How Upasana Makati is Bringing Words Closer to the Visually Handicapped
In a country where the visually handicapped have almost no access to books, it was a herculean task for Makati to start India's first lifestyle magazine in Braille. “It was on a quiet night when I randomly wondered about what the visually impaired started their day with. When I couldn't find an answer to it, I was taken aback,” says Makati. After a month-long research, in her words, she reached nowhere. Having understood the gap, she quit her job to start White Print in 2012.
Makati collaborated with the National Association for the Blind in Mumbai, who agreed to help her with the publishing process and offered their technical know-how, including Braille printing. Through the organization, she met few visually impaired people, “Having met them, I got more enthusiastic about working towards this sector,” she says adding, “No matter how dependent we get on technology, the pleasure of physically holding and reading a newspaper, magazine or a book cannot be replaced.” However, from the day-one, she wanted to build a business model around it making sure that it is not perceived as a charitable organization.
“For us, our readers have been the biggest source of motivation. Each day is a new challenge but their positive feedback and liking for the magazine just makes the journey so beautiful,” she adds.
(This article was first published in the March issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)