Nishtha Yogesh, Founder & CEO, Hunar Online Courses realised the glaring gap in financial equality for men and women early on in life. A chartered accountant by profession, Yogesh worked at KPMG’s audit division for three years, and it was during this time that her mother would teach fashion design to women.
“I observed that a number of women who walked through her doors to learn a skill, went back completely transformed. I would see so many homemakers, who had come in, start their own boutiques after the course. I always wondered if it was possible for us to take this opportunity ahead to more people across the country, and that’s where the online education piece really worked,” adds Yogesh.
Today, Hunar Online offers 30+ plus online courses to empower women across the country by helping them learn new skills and become financially independent. Some of their most popular design courses include garment making, fashion illustration, fashion styling, embroidery, fabric designing, bag making, home decor, jewellery designing and boutique management that cater to the creative side of every individual and help them grow.
“We decided to record all the video content and build out content in a manner that is more digestible for an online education format. You can also learn the course in a language of your choice - all the content is available in English, Hindi, Telugu, and some courses are available in Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi and Punjabi. We built out these courses to help women conveniently learn from home,” informs Yogesh, adding that it took her a year-and-a-half to build her course content.
They have more than 10,000 students learning on their platform today.
Although there are 200 million literate women in urban India, Yogesh says 148 million are not employed or studying, largely because of family and household responsibilities.
“This is largely the homemaker segment whose job is thankless and definitely unpaid. But it’s an audience, often forgotten, that has great desires and aspirations. There are so many people out there who are working on educating the youth, upskilling working professionals, educating underprivileged segments, but nothing for the homemaker segment. That being said, we are not restricted to homemakers. 40 percent of our segment is the student and working professional segment; the homemaker segment was almost waiting for someone to help them learn or reskill,” explains Yogesh.
Majority of the team members at Hunar are women who are collectively working towards a common goal of empowering their community.
(Interviewed by Geetika Sachdev and produced by Poorvi Gupta)