The world saw a great push for the digitalisation of services during the pandemic. In this period, people consumed a lot of online content during the pandemic, thus giving impetus to those creating content on social media. Supriya Paul, a co-founder and the CEO of Josh Talks, also preferred the digital-first approach during the period to push her online content business.
Josh Talks, very few know, was started as an offline platform by showcasing stories of relatable role models from the grassroots of India. It used to hold on-ground events during its initial days. However, it later focussed primarily on online platforms. Here’s its story.
Supriya Paul completed her B.Com Hons from Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi University. In 2014, when Supriya Paul was in her final year of college, she met her co-founder Shobhit Banga who was in his second year. Both of them used to discuss how the traditional education system did not equip young people to discover and unlock their inherent potential.
“We wanted to build a platform that would help the youth, particularly those living in Tier II cities and beyond, gain access to information and exposure that would help them make informed career choices. That’s where Josh Talks was born,” Supriya Paul told news18.com.
Paul set up Josh Talks in 2015 primarily as a platform to share stories of relatable role models who would inspire and inform the youth about various career choices. The platform has now evolved into an ecosystem of upskilling, counselling and learning.
Josh Talks presents success and relatable stories through social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, etc, to reach more and more people, especially the youth in Tier-2 and tier-3 cities. It started a Hindi YouTube channel in 2017.
Because of its hyperlocal reach, Josh Talks has now been engaging and collaborating with its partners to create campaigns that empower the Next Half Billion. It has partnered with organisations such as Omidyar Network India, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Meta, Educate Girls amongst others to co-create programs that align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
It has 19 active channels that provide content in 10 languages and categories such as Josh Talks Aasha (where we spotlight topics around women’s careers and health), Josh Talks Money (empowering audiences on how to manage money) amongst others.
Supriya said the content is currently viewed more than 180 million times every month with over 50 million unique monthly viewers. Over 72 per cent of this audience is from the 18-34 year age group and prefers consuming content in their native language.
Impacts Josh Talk Has Created
As Supriya shares: The platform as part of the ‘Mission Samarth’ campaign curated a story of a medical practitioner, Dr. Jay. He and his team have been working tirelessly to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) from Katihar, Bihar. One of Josh Talks’ biggest achievements in this campaign was when Dr. Jay informed us that after his talk, the coverage rate of the medicines in Katihar increased from 70 percent to 75 percent, which means 1,70,000 more people received preventive medication.
Additionally, under the ‘City Champions’ campaign, Josh Talks is working to reward and recognise urban change makers across the country.
Another Josh story is that of Amruta Soni, a transwoman who faced rejection when applying for a government job. However, after her story went viral through Josh Talks, she finally received the job she desired. Her story not only shed light on the challenges faced by transgender individuals in society but also showcased the power of advocacy in creating positive change.