How will you Introduce Yourself to the world?
Shraddha Varma: Apart from being a management professional, an experienced marketer and an ambitious entrepreneur, I believe that if women are to break away from the clutches of orthodox, patriarchal, pseudo/liberal patriarchal brackets, then economic independence becomes a prerequisite for them. As a Cofounder, I not only lead global marketing and operations in Fuzia but also drive and mentor my team in cross-culture environments. I strongly believe in gender equality and that women are the largest reservoir of untapped talent. Reaching out to every single woman who shares the idea of empowerment is long due and I struggle each day to make what I think a reality. Through Fuzia, I wish to positively impact and see a world where women can come together globally and help each other grow, live their passions, pursue their dreams and build their own identity- thereby driving Gender Equality, Feminism & Empowerment. Fuzia is a one of its kind online social media platform for women and girls to encourage and empower each other through the power of creative expressions. It utilizes the power of the internet and gives them a stage to showcase their voice in an environment filled with creativity, inspiration, collaboration, compassion and empathy. In a span of 8 years, Fuzia has garnered support of thousands of creative women and influenced more than 5 million followers globally. I strongly believe that being a woman is a superpower in itself and henceforth, I believe in encouraging other women to become their own inspiration. I am a thrill seeker, an avid traveler and an admirer of impactful quotes, with a vision to translate ideas into tangible results and creative initiatives.
Tell our readers about your achievements till today.
Fuzia has been featured by various esteem platforms, such as Riya Sinha (Founder) has been awarded the “Iconic Teen Entrepreneur and Innovator” at Women Economic Forum and has also been invited to TED Sonoma County, where she shared her story and called out for women to believe in themselves and achieve their dreams. Moreover, Shraddha Varma (Co-Founder) received the “Young leader creating a better world” award in 2018. It has also been featured in various esteemed publications such as the Forbes, Hindustan Times, Inter Press Service by the United Nations and Many more. Our biggest achievement till date has been that we have proudly grown into a strong community, bonded with a sense of mutual admiration, support, meaningful friendships and respect. We take pride in the fact that through our learning and Fuzia talent initiative, we have helped hundreds of people to hone their skills and also get financially independent by providing them freelancing and internship opportunities for their skills. To mention a few: Ira Gore, Content Intern, Fuzia “Working as a content writer at Fuzia for a year now, I feel the growth in me as a writer with each passing day. It’s incredibly great of Fuzia to offer such remote opportunities to students and individuals, who can work and learn outside their classrooms and homes, by staying indoors!’ Sarita Das, Website Member, Fuzia “I’m a passionate art and music lover. I love making diverse videos for the company. Fuzia helped me join in as a website and Relation member and now I contribute the best of my talent”. Humaira Ferdous, Fuzia “I believe that the more you praise and celebrate life, the more there is in life to celebrate. Fuzia helped me celebrate life to the fullest. I work here as a Graphic Designer now, but it feels like only yesterday when I couldn’t even think of being at this pedestal.
Tell us about your start-up!
Fuzia is a platform open to every individual, both men and women who support the cause of women empowerment, feminism, equality and mutual support/upliftment. We believe in “she for she” and “he for she” and also consider the fact that true ‘Empowerment’ is incomplete without men supporting it. Moreover, we deem that an empowered woman is a happy woman. We support ‘Happiness’ through 6 key elements; garnering relationships and friendships, learning and education, engagement and activities, wellness, charity and giving back and financial independence. However, our goal is to empower women through providing a platform which lets them present their ideas and talent to the world. We seek to celebrate women and their creative zeal so that they can live their dreams. With the talent that many women come up with, we aspire to be of their economic benefit and then place the right skill at the right place. Our mission henceforth is to uplift fraternities through the power of our global community. Fuzia offers a lot of Skill Development opportunities to let you hone your talents and become a better version of yourself each day through learning and education, engagement and activities.
a) Live Sessions: We bring to you experts and famous industry figures through the regular live sessions wherein these experts share their knowledge, tips and thought leadership.
b) Campaigns/Contests: We engage our members by hosting a diverse range of campaigns and contents to uplift their confidence and perform better tasks. It is a way to let them explore their creative niche.
c) Fuzia Talent is Fuzia’s initiative to allow talented members to get opportunities to earn through suitable work assignments, internships and projects, thereby making them economically empowered too. While we continue doing our bit to empower Future Women Leaders, we also intend to do well for society by donating 5% of our revenue from projects towards the cause of upliftment and empowerment of women.
d) Humans of Fuzia is a dedicated section to showcase the inspiring journeys of women from all over the world.
e) Fuzia.org is a Social Activism platform to enhance Fuzia’s vision to empower, educate and uplift women globally. It is a platform for local organisations and NGOs working towards causes related to education, women empowerment, upliftment of the unprivileged, women’s health, acid attack victims, rape victims, betterment of the transgender community and a lot more.
f) Learning & Education within Fuzia is an inclusive global learning community to encourage and nurture women to become future leaders by providing opportunities to learn, grow, and get mentored by experts around the world.
g) Fuzia Wellness is a online one-stop platform for all wellness-related requirements of women. Fuzia doesn’t end here! It is an ever-growing platform with millions of dreams, all uniting to one sole goal, women empowerment. Happy be she, who wants to be!
What’s the most important thing you’re working on right now, and how are you making it happen?
