Pallavi Singh was in the 3rd year of engineering when she realized that Electronics and Communication was not her cup of tea. With a love for Hindi and the zeal to speak the language, Pallavi decided to teach Hindi while she was still pursuing her engineering. “There are no courses in India to teach Hindi as a foreign language. I approached the Delhi University Foreign Exchange Students to teach them the language,” says Singh. And thus Hindi Lessons For Foreigners was born.
Hindi Lessons For Foreigners is a one-of-its-kind initiative in India that’s aimed at training the expat community in Hindi. Started by Pallavi Singh in 2011, they provide custom-made classes focusing on various needs and requirements. Ranging from pronunciations, sounds, and conversation with an emphasis on translations, Pallavi has been teaching Hindi to students from around the world.I decided to march my own drums and steer ahead irrespective of what people had to say.An engineer turned psychology student, Pallavi says that her journey has been long and eventful. While there were reactions from everybody, Pallavi did not pay a lot of attention to them. “My parents were initially skeptical, but eventually now they are fine, or atleast I hope so!” says the founder. While starting up, the biggest challenge for Pallavi was to establish herself synonym to what her work is. “Today, my name is associated with Hindi Teaching, and that has become a vital part of how people describe me,” says Pallavi. She believes that achieving this was a challenge. It took a while for people to see through her skill and appreciate it. The next difficulty was to identify the right clientele.
“I never thought of obstacles. I was super-consumed in what I was doing and had no time to stop and worry”. Though India gets a big number of low budget tourists who come here and see everything through their lens of ‘exotic, mystic, spiritual’ India, they are not the right fit for Pallavi. “My clients are people who work, live and go on about their lives in an ‘Indian’ set-up, embracing it for its good and bad,” she adds. Pallavi has a unique style of teaching, where she uses proprietary modules in a distinctive manner that makes the learning process less intimidating. She is currently teaching at the US consulate in Mumbai.
“People who believe that ambitious women are not apt for other roles of life are clearly mistaken and still have a limited understanding of how relationships and families work”. Pallavi’s profession falls under the Unconventional lines of work, which people often tend to not take as seriously as an analyst or physicist. “I guess the sacrifice is to be conscious of the fact that you may never be able to convey that your work takes effort, strategy, planning, delivery and various other nuances too!” says the founder.
“I have become an Onion, with one consistent core but many layers” Through the journey, the founder has become very patient and learnt to give her best at whatever she does. As a message for future womenpreneurs, she says.“Whatever you do, put in 200% effort into it. And if it does not work out, move on, find something else and do the same. Eventually something would work out bilaterally and change your life.”
A full time business analyst and a passionate writer, she is hopelessly attracted to the passionate struggle story that every women entrepreneur has lived today! We possibly couldn’t have had someone better than her to write about women achieving new heights in the startup sector!