Priya Arun is a mompreneur and founder of Kathapriya. She is a full time corporate employee and also a professional story teller. Today, she is a woman entrepreneur who travels a lot to various cities to conduct story telling workshops for kids, parents and teachers. Her speciality is that, she makes learning PCB an easy process through her stories for class 10, 11 & 12 students from goverment schools. Priya shares with WomenpreneursOfIndia – WOI about her journey.
Once you have an idea, implement it immediately – do not wait for the right time as there is nothing like that in real!
I grew up in various states of India – Thanks to my father’s frequent transfers in job… This almost trained me to quickly interact with new set of people in schools and societies where we moved. I love being with people and storytelling gives me immense opportunity to do that. Stories have been part of my life from very young age. My maternal grandfather has told me stories of all genres and he made me a good listener too. The thirst to tell what I listened was always there and it’s no surprise that it’s my passion today.
Before starting Kathapriya, I was a corporate employee. A work that demands you to be more systematic than creative. The lack of human contact and excessive machine contact was kind of overwhelming and I wanted to let myself search what suits me. That was exactly the time when my daughter showed great interest to stories and I decided to be the whole time storyteller for her. She slowly brought in her friends canvassing that they can listen to tall tales from her mom. Slowly the number of children increased and I found myself more comfortable and happy when I am with people. After two strong years of practicing storytelling in various free spaces like apartments, orphanages and government schools Kathapriya was born on 8th March 2017! This made it easy for people to find me, call me again and refer me. From then on, there is no looking back…!
Now stories are so much into me – I write stories for grade 11 and 12 – Physics, chemistry, Biology, and our next project is to make learning easier for the technical certifications through stories which are our unique stand other than the regular storytelling with children and workshops with parents and teachers.
The one biggest challenge we see is to convince the top schools to trust the idea of storytelling for higher secondary students. There is a myth that the students of grade 11 and 12 are meant to be serious all the time and slightly easing their stress and letting them enjoy the learning process is risky which is totally wrong. We have seen the children learn with so much fun and score well by learning the important subjects through stories.
In our case – The first biggest workshop with children was on February 10th of 2017. I made a very little money through storytelling on that day; however I was shocked to realize that I have made it through my passion. When I reached home after the session, I was quietly lying on the couch for an hour and letting myself believe that I made it. I slept well that night.
As we work with children, the appreciation and feedback is instant. And in a way that is the boost that keeps my passion addictive. The sweetest one was when all the students of grade 11 didn’t want me to leave after the workshop and they came personally to me to ensure that I come back with more stories for difficult chapters and save them from exam scores. It made me realize how important this work is.
My biggest support is my family. My husband, besides his highly demanding work schedule ensures to drive me to the workshops. We stay in Bangalore and most of educational workshops are hosted in Salem, Tiruchencode, Namakkal, Rasipuram and Coimbatore areas of Tamilnadu. We would get up at 3 am and start our car drive at 4am from our home. Not even a single time, he has let me go on my own through public transports. If I was him, I would have not been this good …! And my daughter – This little girl is my first audience for all kind of stories – be it stories for children, higher secondary or corporate technical certifications. She listens with enthusiasm, shares genuine feedback and motivates thoroughly. Coming to my parents, brother and sister – every time I have tight schedule, They so much voluntarily pick my daughter to their home and give me the freedom to travel enough. All this love and care sometimes keeps me worried on how would I be enough helpful to them when they need. All of the love is so unconditional!
There are learnings throughout the journey. Every step tells you something. It’s just that we need to keep our mind open for a change and accept the process. The feeling of being an entrepreneur is so exciting. The ideas that are thrown suddenly from your mind will definitely surprise you. The one thing I still struggle is – managing the finance / accounts. I have always had a phobia with numbers!
I have a wonderful team working with me for the ‘PCB through stories for grade 11 and 12’. All of them joined me as a volunteer. Everyone is highly educated and agreed to work only for the thrill of learning and bringing up something new for the society. I can’t thank them enough and they are truly a blessing! – says Priya.
Thankyou Priya. Beyond being an amazing story teller you seem to be an inspiring womenpreneur focusing on your service value over profits. WOI wishes you all the best for your future endeavours. Keep Inspiring!
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