Shradha Sharma: A Different Kind of Grit and Tenacity

Founder and CEO of YourStory, a digital-media platform for startups and entrepreneurs, Shradha Sharma is an inspiration for thousands of people across India.

We often tend to focus on the success of a person’s story but little does one know about the struggles and obstacles that they faced. We know about their triumphs but not about their journeys, which is why we fail to relate to their stories. Focusing on the journey behind success, a series of struggles that led to that triumph, Shradha Sharma founded YourStory, a digital-media platform for startups and entrepreneurs. Through her venture, she wrote stories behind the success inspiring millions of aspiring entrepreneurs across the country to start their ventures and enter the business world. 

Shradha Sharma’s Background

Born in a small town in Bihar, India, Shradha grew up in Patna. She pursued her bachelor’s and master’s degree in History from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and is a 2004 alumnus of MICA, Ahmedabad. She initially started working at The Times of India as a Brand Advisor followed by CNBC, Mumbai, as the Assistant Vice President. Through her experiences, she interacted with hundreds of entrepreneurs and discovered their untold stories which could instil hope in listeners. 

The Story behind YourStory

Failure is always a part and parcel of success, it is a stepping stone in your story, not the end of it. Shradha faced several rejections when she submitted her entrepreneur’s stories. But she never gave up or backed down. She realised that most success stories go unheard or untold, stories that could serve as an inspiration to many. She decided to create her own platform where she would share stories of entrepreneurs and the journey behind their success. YourStory, a media technology platform for entrepreneurs became a huge success. 

Shradha, like any other human, had her share of struggles too. When her mother passed away, her relatives belittled her and tried to make her quit YourStory. But for Shradha, the fact that every story she wrote inspired millions of readers kept her going. Of course, initially, several entrepreneurs who would agree for an interview with Shradha on CNBC would decline to come on board with YourStory as there was no brand name or title associated with it. However, Shradha strived and convinced several entrepreneurs to trust her and share their stories via YourStory. Gradually, YourStory transformed into a storytelling platform with the zeal of motivating and encouraging people. 

Bengaluru-based YourStory gets strong financial support from seed funders and marquee investors including Kalaari Capital, UC-RNT, 3one4 Capital, and Qualcomm Venture who have together contributed over $8.5 million in YourStory since 2015.

Network18 supported her and helped her understand the business aspects and procurement of funds. When Ratan Tata personally showed interest in YourStory, it became the turning point for the storytelling platform. Shradha also took YourStory beyond India in Germany. They also plan to publish stories in Hindi and other regional languages to expand their reach.

In 2018, the net worth of is pegged up at USD 437K, collecting traffic of about more than 1.1 Million users/month. It has over 140+ clients who became part of YourStory for its content. Since its launch in 2008, YourStory today has a team of 22 reporters and 15+ freelancers and has published nearly 72,000 articles, engaging over 10 million readers from all over the world and zones.

What can you learn from Shradha’s Story?

The path behind success is never an easy one. You will face several rejections and failures time and again but in the end what matters is how you take these failures and move ahead. Shradha never took her failure as the end of the world, she used them as a driving force to move forward with more passion and determination. Her non-stop perseverance led her to be included in the list of the worlds’ Top 500 LinkedIn influencers. She has been called the biggest storyteller of India’s digital space on Chai with Lakshmi. The Hindu wrote about her as one who has shattered the glass ceiling. She won the Villgro Journalist of the Year Award in 2010 for her coverage of startups. In 2015, she won the L’Oreal Paris Femina Award’ for online influence followed by PAT Memorial Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2016. She started YourStory from nothing and today she is the Founder-CEO of one of the country’s most viewed digital storytelling platforms. Remember, failure is a part of success. Keep failing, keep learning. Never stop trying, you might fail a hundred times but success comes to those who try. You are the writer of your own story, make sure the ink keeps flowing. 

Smruthi Krishnan
Smruthi Krishnan
Smruthi interviews and writes on inspiring entrepreneurs and the success stories of start-ups. She is currently pursuing Economics major from Delhi University.

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