Many at times it is misinterpreted that money is success and money is everything. But we forget that not every success story which inspires and motivates the rest is tied with finance. Rather good work which is followed by goodwill due to which they mark their success, to motivate and help the rest. This time we bring to you the story of Mr. Amrut Deshmukh, who decided that for his own good he needs to work for good.
Amrut is a social entrepreneur and is also famous for being known as the ‘Booklet guy’. He is on a mission to cultivate the habit of reading among the youth of India and Mr. Deshmukh has pinned the mission as “Mission- Make India Read”.
A few years ago, Amrut quit his lucrative chartered accountancy job as he had an ardent desire to start his start-up. But his first attempt for the start-up was a fail. He mustered all his passion and again went in to mark the initiation of another start-up. His second attempt came out to be a failure again. Even after two failed attempts, his passion and excitement for his start-up were still elevated. He assembled all his courage and aimed for his third attempt for the start-up. But all, to no avail. This was the third consecutive fail, again. He felt dispirited and disheartened as now he had “3 failed start-ups on LinkedIn profile and 1 failed relationship on Facebook”. After so many attempts with no outcome, he was feeling completely lost. He had now no clue where to proceed ahead and with what. Amrut recollected his elder brother’s words, “whenever you are stuck up with a question of what next, read random”.
Amrut started reading loads of books on creativity and innovation in order to prepare himself for his next start-up launch. While reading, he realized that many authors go to Ted Talks to speak about their book and so he started watching Ted Talks. There was on specific Ted Talk by American educator Mr. Salman Khan (founder of Khan’s Academy) which changed his whole perspective on money. Mr. Khan also quit his job. In order to bring modification in the American education system, he started filming mathematics videos (on concepts like trigonometry, algebra, etc.) and uploading it on YouTube for free! This particular step gave Mr. Khan a‘ huge social return on investment’. This ideology motivated Amrut a lot and he decides to make ‘by-product’ as the primary objective and not maximization. At the end of Mr. Khan’s Ted Talk, someone from the audience came and handed him a cheque of $1 million and it was Bill Gates! At this moment, Amrut decided to do something for good and become a social entrepreneur.
One day Amrut got a phone call from one of his friends asking to watch the movie Baahubali. As Amrut himself was in a job-money-business crunch situation he said no. But as his friend promised to offer him the ticket, he agreed for the same. As they reached 15 minutes before the movie began, in order to kill time Amrut decided to narrate the book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen Covey which he was reading at that time. He narrated the whole book for his friend and his friend was surprised and impressed! This made Amrut realize that his reading habit can prove to be beneficial for others too.
The movie started but Amrut wasn’t able to focus on the movie because of this social idea going on in his mind. During the interval, he made an excuse for going to the washroom and left the premises. He reached and conducted his research and to his surprise, he concluded that there was no one doing something like this for any genre of books. All these books had real knowledge which would help people to prepare themselves for the real world but none of it was even included in the education system and thus, he decided to execute it within a month!
Amrut was not a tech guy at all and had no idea about apps and websites. Again, as he felt lost; he read the book ‘Unposted Letter’ by Mahataria Ra which said that it’s not important what you have but what you do with what you already have. He summarized ‘Wings Of Fire’ by honorable A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and shared it on WhatsApp to 10 of his close friends and asked them to share it and so on. Within a week, he received over 1000 requests from unknown people and within a month over 10,000 people were a part of this mission.
However, he conducted a personal survey where Amrut came to know that 80% of people in the crowd weren’t reading because of their own personal reasons. Amrut was disappointed as only the numbers were increasing but not spreading of knowledge. Mr. Deshmukh started audio recording the summaries and it was an instant hit. He even changed his personal taste in order to accommodate the choices of teenagers and college youth. But Amrut got an email from WhatsApp stating that he is getting banned from using WhatsApp because of too many messages. He wrote a mail to WhatsApp stating it as a social cause and asked his community members as well to do the same. The next day action was taken on the same and WhatsApp removed the ban restriction on Amrut.
Gradually he developed an application named “Booklet” with the help of his I.T. friends and launched it on Play Store and App Store. His friends did not even charge Amrut a penny for this and that’s when he already started noticing his ‘social return on investment’. The app was launched on April 23rd, 2016 (World Book Day) and it acquired over 6 lakh readers who were reading a new book summary every week!
There was one fear at the back of his mind always that with the summaries is he making the nation lazy as people will stop reading books wherein the summary is readily available. But he was proved wrong as many had already started purchasing books to dig deeper with the Amazon buy link that he used to attach along with.
One fine day at night, he got a call from a young girl. That girl was praising Amrut for his audio summaries and his voice. He asked the girl why she isn’t also reading the summaries to which she replied, “I am blind and I cannot read”. As his mother also donated her eyes after her death, he got goosebumps! He felt so satisfied that someone else can also read a book through his eyes. He slept as the most satisfied person, the satisfaction which money would never give.
Amrut also became friends with that girl. Eventually, he was invited by the All India Blind Association Conference. There were around 10 lakh blind people and Booklet was reaching them. The girl gifted Amrut the book “Whom Will Cry When You Die” by Robin Sharma. The book said that if you want to discover the higher purpose of your life imagine yourself dead and your coffin surrounded by the people you know, what would you want them to speak about yourself? Amrut imagined the same and realized he wanted to be remembered as the man who spent his entire life spreading the habit of reading in India.
Amrut as found his purpose again; he summarized the book by honorable A. P. J. Abdul Kalam “India 2020”. This book saw India as a developed nation and Mission- Make India Read would pave the pathway and help us reach one step closer to that.
Amrut idealizes Mahatma Gandhi and Steve Jobs as mentors. He expresses his gratitude for his brother and sister who helped him shape his character and personality.
Success primarily depends upon the experiences one inculcates which gets armed with the experience of failure. Failure always becomes the teacher, not an undertaker. Failure should never be considered as the end of a process, but a part of success!
A personal message from Mr. Amrut Deshmukh
“If I'm not reading, I'm not changing. If I'm not changing, I'm not growing. Because of this strong belief, I have a burning desire to cultivate the habit of reading amongst the youth of India. Hence, Mission Make India Read.”
- Team Satyavachan
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