Meet the SHEROES - Rituparna Ghosh
She is a professional story teller and believes in the concept and power of stories. Her venture Your Story Bag is all about stories that help you in different aspects of life. Read on to know of what Rituparna Ghosh thinks today,
What line of work are you in?
I believe in stories. I listen to stories. I gather stories. I tell stories. And all these stories go in and come out of my story bag.Like every magician who has a hat full of mysterious tricks, I believe that every person needs a bag, full of stories. Magical gems of stories, hidden and revealed at the right time and place.
I am a writer, editor and storyteller practicing all three forms of storytelling – written, visual and oral. I have recently founded my own company called Your Story Bag – that offers storytelling, consulting and training services to children, parents, schools and teachers; creative entrepreneurs, small businesses and corporates. As a visual storyteller, I consult organizations in telling their stories through films and audio-visuals. As a writer, I help businesses and corporates craft their business stories across various platforms. As an oral storyteller, I work with children in helping them ‘Discover Expressions, Emotions & Life Through Stories.’ With adults and corporates I help them harness the power of stories and help them find the storyteller in themselves!
I believe that my past experiences as a journalist and producer has helped me appreciate the power of good stories.
What are the challenges you face in this business?
Storytelling is still a very new concept in India. For most it starts and stops with children; the application of storytelling in adult life, whether personal or professional is still very new to Indians. However the irony is that everyone loves a good story. We all love to watch films, read books, watch theatre; however we often ignore the power of stories in conversations and connections. The uphill task therefore before me is to bring about a significant change in people’s minds about how stories and storytelling can become a power tool that can transform their lives and their work.
The word ‘Golpo’ in my mother-tongue Bengali is the word for story, as in “Golpo bolo” or ‘tell me a story’. It also translates into ‘having a conversation’, like saying “Golpokori”or ‘let’s talk’. My challenge is at some level very simple - that is to get people to talk! We are all talking all the time, in social media, in our private and public circle. In all these conversations we are generating stories. What is tough however is to build a storytelling community! We don’t need campfires anymore, but we do need people to connect over stories; where strangers connect over stories, learn something about others and learn something about oneself too! Where they give and find comfort, inspiration, and strength from stories. I am trying to build a storytelling community where people share effortlessly and ‘discover expressions, emotions & life through stories.’
What is your target audience and how do your market your business?
My target audience is almost anyone and everyone who enjoys a good story. At Your Story Bag, I offer three services:
Golpo – Storytelling for children, parents, schools & teachers
Golpo includes a weekly story program that I conduct. I also includes storytelling workshops for teachers and schools.
Golpo Connect – Storytelling for Students, Professionals & Creative Entrepreneurs
This is all about making story connections and how people can use their personal stories for communication, presentations and business.
Corporate Golpo – Storytelling for Corporates
This is about making storytelling a powerful Leadership, Organizational, Business & Communication Tool. Corporate Golpo focuses on individual story needs of an organization with a focus on harnessing the power of its stories effectively. I have an affiliate partner for Corporate Golpo who brings on-board a 25 years of experience in communication.
Much of my marketing is focused around generating conversations around stories and storytelling. I am working on making the Your Story Bag Blog a robust source of information around not just the services that Your Story Bag offers, but also a place that makes my audience accessible to real-life stories, book reviews and fiction, interviews with storytellers and authors, as well as applied storytelling trends. In addition to that I am working towards reviving Community Storytelling in the digital age with the I Am A Storyteller Community on Google Plus. Your Story Bag will also conduct periodic Hangouts on Storytelling, our first is on 21st February and it’s about Storytelling As A Communication Tool.
What are the short term plans for your venture?
My short term goals would be generate an interest in people about storytelling and get them to look into their own story bags! I am also working on building a team and forming an affiliate group of experts who will add incredible stories to my story bag!
What advice would you give other entreprenuers in India?
Always believe in your own story. Remember you are the hero of your story, and it is always in-progress so it is up to you on how you take it forward. You may emerge a winner, and you may lose which is also okay…heroes can fail! But never stop believing in your story, and never stop working on it!