During these tough times of a pandemic-stricken world, we are currently working towards helping various NGOs by collaborating with them in-order to raise funds for organizing oxygen and daily meals for Covid patients in India. We are organizing various activities for our members to raise funds. Recently, we organized the biggest activity for our members, the ‘Art Contest for a Cause’ with a New Delhi based NGO to raise funds for a Covid Relief Project. The fundraiser initiative was aimed at serving 3 meals a day to 1,950 homeless and daily wagers (5,850 meals/day) and distributing daily ration kits to 3,050 at-risk families affected by the lockdown. We even tried our best to motivate our members by organizing campaigns and contests such as, ‘Fuzia Fighters’, which was a creative awareness drive by us. In this, the members got to design a mask and showcase their style, and we donated masks to the needy with each entry/ post on the platform. Moreover, in 2020 during the first wave of Covid’19, we introduced 2 main platforms for our members. One is Fuzia Wellness, which is a one-stop platform for all wellness-related requirements of women as especially during these tough times we need to connect with doctors for mental well being as well. Another is the Learning and Education section within Fuzia, which is an inclusive global learning community to encourage and nurture women to become future leaders by providing opportunities to learn, grow, and get mentored by experts around the world. We organize live sessions, webinars, online learning activities for our members to learn and grow and still be at the comfort of their homes. The Fuzia family has been constantly working towards standing with each and everyone in need for a better tomorrow!
What’s your take on your segmented/targeted Market?
We’ve always believed, or rather, have come to believe over the years that in the marketing world, even the most effective campaigns or initiatives would not reach everybody and, that’s understandable. That is where we have to bifurcate between our various segments of audiences and who will benefit from what that we have to offer. One significant effort for our targeted market is to make sure to put our ears to the ground and listen to what people are saying. Listening to what people are saying on social media helps you know their needs, frustrations, fears, goals, and desires, helping you understand what makes them engage with you. Besides, you get to understand their values by knowing what makes them come to you and the concerns they have concerning your products and services. Moreover, we’ve also observed that not everyone in our target market on social media prefers reading every single content that is being shared. Some are constantly on the move, so we prefer to be on the move as well by trying different ways to reach out to them and thus, are able to walk along with them!
What are the challenges you have faced and what are the current challenges?
Mention the top three challenges for both. Challenges faced in the past:
1. Lack of experience, immediate resources and understanding about the social media industry
2. Riya Sinha, the Co- Founder faced the challenge of lack of time, mainly because she has her college to attend, assignments to work on, projects to submit and what not. She couldn’t dedicate enough time.
3. Lack of knowledge about the technicalities while building a team. Challenges faced currently: Being into the social media industry, we are always dealing with an ocean of everyday challenges and increasing competitiveness.
So, it has always been a challenge for us to sustain. We just never gave up all these years. We have constantly improved and improvised our efforts in terms of our product and activities. Also, member relations helped us garner love and support of millions. Listening to our users helped us a lot. Be it a positive feedback or criticism, they all were important and we heard them for future growth and improvement.
Why have you started up?
Fuzia was started to empower women through providing a platform which lets them present their ideas and talent to the world. We seek to celebrate women and their creative zeal so that they can live their dreams. With the talent that many women come up with, we aspire to be of their economic benefit and then place the right skill at the right place. Our mission henceforth is to uplift fraternities through the power of our global community. We at Fuzia have built a solid global community that encourages the fusion of culture and ideas. Around the world, we see women suppressing their creative selves. They have been seen to have a lack of knowledge on how to bring their talents to use. Our vision is to make sure that the creativity of our audience is built to the core and no talent goes in vain. We not only seek to find talent, but also build a learning and education platform to nurture it through live sessions, campaigns, online learning, webinars, workshops, experiential learning and contests. These initiatives help our audience develop their skills and grow enormously. As a group of individuals, we look ahead to attaining pillars of creative empowerment, community growth, individual strength and artistic magnification. We aspire to establish a space for women where they can express themselves with true liberty. We believe that a society where women are strengthened is an empowered society in reality.
Where do you want to see yourself in the next 5 years?
We see ourselves to expand further so that the creativity of our audience is built to the core and no talent goes in vain. We at Fuzia believe to not only find talent, but also expand our learning and education platform through more live sessions, campaigns, online learning, webinars, workshops, experiential learning and contests. These initiatives have helped our audience develop their skills and grow enormously. Moreover, as a group of individuals who look forward step by step towards attaining pillars of creative empowerment, community growth, individual strength and artistic magnification, we aspire to establish a space for women where they can be free from their own little cages and express themselves with true liberty. This space extends its hands through our wide world and believes in the strength of young minds! We believe that a society where women are strengthened is a society empowered in reality. When we talk of our long-term plan in terms of empowering women, we see ourselves delved in the ocean of not only finding out talent, but nurturing it through live sessions, campaigns, online learning, webinars, workshops, experiential learning, contests and so on. These initiatives help women develop their skills and grow enormously. This talent is then showcased in every possible way through our website and various social media platforms. With the talent that many women come up with, we aspire to be of their economic benefit and opportunity through various ways. We then aim to place the right skill at the right place, which benefits both, the company and its users economically.
Please share your learning for fellow Entrepreneurs.
Over the years, I have learnt that it is best to follow your dreams and have a positive attitude in life to achieve them. I know how the world operates against you and the difficulties you have to go through, but one must not stop believing in their individuality and the strength that comes along with it. Look forward, step by step and attain your goals through the pillars of true liberty. Be empowered and empower others through your skills. Do not forget to put your passion on your shoulders and be translucent about your goals and its implementation. While selecting a business, keep in mind to take up one that you not only love, but have a fair idea about. Research about it well, assess your finances, write your business plan, assess the market and consult with professionals before you embark on your journey. Most importantly, don’t lose hope. Because keeping hope is always a good thing!