What defines you? What are you like? What are your dreams, aspirations?
Happy-go-lucky, Enthusiastic and with a head full of big dreams…
Dreams to make this Library available to everyone, to see our kids reading books with more passion… to see our presence in offices and schools.
Our vision is to give a book in every hand.
Tell us something about your childhood and growing up years, college days.
I grew up in a very small town in Uttar Pradesh, India. Even as a child I loved to read books & magazines, but the availability of books (especially children’s books) was almost zero. In fact, I never could get my hands on the famous ones like Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew, etc., until I left my hometown and went to bigger cities for higher studies.
This unsatiated hunger for books played a key role in me setting up my library. I never wanted other children to suffer on account of the lack of books like I did.
I am an HR professional and was employed in Delhi at the time of my marriage. However my husband was in US and I had to travel on H4 (dependent visa). So I had to quit my job to be with him. As I was not allowed to work on H4 Visa, I took up voluntary work in HR field in an American company, where they recognized and appreciated my work.
My return to India also saw the revival of my plans for library.
Any special achievements? Any memorable moments or incidents?
One of the most memorable ones was, when Sakal times mentioned our name in their article regarding books and reading habits. Sometime ago a blog writer from mycity4kids also mention and refer our name to Pune readers for a best library for kids and parents. And Sheroes also mentioned us in sheroes.in. We are taking baby steps towards our goal so every small success or moment is memorable for us.
How did the idea for an online library first come to you?
When we returned from US, my daughter was 1.5 yrs old and already hooked on to board books. We tried to search for good libraries, similar to the ones we get in US, without much success. We ended up buying most of the books for her, but costs were very high and sometimes the titles we wanted were not available.
Around the same time, I wanted to resume my work. However, because of a young child at home I was reluctant to leave home. Several things clicked simultaneously… I saw my unfulfilled desire to read in my daughter, a career gap made the job search difficult, and being an MBA, I was bitten by the Entrepreneurship bug.
Belonging to family of avid readers (yes, my family also reads a lot), the idea of making quality books available easily to everyone was born.
We started operations with a children-focused library in September 2010. However, we noticed that several parents and even the elderly found it difficult to procure books / magazines of their choice. Thus was born the idea of a library for the whole family. We started website and operations of libraryonnet.com from our home in Feb 2012. Slowly, as business progressed, we started a checkout library…
As I said earlier as well, our objective with this initiative is to provide a book to every member of a family without them having to leave the comfort of their home.
How does the library work?
We are an online as well as offline library. People come and exchange their books and if they don’t want to step out of the comfort of their homes, they can order it online. For that we have our online portal with the name of www.libraryOnNet.com. For online ordering every user gets his user id and password. Once we get request, we deliver it on their designated day by our designated delivery fleets. There are no delivery charges for deliveries across Pune.
Was it easy/difficult to enter a rather male dominated field?
Being a female proprietor is not easy. Many prospective job seekers do not want to report to a female superior, or are under the wrong impression that just because I am a female, they can get by without doing any work. Getting and retaining good staff has been a big challenge.
Any painful incidents/experiences which made you stronger as a person?
Not exactly painful but yes in 2014 we made the decision to shut down the operation as it was quiet difficult to maintain operations because of some family commitments… but in those low times, our friends supported us and we got one partner in LON team.
Any career ups and downs you would like to share?
Everybody has ups and downs in career. So do I… but nothing which has left any long term impact on me.
What do your next five years look like?
We want to expand the availability of books though franchisees in other cities and corporate / schools tie-ups. We are also working on our Mobile App, which is under development and would finish very soon.
Any message for the readers of our blogazine?
Just aim the sky then only you will hit the mountains top.
Read a book everyday even if only a few pages… It will definitely add value in your life?
All the best to your blogazine…
Follow the links to know more about Libraryonnet.com
Please note: This interview was conducted online.
Interview Co-ordinated for IWI: Radhika Maira Tabrez, Associate Editor, IWI
To know more about Radhika visit our The Editors page.