational leader, celebrity and change agent on my show and give them a platform to address the youth of the world to guide them, motivate them and inspire them.

 

 

How hard is it to have a work life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?

I am an Air Force Officer’s daughter and discipline has been a legacy trait for me. I do not  believe that there is any way to perfectly balance work and life. We just need to allot time to all sets of activities including exercise, socialising, time with family, and even downtime must be consciously added into the schedule. Although I must admit that on many days I wish I had 48 hours.

 

Work wise we have designated days for specific tasks which helps to ensure that all aspects get covered. Every Friday we upload a new video and the entire week is adapted to work around this. In the initial years Thursdays were black out days for social life and I found myself not sleeping well on Thursday nights. After a year of doing that I realised that this is not how I want to spend one seventh of my life, so now the videos are uploaded and kept ready on Wednesday itself. Now Thursdays are usually the lightest days of the week, where we can plan the next week.

 

 

Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.

 No

 

What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?

 The biggest misconception that people have about me is the belief that I have all the answers. I too need to consult with the experts to get information. There are is so much in this domain that I learn daily, which is what makes my work very satisfying.

 

 

What gets you excited about this company?

Impact undoubtedly is the biggest factor. Reading and replying to hundreds of messages across platforms every single day gives me a high.

We tend to live most of our lives thinking that we are a drop in the ocean, struggling to survive. ChetChat has made me realise that the entire ocean is in fact, inside us. One person has the power to impact so many lives and that in itself is what gets me from day to day. Every day, students from around the world write in saying they love my videos and send their requests for new topics. I have lots of work left to do and there is nothing more exciting than that feeling.

 

 

Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.

On most days, I wake up around 7 am and go straight into the kitchen to organise some lemon water and fruit. I sit down to meditate and do some Riyaz for about half an hour and around 8am I sit at my desk. Breakfast and tea is at my desk and with short breaks I usually work all the way till lunch time.

 

Every day of the week has a designated plan. We ensure that we upload a video every Friday so every week there is about one shoot, some research to locate the most appropriate person to interview, research and discussions about content etc. Vidya has recently joined our team as Editor and helps me extensively on the content and promotion front.

 

Next the task of video editing which my colleague Rohit now helps me with. Every week we sit together on one day to discuss the edit of the week and I still edit some videos on my own, just to keep honing the craft.

 

Tuesdays / Wednesdays are usually devoted to finalising and uploading the video, organising the metadata, making trailer videos and preparing for the Friday release. Friday mornings are spent with social media posts and promotions which we continue throughout the week as well. So, we also design promotional posts and other social media content to engage our viewers every day. Once a month I do a live video on YouTube.

 

A few hours every day are devoted to replying to individual messages and comments from the viewers across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, email and Twitter. Now I even know some subscribers with their names, faces and regular comments. I value this relationship that has been built up over time.

 

In addition to these time bound activities, some days I visit colleges and schools for talks, panel discussions etc. Travel also happens for work usually a couple of times each month.

 

Fitness wise, I have an instructor, who makes sure I lift weights, crunch my abs and sweat the functional workout three days a week and pushes me till I wince with pain.  Short walks with Simby (my Shih Tzu pup) is the most pleasurable exercise a few times every day.

 

I spend an hour at least each day with Simby, grooming her, or training her, or just playing and cuddling. Dinner at 8pm is usually around a Netflix show that the entire family watches together and then I keep working usually till about 10 or 11 pm.

 

 

Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?

Ours is a very small team. Vidya Nadkarni is the Editor and looks after the content, outreach and networking. Rohit Ghokshe takes care of the editing and camera work. My husband Dheeraj helps me many times with the camera work and I have a team that helps with the SEO work as well.

 

Know a great startup story or want to share your own? Write to us at contact.bangaloreinsider@gmail.com and we will get back to you. For more updates follow Bangalore Insider on Facebook.

 

 

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