Being an entrepreneur and a social activist Punyasloka Panda always contributes to the betterment of society. An undergraduate in Economics and Entrepreneurship from Ashoka University, Punnyasloka also has an experience of International Business Studies from Kings’ College, London. He is certified to be a career counsellor and a career coach by iDreamCareer and Mindler. Currently serving as the Lead Coordinator for Youth for Sustainability India he is an SDG professional and youth activist for Environment. His startup Blueyard helps students across all ages in aligning their interests with their academics to find the best of their careers. We had a detailed conversation with Punyasloka Panda, here are the excerpts,
1- What inspired you to found Blueyard ?
I have been part of the education sector from birth itself. Born to parents who are teachers, I could know the system from within. There is a need of serious transformation the way we teach and study. Everything in India today boils down to marks scored in the last few hours of their entire academic year – exams. Class participation, field trips, seminars, creative thinking and many other things take a back seat. The inspiration behind Blueyard was to find a solution which has the same incentive – marks but allows children to get holistic learning. The new education policy that has been proposed is the biggest validation that Blueyard is the future of education in this country.
2- As the lead coordinator of YFS, what are your big achievements ?
I play multiple hats and one of them is as the Lead Coordinator for Youth for Sustainability. The journey has been more exciting and successful than I ever expected since it’s launch. But I believe success is journey and we should strive for more. We have fundraised 1.5 lakhs in the first two weeks of lockdown, probably one of the very first organisations to do so. Despite the pandemic, we have reached out to the villages and helped them, planted over 100 trees in just 10 months time. The scale has been huge. From 6-180 members, from 1 city to 6 in a span of 200 odd days is staggering. 75 percent of the global workforce will work in the field of Sustainable Development by 2025. So we represent the future. By 2022 I aim to make it a 1000 members strong organization.
3- Could you please share your experience of International Business studies from King’s college, London ?
London has left a very promising impact on my life. There is a lot to learn from the Britishers on how we can be humble and grounded. My month long stay and study at the King’s has helped me understand the basics of international businesses. The world is a global village and the needs are the same for all – food,shelter,water and education. These drive the secondary markets and the financial institutions. To be a successful entrepreneur, we need to understand the game from inside. Learning from the best at king’s has helped me a lot. Moreover, I have become a more confident traveler now. It was my first time outside India and it launched me into a world of exciting opportunities.
4- You’re working as a career counselor and a career coach, what made you to choose this ?
I am certified to help people in their career. In India we need 15 lakh more career counselors to reach a ratio of one counselor per 250 students. The denominator is very high. If we look at the Global Happiness Index, the youth in our country is very sad, depressed and confused. We rank high on suicide rates. A right career choice can solve many things. It has to be an intersection of passion, professional understanding, it should pay your bills and be a driver for your growth. There is a term for it – ikigai (it’s a Japanese word). I am enroute to provide all students and youth their ikigai.
5- What are your future plans to expand Blueyard ?
Blueyard can grow up to become India’s largest career counseling portal. We are exploring opportunities. We also aim to make Climate Education a thing in India for all schools. I am driven by purpose, hence I deliver value. We want to be known as a company that sticks to ethics. My students should feel proud about their choice of taking counseling services from it. We are working on tech portals. There is a need for tech intervention to meet the gap of career counselors. The progress is slow but it’s continuous.
6- what are your hobbies ?
I love playing football. I won’t say I am very good at it. But I make sure I don’t disappoint. I used to play guitar, but with time I have left. Traveling helps my soul. But the pandemic has stopped all plans. To be very honest, I am yet to explore what my hobbies are. It’s very late, but better late than never.