Beyond Limitations, Meet the Disabled Woman Who is Positively Impacting Mental Health with her Startup Yearbook Canvas
Despite the many challenges, specially-abled people are turning entrepreneurs and succeeding at their own businesses. Today, as we write this, we are here to celebrate one of these entrepreneurial heroes, Surashree Rahane who challenged the odds and turned the tide with her brand, ‘Yearbook Canvas‘.
Surashree Rahane, Founder and CEO, Yearbook Canvas
Surashree has always stood up for the fact that anybody who dares to dream can work hard and turn those dreams into reality.
An alumni from reputed institution like FMS, Delhi, Surashree Rahane is a highly impressive talent, bagging awards like “Leader of the year” guided by honourable former President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and “Outstanding student of India” by Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan. Being a TEDx, UNESCO and UPenn speaker among many other international platforms, she strongly believes in the power of nostalgia and storytelling.
Recalling her childhood experiences, Surashree says, “During school, I would miss many months every academic year due to my surgeries. Believe it or not, I had 15+ surgeries since I was 15 days old. And whereas I would always cover my studies, I would miss the fun, the events, the small moments of laughter that would happen there with friends. And since then, I wanted something like a yearbook so I had some form of memories from my school life – even if I was present or absent.” And that is how long she has believed in this idea of ‘Yearbook Canvas‘, which mainly revolves around the power of memories and nostalgia. Her idea got validated by more than 100 elite institutes like INSEAD, Lancaster University, IITs, IIMs, ISB Hyderabad, FMS Delhi, AIIMS, law colleges and many other schools.
They have a campus ambassador program by the name of Futurepreneur and Surashree, along with her team is working on a similar entrepreneurship program for differently-abled students to be launched in July 2021.
“This is a fact that “I’m so glad I didn’t buy a yearbook,” said no one, ever. It’s actually nice to have something that isn’t plugged in.”
“It has already been a tremendous journey for Yearbook Canvas so far with not only being India’s no. 1 yearbook company but also the only yearbook company in Asia to have a mobile application exclusively for yearbooks. Our seed round was raised led by a Cat 1 VC fund and by May 2021, we are all set to raise our pre-series A round at a valuation of 10 million dollars. We are fortunate to be backed by Marwari Catalysts, India’s fastest growing startup accelerator.”
Even when time stopped in 2020, with the outbreak of the virus and the staying-at-home era began, it is undeniable that many of us found comfort and inspiration from the past.
If we talk about the diminishing office culture, it’s no surprise that many feel nostalgic for even the everyday facets of office life: the cubicles, coffee breaks and watercooler conversations. In times like these, it’s the healthy dose of nostalgia thats proving to be an effective coping mechanism in beating the lockdown blues. This is when Yearbook Canvas came in with their Corporate memory book – the CorpSaga for customers like Royal Canin, Madura Microfinance and Capgemini.
The response from the corporate customers as well as their team members was outstanding. Many came in with feedback of being very happy and feeling connected with mostly everyone in their office. They were inspired by these memories which had a huge positive impact on their mental health.
“Yearbooks and corporate memory books are turning out to be great engagement tools because working on them is a very experiential process. We are happy with the approach the company is taking in this space. Impacting mental health positively is one area we all care about deeply.” – Sushil Sharma, Founder and CEO, Marwari Catalysts, (Investor, Yearbook Canvas).
At the end of the day, the biggest reason why it’s important to preserve your memories boils down to one simple thing: Memories are priceless!