Interview with Shraddha Varma, Co-founder, Fuzia
Conceptualized by a 11-year old as a writing club, Fuzia is today a 35 member team with a vision of influencing and empowering women globally. We had a chat with Shraddha Varma, who joined in 2015 as the co-founder, who takes us through their exciting and inspiring journey. This is a Shepreneur who believed in virtual working well before it became the norm.
- Starting a platform that allows creative expression at such a young age is quite astonishing. How Did a Girl of 11 create a platform that empowered women creatively?
As a 11-year-old, Riya Sinha conceptualized Fuzia while studying in California. She would always rewrite endings of books when she wasn’t satisfied and with the help of a family friend, Riya wrote ‘Runaway Twins’, a book about a pair of twins solving a family mystery. Upon reading the book, a 6-year-old girl came up to her saying that she was inspired to write a book too and that made her realize her true calling and she wanted to influence all the girls and women around the world to get inspired by each other. Thus, in 2012 she started Fuzia as a Writing club, a platform meant for school girls to share their writings and essays. It is now fuzia.com, a venture that grew from 2 to 35 team members with the major vision of influencing and empowering creative females globally.
- How did you (Shraddha) join the venture after three years of its inception?
I joined in 2015. I believe in gender equality and also that women are the largest reservoir of untapped talent. Through Fuzia, I wish to positively impact and see a world where women can come together globally and help each other grow, live their passions, pursue their dreams and build their own identity- thereby driving Gender equality, Feminism & Empowerment. Fuzia is a perfect medium for me to do this and today, we are a community of 50k + active contributors and a network of 5million + supporters across Social Media globally.
- Tell us your journey from a two-member team to a 35-member one.
We have built Fuzia through the advent of virtual hiring and virtual working. Since the past 8 years, this has been our core model as we truly believed that ‘virtual working’ will be the future of work. We’re a team of 35 passionate people who work remotely from different parts of the world. In terms of collaborations, we communicate through slack. Also, we have monthly and quarterly calls to keep the team connected and aligned. Thus, with a huge remote working team, we are able to reach out to every woman and let them know that we’re with them in their struggle for recognition.
- How is Fuzia different from the other women-focused platforms out there?
Fuzia is a platform open to every individual, both men and women who support the cause of women empowerment, feminism, equality and mutual support/upliftment. Fuzia believes in “she for she” and “he for she” and also considers in the fact that true ‘Empowerment’ is incomplete without men supporting it.
Fuzia helps you boost your confidence and showcase your talent to the entire world and also provides you with online projects, free social media contests and opportunities matching your skills to grow economically.
We also raise awareness among our members or standing up for the social issues such as, LGBTQ community, gender inequality, black lives matter, domestic violence and many more through various campaigns and blogs. We also have other platforms like ‘Humans of Fuzia’, where we share inspiring stories of women and Fuzia Talents, where we showcase talents of women.
Also, being a creative talent pool with a network of millions of creative people, our forte is creative services such as digital marketing, content creation, graphic designing, software development and many more. Our member relations team tries to understand each member’s wants and needs by staying in direct contact with them.
- Why did you choose starting an online platform? What do you aim to achieve through this?
Back in the day, when I joined as Co-Founder of Fuzia, there were very few global online platforms focusing on women empowerment. Talents go unacknowledged; when you don’t get an appreciation for what you do and create your self-esteem gets battered! It must not be so as we live for our dreams and when dreams go unfulfilled people break down. We marshal various campaigns and contents where women participate globally, and the entries are studied thoroughly. Later, they are provided with training and career opportunities in areas of their interest and expertise.
Inspired by the words of Maya Angelou, “Each time a woman stands for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women”.
Being a global platform, we reach out to women users globally with a definitive aim, to make every individual inspire, educate, learn, grow, empower and uplift through each other. Moreover, we aspire of to make it a daily dose for the world to acknowledge women’s potential as future leaders in every walk of life. We thrive for making fun-damental rights available to women by creating a community that helps young women see their strengths, develop self-confidence, learn from their peers and become independent leaders.
- What, according to you, are the basics to start and sustain a business like this?
Ans. Ideally, the basics to start and sustain a business is to know how the world operates against you and the difficulties you have to go through, but do not stop believing in your individuality and the strength that comes along with it. Look forward, step by step and attain your goals through the pillars of true liberty. Be empowered and empower others through your skills. Do not forget to put your passion on your shoulders and be translucent about your goals and its implementation. While selecting a business, keep in mind to take up one that you not only love, but have a fair idea about. Research about it well, assess your finances, write your business plan, assess the market and consult with professionals before you embark on your journey.
- As independent as we women are, we all have our support system. Tell us about yours.
My family has been my biggest support system. I believe my family is my number one blessing in life! Over the years my family has truly helped me in my ups and downs, be it changing my field of work or starting a new project.
What Next for Fuzia?
Fuzia’s future growth plan remains to be as a group of individuals who step by step look ahead towards attaining pillars of creative empowerment, community growth, individual strength and artistic magnification. We aspire to establish a space for women where they can be free from their own little cages and express themselves with true liberty. This space extends its hands through our world-wide belief in the strength of young minds! We believe that a society where women are strengthened is an empowered society in reality.
When we talk of our long-term plan in terms of empowering women, we see ourselves delved in the ocean of not only finding out talent, but also nurturing it through live sessions, campaigns, online learning, webinars, workshops, experiential learning, contests and so on. These initiatives help women develop their skills and grow enormously