A Goddess is a woman who rises above all barriers and creates her destiny through her own iron will. On this Navaratri, Cachar Chronicles introduces you to one such phenomenal woman who through her sheer dedication and discipline has broken all the shackles and at a very young age has not just made a name for herself in the entrepreneurial world but is also actively working for the betterment of the society. This is the story of Rajashree Goswami, co-founder of ‘The Voxpop Daily’ and ‘The Chocolate Room’, Tezpur.
Born and brought up at Rangamati, a small village near Tezpur, Rajashree has always been inclined towards community service from a young impressionable age. She received her primary education from her village and moved to Tezpur for higher studies. She is a post-graduate in Mass Communication and an alumna of Tezpur University. From the academic days, she has been associated with several voluntary and social works, interned with many esteemed organisations like Centre for Women Studies and even worked with the Adivasi community for a while. .
In a conversation with Cachar Chronicles, Rajashree Goswami shared some of the defining moments about her journey so far.
“Since childhood, I was determined about doing something out of the ordinary, to contribute to the society. Even my parents and my sister are no different. My father has always taught us to be independent, to have a voice and identity of our own. Though my family was deeply sceptical about my work initially but subsequently started acknowledging it and now earnestly appreciate my work.”
After moving to Tezpur for pursuing higher studies, Rajashree faced severe anxiety and was undergoing turmoil in her personal life. It was in those darkest of times when she found her hope and solace in writing. As an introvert, it became easier for her to express herself better through her writings. Soon she interned with some reputed organisations like PAJRA and others which helped her in understanding the basics and importance of professional writing. She also did a course on technical writing from Tezpur University which gave her a lot of insight into corporate writing. In her words, it was a transition from personal writing to professional writing. It was during her post-graduation days when she and her friends initiated a movement called ‘WE DO’, where they organised numerous awareness and legal camps for the marginalised class, especially for women to aware them about social evils and issues. All these experience and courses eventually helped her in founding The Voxpop Daily of which she is the co-founder along with her partner, Anup Sinha.
The journey of Voxpop Daily started in the year 2017. During the community service days, Rajashree recognized the potential among the young minds and wanted to provide them a digital platform where they could showcase their talents and at the same time, contribute something positive. Following this, soon they started two sections on their website, ‘Youngistan’ and ‘Cover Story’. While Youngistan is a digital space dedicated to the youngsters, Cover Story is a section where start-ups are featured and promoted. The content section is looked after by her while her co-founder looks after the technicalities. Alongside, they also publish news on their website. Soon they got their big break and subsequently started adding more sections like content writing and academic writing. At present, they are also into web designing and app developing(both Android and Ios) as well. A dream project of two friends progressively became a ‘learning and earning’ forum for many.
“During my M.Phil days at Assam University, I took a part-time job on content writing and researched more about it. I wanted to create a culture where students could learn and earn at the same time which was amiss here. So, here at Voxpop we have introduced paid internships for students. We train them about content writing, app designing and related stuffs and let them explore and contribute concomitantly. We also have the work from home concept so that it becomes feasible to all those interested in working with us.”
Talking about her co-founder and friend, Anup Sinha, who hails from Masimpur, Goswami told that they have known each other since their post-graduation days as Anup, too, was a part of ‘WE DO’. They have been great friends thenceforth and shares great camaraderie. Sinha holds a post-graduate degree in Masters’ of Computer Applications and has worked as a part-time Computer teacher at Gurucharan College for a brief period. Being a techno-geek, he has an in-depth knowledge of the same. She further added that he is a great partner to work with and together they have been trying to create gender equality in their workplace.
The pleasant experience from Voxpop Daily gave them the propulsion and they headed out to start another joint venture. On November 29, 2019, theystarted The Chocolate Room in Tezpur.
“We had actually visited The Chocolate Room at Silchar a few years back and that was when the idea of starting something similar in Tezpur occurred to us. Tezpur, at that time did not have any such cafes. Since Voxpop Daily was generating good revenue, we decided to materialize this plan at the earliest.”
Immediately they approached The Chocolate Room, India with their proposal and got its approval. Goswami gleefully informed us that at present, they are the youngest franchise owners of The Chocolate Room in India.
No success becomes complete without the failure and breakdowns that precedes it. Rajashree Goswami, too, had such moments. But the relentless efforts and unconditional support from her family and friend circle made all the differences.
“Entrepreneurship is a risky job in itself and when a woman is involved in it, people tend to believe you less. Your gender gets more importance than your vision. When we had started both the projects, people did not seem to have much faith in us.”
But all the negative comments and online bullying could not deter her courage nor change her mind. Despite all the negative comments that comes her way, she is going strong in the direction of her dreams, voicing her opinions and making her presence felt.
When asked about her future plans and projects, she informed that Voxpop Daily is soon coming up with free coding lessons. They are trying to build a platform specifically for the women and young entrepreneurs. Being a survivor of anxiety issues, she gives priority to mental health and wants to do something for the masses in this regard too. Additionally, she and her team at Voxpop Daily is trying to make a network for all entrepreneurs, an umbrella under which they can learn, share their problems and grow together. Even during the whole lockdown phase, the mental and financial well-being of both the teams were taken care of.
Empathetic, passionate and disciplined, Rajashree Goswami is truly a force to be reckoned with. A woman, who through her matured understanding, not only creating opportunities for herself but others as well and at the same time, through her magical ways, creating a perfect gender equal ambience in her workplace. Her story inspires us to never lose faith in our vision, no matter how absurd it may seem to others. A little effort and courage in the right direction along with the support from the loved ones goes a much longer way than expected. Cachar Chronicles wishes her and her entire team of Voxpop Daily and The Chocolate Room all the heartiest wishes.