In letter and spirit

Startup saga

In letter and spirit

Ranjeet Pratap Singh, hailing from a small village in Rai Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh,  has been a voracious reader since the age of 10 and read over 100 books a year — novels, magazines, comics and storybooks in Hindi.

When he started with his engineering course, he shifted to books in English since material in Hindi generally wasn’t available online and offline. All this while, he felt a void and would tell his friends that one should be able to read in a language of their choice. Little did he know then that he would later create a platform for many struggling with English and wishing to read and write in a language they connected with.

Two years back, he left his secure, well-paying job, as the young man felt he was too young to be so comfortable and needed to push himself, learn and grow. “I decided to quit the corporate sector and was wondering which direction I should head in when my friends came forward with their suggestion. They encouraged me saying that I’ve been talking about material not being available in different languages and should do something to tackle the problem,” says Ranjeet.

That’s when ‘Pratilipi’ was born. A Sanskrit word, it means ‘you become what you read’. And that’s the very premise on which it was founded by Ranjeet and his partners Prashant Gupta, Rahul Ranjan, Sankaranarayanan Devarajan and Sahradayi Modi.
The creative, self-publishing platform offers people an opportunity to publish their own content, be it stories, poems, books or essays, and also read different content. “When we started, we had material in only two languages — Hindi and Gujarati. Now, we have grown to include eight languages, namely Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. We have around 6,000 writers now and about 1 million readers every month. All one needs to do is register on the website and savour the joy of reading and writing without any constraints.”

The platform also has works by popular writers and even award-winning ones apart from those by amateur writers. “We plan to launch an Android app next month and also a feature to interact with your favourite authors,” says Ranjeet.
Who says then language is a barrier?

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