From a moonlight entrepreneur to a full-time CEO, Astha’s remarkable journey with WrittenlyHub
Our magazine reviewed thousands of profiles from the business fraternity across India to select Astha Verma as one of the prolific CEOs featuring in this edition. She’s currently spearheading WrittenlyHub, an early-stage startup in the content marketing domain. This exclusive read is based on a freewheeling conversation with her via Google Meet where she has shared some phenomenal business insights to be conveyed to our global audience.
At just 23 years of age, Astha leads a team of 50 individuals—most of them in their early twenties. Three years ago, she would never have visualized herself becoming the phenomenal leader that she is today. Her story from there to here is just as extraordinarily remarkable.
Recalling the humble beginnings of her venture, she travels back to her engineering days in college. Surrounded by students stuck to the monotony of the curriculum, Astha possessed an untaught desire to never play by the rules. In her relentless effort to distance herself from the mainstream, she laid the foundation of what is today a flourishing content marketing venture.
Working alongside her partner, Saksham Gogia, she started writing content for clients in India and beyond. Back in college, the idea was perhaps just that—creating content!
But as times changed and content became the best thing since sliced bread in digital marketing, Astha dreamt of building her small team of writers into something bigger. She might not have known that this ‘something’ would one day blow up to this extent, but well, she says,
“We’ve never really settled for a particular milestone of success. We are simply fueled by it.”
Becoming a leader
As soon as college ended, writing content became more than just a side hustle. Astha started her job in an MNC and created a team of writers to sustain their growth. Balancing a corporate job and a thriving business idea was not a cakewalk for sure. But the responsibility of learning everything about running a business in such a short span proved to be even more complicated.
While one all-nighter followed another, as she attempted to navigate her way through this tender balance of responsibilities, she also sought answers to so many questions posed before her—what qualities she wants to gauge and imbibe in her team, what kind of clients she wants to be associated with, and what brand image she aspires to showcase the world. In pondering over these questions and finding the best solution, she gradually transformed herself into an inspiring leader.
But the ‘part’ that Astha particularly enjoyed amid all these challenges was the endearing excitement of building the groundwork of their company. Spurred by the enthusiasm of her dreams (and a few four-packs of Red Bull), she didn’t mind working over 16 hours every day. After all, her hard work translated into her greatest ambition—her own venture.
Setting the foundations
Even in the backdrop of the pandemic, Astha’s team scaled higher. The growth curve became steeper with every passing month. To the credit of this growth, she could envision a bigger picture for her small team—a promise of exponential progress in the future. Her foresightedness steered her to put this bigger picture together.
She settled the venture’s goal to give younger professionals like herself a chance to explore multiple domains and hone their skill-sets. Driven by this idea, she decided to create a culture imbued in dynamism and empathy that resonates with the young minds.
Together with constructing her team’s identity, she worked on their ultimate objective for her clientele—helping businesses leverage the online world. Alongside her partner, she worked with multiple clients to understand how the industry functions and to prove their mettle. With a strong portfolio under their name, Astha prepared herself to launch her venture.
In the entire journey of setting the foundations of this venture, Astha experienced the surreal feeling of giving tens of individuals the opportunity to launch or scale their careers.
Brimming with emotions and pride, she says,
“What began in college as something to sustain ourselves and do something different from the crowd eventually turned into an avenue to help others fulfill their dream”.
Hustling her way to success
In her journey as a moonlight entrepreneur turned CEO, Astha has broken as many stereotypes as they come. But one way in which she continues to defy the norms is through her hustle. In her stance against those who want to stick to a 9-to-5 routine, Astha is committed to her work through and through. She believes in the idea of ‘hustling’—doing what you love without any compromises!
It is perhaps Astha’s hustle, supported by her entire team, that has brought WrittenlyHub to where it is today.
One year since its registration, WrittenlyHub has now blossomed into a team of 50 associates, 4 departments, and a complete spectrum of services. They are a team of young professionals and therein lies the team’s strong suits. Driven by the creativity and finesse of their talented members, the company has positioned itself as a one-stop destination for content marketing needs.
In just a year since it became a private limited enterprise, the WrittenlyHub team has managed to knock tens of milestones off the park! From expanding its clientele across multiple demographics and services to building a robust community of writers and marketers, the company is among India’s leading content marketing start-ups today.
The company’s COO, Shreelekha Singh, highlights their biggest strength,
“No company values its team members just as much or even more than its clientele and that’s the most defining value with which WrittenlyHub sets itself apart from the crowd of companies out there.”
When asked about the future endeavors of WrittenlyHub from here, Astha shared that she looks at the company’s progress from the symbol of an infinity ladder. There is no ultimate destination or a final milestone that she wants to reach; there is only an upward trajectory of growth that never ends.
For the aspiring entrepreneurs
While she looks back at the three years of her life with a feeling of accomplishment, Astha is also filled with a sense of gratitude to the people around her. She believes she could tap into her entrepreneurial spirit and lead the team only because she enjoyed the unlimited support of her peers.
So, she wants to extend her support to the would-be entrepreneurs of tomorrow. The number one lesson in her journey was to find the balance between patience and hunger. While you certainly have to be hungry for success and carry within you this eagerness to progress, you have to also understand and accept your failures. Patience, she says, plays the most pivotal role on the path to excellence.
Another key piece of advice she conveys for the budding entrepreneurs is to build a team of individuals who supplement each other’s weaknesses. In all her modesty, she credits her team for the success she could achieve. She believes she couldn’t have scaled these heights of success without the support of her talented team. Seeking inspiration from her experiences, she stresses the importance of creating the right team with complementary strengths and weaknesses to pursue your dreams, concluded Astha while signing off.
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