Just a cursory glance of the under25 club website can leave one overwhelmed, and the founders Anto Philip and Shreyans Jain, both 20, react with surprise, every time they hear the stories of young ones, making a mark. Sample this: If you were to browse the website, the story of a 16-year-old from India who converts breath into speech: Arsh Shah Dilbagi, gets you curious. Then there’s Ruhaan Alva, all of nine, who’s making waves in the racing circuit internationally. The story of twins Tessa and Teena Vellara has clocked 10,000 views. At 22, Teena owns a fashion label, Tee-ara, and Tessa runs a bakery called Cuppycakes.
The under25 club features stories of entrepreneurs, innovators and change-makers from around the country, who are less than the age of 25. And, there’s certainly no dearth of these stories as a team of 12 has been curating stories across four categories - design, food, music and tech. There’s a fifth miscellaneous category too. Currently, 86 inspiring stories can be read online.
Start of the club
How the website, which has got 85,000 readers now, came into being is another story. The two Christ University graduates recount the journey with nostalgia. “In 2014, we organised a summit for under-25 entrepreneurs at U-25 Startups Summit. The idea was to bring all of them under one roof, allow them to share their ideas, also their frustration for not being taken seriously as they were under 25 years old, because they were still kids,” begins Philip, who started a custom-made wristbands venture called The Big Band Theory during his college days. So he knew what it meant to have a great idea, but had no guiding force.
He found company in his BBA batch mate Jain though. They followed it up with another summit this February. “The participation was beyond our expectation. This time, our event was supported by India’s biggest start-up festival, Construkt. We had to shut the doors to avoid any more walk-ins. That’s when it hit us that we were doing something big and we shouldn’t stop,” says Jain. The realisation took the shape of a website in June. That the two didn’t want 9-to-5 jobs was clear to them, much to the disappointment of their parents.
Now that their venture is no longer just an annual summit, the finance graduates are neck-deep in work - networking with industry experts, hiring a technical and editorial team, and working on three big plans. In October, they will launch the #IAm campaign, which will let every under-25 Indian tell their story. They have already started work for the summit in February 2016. Plans to curate under-25 stories from across the globe is another priority.