Published: 07th April 2021
This 16-year-old serial entrepreneur successfully juggles his studies and his start-ups. Here's more about him
We get talking to Satyam Mehta, a 16-year-old from Noida who already has two start-ups to his name, about his lofty entrepreneurial dreams
Satyam Mehta, a 16-year-old from Noida, is the perfect embodiment of a 'Jack of all trades'. At such a young age, Satyam runs two start-ups and is also a part of another social initiative. A student at the Amity International School in Noida, Satyam's interest in entrepreneurship stemmed from watching his elder brother start his own venture a few years ago. "We can be our own boss and have a positive impact on people's lives. This is what excited and inspired me," says the 16-year-old serial entrepreneur, oozing with confidence.
Satyam's most recent venture, Rural Invest, was started during the pandemic in March 2020. "There's a pertinent lack of financial literacy and financial planning in Indian households, especially in rural areas. A major part of India is inadequately financialised. The rural population lacks knowledge of financial literacy and most of them don't have bank accounts, they resort to informal money-lending sources, which usually have high interest rates. To create a solution for this, we came up with Rural Invest, a venture targetting rural financial inclusion across the nation through a comprehensive wealth management app, providing the rural population with various tools like SIPs, mutual funds, etc," explains Satyam.
It is available on both Android and iOS and one can download it on their phone. "We have a user-friendly interface that will help you choose the type of investment based on your income and other factors that you can fill in on the app. We did on-ground research on rural families and found that most of them have at least a smartphone now where they can easily download our app to avail our services. We initially started to target maids and drivers working in our neighbourhood and started educating them and facilitating their investments into mutual funds. Initially, they found it hard to believe that by merely saving small amounts like `500-700 per month through micro-SIPs (Systematic Investment Plans), they will be able to ensure financial stability for their family. Thus, Rural Invest is an effective avenue for our rural population for saving, borrowing, investing and mitigating future financial risks, thereby also ensuring access to liquidity in times of distress," adds Satyam.
In 2018, Satyam also founded Junkguards, a facilitative platform that aims to connect all the stakeholders in the e-waste ecosystem. "Back in 2018, I took part in a competition where I was introduced to the topic of e-waste. After researching more on it, my team and I found that this problem is not being addressed widely. We found that the Government of India had laid out a couple of rules in 2016 that stated that each electronic producer had to give a certain percentage of their waste from products manufactured for proper disposal. Junkguards, through its platform, ensures proper management of e-waste as it aims to connect electronic manufacturers, Producer Responsible Organisations (PROs), e-waste recyclers and the common citizen to create an ecosystem that will ensure proper disposal of electronic waste. We have also set up e-waste bins in localities, schools, IT sector offices and have plans to install many more in the upcoming months," adds Satyam.
Since 2018, Satyam has also been a part of Pravahkriti, a social cause taken up by the students of Amity International School Noida, which aims to promote better menstrual health and hygiene management among females of various ages, across all sections of society. For Satyam, the pandemic came as a boon. It gave him more time to juggle between his ventures and studies. "I was at home mostly. It was easy for me to divide my time as I had the entire day. I was able to balance both my studies and start-ups," he adds. Satyam wants to become an aeronautical engineer but isn't sure yet as he wants to focus on his start-ups too. "I want to focus on quality rather than quantity, focus on the ones I have to reach out to and cater to more people, at least for now," concludes Satyam.