Nikunj Mehta, a 20 year old boy is pursuing a degree in Commerce from Hinduja College, Mumbai. He is Workaholic, Budding Entrepreneur and a socialite. Born and brought up in the buzzing city of Bombay, he has learnt from childhood that unrelenting hard-work is the key for success in the ‘City of Dreams’.
He is following his passion which turned into a business endeavour – Rawdust.
His philosophy is simple- Morning meetings and late night parties. He enjoys socializing and meeting new faces, which falls in line with his entrepreneurial endeavours.
Q1) How did the idea of the magazine come to your mind?
It all started with an advertizing internship at moneycontrol.com which introduced me to the world of digital marketing and clientele building. Having picked up the advertising know-how, I decided to capitalize on my idea of Rawdust- by making a space where like-minded young entrepreneurs could connect and network.
You see, all my life I perceived myself as a jack of all trades-master of none. I had no discerning talent to make me stand out, but what I did have- was the art of uncovering people and their stories. So I put my passion to the test and began a youth oriented magazine named Rawdust in Bombay. The magazine was a feature of young talent across India- voices that needed to be heard. Rawdust has grown into more than digital pages across a screen- apart from putting out Rawdust magazines in Mumbai and Hyderabad. I also organize events and activities- where bloggers, dancers, business entrepreneurs, artists and musicians all come together to create a night to remember!
Q2) Tell us about your magazine?
Simply Put: It is a platform “for the youth by the youth”. Yes, Rawdust helps entrepreneurs, artists and bloggers promote their businesses, but more than that it has grown into a ‘pool of passion’ – filled with stories of hard work, hustle and success. Youngsters take to the magazine to tell their stories of struggles, share their hopes and dreams and promote their pages. Rawdust also holds youth fests and has recently opened a “youth club” allowing dynamic youngsters to get together and network/socialize.
Q3) Tell us what is the basic theme about this project?
Having struggled to carve out my own space in the business world myself, I am understanding and empathetic to the struggle of young entrepreneurs to come up. Hence, I would like to give them the opportunities and promotion I would have, to be grateful for during my struggle as an entrepreneur.
Q4) It got popular and successful very soon, how do you feel?
Quite frankly I don’t think the feeling ever sinks in. It all feels so surreal to begin with! I went from being that shy boy without a voice; to not only find my own voice but also creating a network that gives a voice to countless others out there. The fact that I have now been invited 2 times, to judge college fests events at Sydenam College and KC College which is a huge achievement for me, and I try to find immense joy in these moments.
Q5) Were you apprehensive before venturing or starting this project?
Well of course when you set your mind to anything, there is always a sense of self doubt and a fear of failure. For me, I was clear that I was in it, not to win it, but to create something that mattered. To make a difference. I shirked my fear and put everything into my dream- blood, sweat and tears- and the outcome was incredible. The motto I live by is simple but impactful: “If you want to be the sun, first you must burn like the sun”. To me executing the idea was the big challenge- finding valuable input and insight, networking and putting Rawdust on the map.
Q6) Who is the main propelling force behind this project or who do you credit your success to?
I would never have made it this far without the support, love and prayers of my family and friends. My mom has been a huge driving force, and I strive to live a simplistic impactful life like she does. I would like to credit my success to the young naive awkward teenager who had the drive to turn his dreams to reality- myself. If I could face the younger me today, I would thank him for pulling through the rock-bottom phase of his life and pulling himself together to grow into the person I am today. Lastly, I would thank all the people who were skeptical of my success and told me I would never amount to anything-they only ignited my thirst for success.
Q7) Being a college student, how do you manage your regime as you work on your academics and on this magazine simultaneously?
As all the youngsters out there can relate- the life of the student is exhausting! Juggling studies and parties- the academic and the enjoyment! Now add a whole business Endeavour to it- not a dull day in my life! While the struggle can be emotionally draining I have mastered the art of multitasking and prioritizing.
Q8) Where do you see yourself with “Rawdust” say after five years?
Five years ago I couldn’t even envision myself being where I am today. Similarly, I don’t know where I’ll be in another five years but the journey getting there will be an incredible one! On the Personal front- I hope to see myself cruising along the roads of Bombay in a beautiful Aston Martin. That will be the day I have finally made it! As for Rawdust, what started out with just an idea and it has now expanded, and Club-Rawdust has 550 members! The growth has been phenomenal, and I am so grateful for the response and the Director of the club – Ankita Desai and Core Team of Club Rawdust to make my Rough Idea turn into Reality. As for my dreams and plans for the future of Rawdust-well a businessmen never spills his secrets! Guess you’ll have to stay tuned to find out! One thing is for sure- big things are just around the corner. I promise to delve deeper and finding exciting, enjoyable and awe-inspiring content and entertaining events for our readers & members out there.