Startup Stories: UNLOCK

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What does UNLOCK do? Tell us about your entrepreneurial product or service.

CUSTOMISED MERCHANDISE for schools, colleges, groups, startups, companies/organizations and FREE BASIC EDUCATION FOR THE UNDERPRIVILAGED

We have a wide range of quality, including Eco fabric range i.e., organic cotton, recycled cotton, pure cotton, poly-cotton and recycled polyester. Hence there is a wide range of price as well, as per the quantity and quality.

We provide plain or customized :
T-shirts (collar/round neck)
Sweat-Shirt (hoodies/zipper)
Sports Wear
Caps
Mugs

What inspired you to launch UNLOCK?

Story Behind CEO & Founder of Unlock – Divya Ramamurthy

I once heard of a “STAR FISH” story from one of my mentors. Even till date those lines are still impacting my life and lifestyle. First let me tell you the story, and then we can talk about my start-up.

Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.

Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”

We all have the opportunity to help create positive change, but if you’re like me, you sometimes find yourself thinking, “I’m already really busy, and how much of a difference can I really make?” I think this is especially true when we’re talking about addressing massive social problems like tackling world hunger or finding a cure for cancer or even like providing education to all the needy, but it pops up all of the time in our everyday lives, as well. So when I catch myself thinking that way, it helps to remember this story. You might not be able to change the entire world, but at least you can change a small part of it, for someone.

They say that one of the most common reasons we procrastinate is because we see the challenge before us as overwhelming, and that a good way to counter that is to break the big challenge down into smaller pieces and then take those one at a time–like one starfish at a time. And to that one starfish, it can make a world of difference.

Well, after my graduation at Jyoti Nivas College in 2013, Bangalore I thought I would end up at a BPO/KPO or any other industry under somebody a regular 9-6 job like many of my other friends. I did end up in a BPO but for a short time though. I desperately wanted to act upon my ideas and make a difference in the society. That is when I came up with an idea of providing Life Skills Training for the children who cannot afford such course due to various personal reasons.
These days education has become mere business. you can find hundreds of schools/colleges with high fee structure. but what really matters is the quality of education. One really doesn’t need a degree to survive, its all about the art of living your days to survive and the best of your life..

What problem does UNLOCK solve?

UNLOCK was established in October 2013 by Divya Ramamurthy. We aim at providing LIFE SKILLS based curriculum in schools to make “education less stress and more fun”. We have also adopted a couple of orphanages and regularly visit slums to provide free basic education for the unprivileged. Our main motive is to help empower children from the undeserved communities and provide holistic education system for several other children in India who do not have access to the same.

What has been your biggest challenge starting UNLOCK and how are you working to overcome it?

To raise funds for the same, we started customizing merchandise for schools, colleges, groups, startups, companies and organizations. All proceeds will go towards educating and mentoring children in government schools, shelter homes and schools with no sufficient infrastructure. A simple wish to see a smile on a child who cannot afford much for the sources available in the society made us look at the business aspect of such an idea.

How will these funds be used ?
1) Buy basic resources like (books, mats, slates, furniture, stationery etc.)
2) Build a basic structure which will be children's classroom in the place they reside where they will learn their basics before they join school.
3) Provide them with basic scholarship so that the parents no more ask the children to go work.

Give us one word that people might use to describe you.

Optimistic

What milestone do you hope UNLOCK will have surpassed one year from now?

Over the last 3 years, we have been successful in partnering with some of the most prominent institutions across the country, the United States(Oregon) and UAE(Qatar). We look forward to serve many more cities and countries and bring in a change in the education system for the underprivileged children.

How has Project Eve helped you and orUNLOCK?

Project Eve inspires me to keep believing that women can make a difference and can do wonders in in various fields. It’s encouraging to read the success stories of other women entrepreneurs in male dominated industries, and most importantly how to keep the faith, take risks and go ahead to achieve.

Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry or the startup story for UNLOCK

If I can do it, you can too. Don't sit and watch people contribute to the world and applaud. Be the change you want to see and have the hands around applaud for you.

The 411 on UNLOCK:

Company Name: UNLOCK
Website: http://www.unlockgroup.in
UNLOCK was founded in:
2013
UNLOCK is located in:
Bangalore, India
Follow UNLOCK on social media here:

https://www.facebook.com/unlockpage
https://www.instagram.com/unlock_group

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