50 Days of Pratilipi!

Wow! Time really does fly, doesn’t it. It seems just a few days ago that five friends and their countless supporters came together to start their journey on a mission to make India well read again.

When we first bought our domain name, got a teaser video made, contacted 300+ authors in Hindi and Gujarati and told them of our dream and vision. We told them that we want everyone all over the world to have easy access to Indian language literature and they all came forward. They didn’t just give us their blessings and support, they also provided a large number of their stories, poems, articles and books for free, they handheld us while we tried to make it super easy for anyone to read their favourite literature, they provided us their valuable feedback, they promoted our venture like their own, many of them even referred us to their friends and family, shared our link enthusiastically on their own websites, blogs, Facebook wall and twitter feed. Many of them even offered to support us monetarily as they connected with our vision. We can never thank them enough for all their help and support.

It seems just a few days ago that our friends and countless strangers came together to help us succeed, many of them send us a part of their salary so that we don’t have to run behind investors, they helped us in validating our assumptions, provided honest and upfront feedback, acted as our copy-editors, designers, testers, brand evangelists and they connected us with countless others who helped us in various ways. A friend even pays our monthly rent and our bills J Thank you all, without you all we wouldn’t have been able to do even 10% of what we have been able to do in such a short time, we are deeply indebted to all of you.

It seems just a few days ago that all my co-founders left their well paying jobs, their awesome flats and weekend parties. They all agreed to work tirelessly without any monthly salary, without any realistic guaranty that we would be able to make this work, without having any break or even proper sleep. May be they joined because they didn’t realize that they would have to deal with such pressure from everyone, that they would have to deal with my tantrums, that they wouldn’t be able to go home, have parties or even watch movies. But they have held up well. They have worked harder and smarter than me and in such a short time achieved things that are inspiring.

This effort is not without rewards though. In 50 days we have around 8,000 readers and 220 authors with us, we are selected as one of the semi-finalists in IIT Mumbai global B-Plan event Eureka, we have been invited to present our work and our vision at various places, one of our books is being adapted into a movie, we are growing at a double digit rate every single week, we have published interviews with 24 authors and most importantly  we have been showered with much love(and much scrutiny) from our readers all over the world(About 25% of our readers are from outside India).

But we all realize that this is just a humble beginning, we all have our eyes on the horizon, a much bigger dream, a much bigger vision. I think Robert Frost sums it well:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Founder & CEO : Ranjeet Pratap Singh
                       www.pratilipi.com
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