When I spoke to Chetna, I just loved the way she talked and totally understood what educated women these days are facing…they know that they live in the digital age and hence struggle with the baggage of giving what is the best for their kid. Hence this supermom took the plunge to let everyone take an informed decision for their studies. Wanna know more…. So, here I am in conversation with Chetna Vasishth, Founder of the popular YouTube Channel, ChetChat.
So Chetna Tell us something about your background…
So…My dad was in Airforce and hence I grew up practically in every part of India. I was a basketball player during my growing up days and I have always loved sport and exercise and I was always a bright student to everyone told me to take up science…I decided to do that too and something made me pursue my BA in Economics…I did my post-graduate studies from XLRI, Jamshedpur and became a corporate banker. I worked with some of India’s largest MNC banks for the first ten years of my professional career.
So what changed…
The birth of my son saw me take a break from the corporate world. I then set up and ran a training company for the next 10 years. My firm trained bankers from more than 10 banks, both within India as well as overseas.
Wow, how did all this happen?
Along the way, I became convinced that I should reach out to youngsters not only when they are established in their careers but even earlier – as they are about to make the choices that would then define them for the next 10/15 years.
Setting up ChetChat, therefore, seemed to be a natural extension of my work, since the idea was to use my network to provide free videos for students across the world to help them make informed career choices.
Soon this spread and we were fortunate to meet with and interview some inspiring people who were leaders of their fields, celebrities, students, start-up founders and CEO’s
You just started?
Yes…We just started…I think every startup is born that way!!! We had one camera, no mics, and no lights, no idea about how to popularise the created content. We recorded in the outdoors and were stuck with crow sounds and traffic noises with absolutely no clue on how to deal with that. My husband has always helped me with the shoots and initially something would always go wrong on every shoot, either the sound was not syncing with the video, or the exposure levels were wrong, bad lighting or just too much ambient noise. There was this standing joke between us about ‘what is it going to be this time?”
So You changed your profession entirely?
Yes…I realized that parents are struggling with their children in terms of their career and education. Anybody cannot leave their career and research to figure out what your child should do. I was going to these classrooms and training 25-30 people, I wonder how can I reach out to more people. Everyone today is struggling and honestly, parents don’t know much about the new career options. Parents being parents they come under a lot of pressure especially peer pressure. Hence, they are too invested and end up taking the wrong decision.
How did the channel materialize?
Then I started the channel with the help of some suggestions that I got from a few people. Initially, the first 20 videos were just interviewing college student experiences. It all happened organically.
We did college experiences at Columbia, Harvard and more with an idea that if you tell students about your experiences, it will allow them to make an informed decision. From there I started taking a lot of requests as foreign education is just one piece and not many people go there as it’s expensive. Then I started focusing on Indian careers.
Then we went all over the place and covered every career like Environmental Biologist, How to become a Dancer, we interviewed RJ Siddharth from Big 92.7 FM on Radio Jockey as a career. We also interviewed a Scuba Diving instructor, I did a series on how to follow your passion, I have a whole series on it. We went to Virendra Sehwag International School where he trains students to become cricketers. We were invited there and we interviewed the Principal and other higher authorities. The video was beautiful and they showed us their amazing stadium and the kind of facilities they have arranged for the students. So I decided to show every facet to students who don’t know. I don’t want any child to feel that they want to do something in life but they don’t know how to go about it. Literally, all of this happened one after another.
What is your advice to all the moms who are not able to get back to their careers?
So, I don’t even know if I am in a position to give any advice on this. Each one has a different path, I know mothers who have full-time careers and they have beautiful children. It’s not like if you don’t spend every minute with your child something will go wrong. I know mothers who spend time with their children and also managing their careers and I also know mothers who don’t wish to do anything on the side but just pay attention to their children. That’s fine too. Only thing I feel is that don’t neglect yourself.
Do whatever you wish and whatever makes you happy. If you are really happy looking after your kid, do it. But if you feel at the bottom of your heart that you are missing out on something or feeling neglected as you are not able to go anywhere, then do whatever you want. There is no right time. Regardless of whether you are financially stable or not. It’s not about finances, it’s just your life, you need to be happy and only then will your child will be brought up well.
Part-time jobs are now easily available but getting it is difficult and if you are trying to grow a startup that’s all the more difficult. So yes, business is something that will take a lot of your time, it’s as good as a full-time job. A part-time job is anytime better. If someone really wants to manage well, they can.
I Hope you have enjoyed reading the interview as much as we have enjoyed crafting it.
Keep on rocking