Once again it’s that time of the year when we look back to assess our work. This retrospection gives us a peek into the minds of our readers. What they like, they read, share and appreciate. What doesn’t click with them allows us to do course corrections. Yes, our repertoire of stories has been evolving every year depending on what you like to read.
In 2022, what our readers loved the most are stories of entrepreneurship, grit and determination.
Six of our ten most-read stories of this year revolve around risk-taking entrepreneurs who took the road less travelled. Four of them (including an entrepreneur couple) quit their cushy jobs in top multinationals to follow their heart.
It’s never easy to leave your comfort zone, set up something from the scratch, and wait for two, three, four or five years for returns on investments. But when you pursue your passion relentlessly, things do fall in place eventually. And then, there’s no looking back.
That’s what happened with our cotton bag social entrepreneur couple Krishnan Subramanian and his wife Gowri Gopinath, idli entrepreneur Krishnan Mahadevan, guava grower Rajeev Bhaskar, and kiwi entrepreneur Mandeep Verma.
Our readers who love successful entrepreneurs are also inclined towards becoming entrepreneurs and finding ways to fund their ventures. That’s precisely why our piece on Marquee Equity, which helps startups to raise funds from investors across the world at extremely low costs, was a hit globally.
Our piece on non-profit entrepreneur Meera Chandran, who is saving the ecology of the Western Ghats, is also among the most-read stories of 2022. Meera quit her job at TCS to fight invasive plant species & restore the degraded forests of the Western Ghats. She started with her personal funds and now, companies (through CSR funding) and local governments are helping her in her efforts.
Among our much-loved stories on women entrepreneurs, Techi Anna’s work stood out because of her extraordinary courage in overcoming the obstacles she faced.
Techi was married at 16, was the mother of three children by 21 and her husband was unemployed. At a time when feeding the family was a challenge, she started making bamboo handicrafts, which were liked by buyers. Today, she runs her Poma Industry in Arunachal Pradesh, employing workers, giving work to local entrepreneurs and also teaching college students about the craft. What started as a solo journey is now a caravan of people.
While stories in our Money section have a dedicated readership, our pieces on the stock market and mutual funds are particularly well-liked. Our story on ‘10 quality mid-cap stocks available at cheap valuations’ is among the ten most-read stories of 2022.
And yes, in a country with a rich tradition of art and culture, it is obvious that stories on crafts will be loved by readers. We have done articles on various forms of weaving, painting styles from different states and regions, embroideries, pottery, wood carving, grass weaving and many other crafts this year. But the two that made it to the cut are our pieces on Gujarat’s Sankheda furniture and Jaipur Blue Pottery from the Pink City.
Made in Sankheda village of Chhota Udaipur in Gujarat, the furniture is not only popular in India but also exported to the US, Canada, the UK, France, Australia and Dubai. Around 80 families in this village depend on this craft for their livelihood.
And Jaipur Blue Pottery made using clay, quartz and gum also has connoisseurs across the world. The readership of these two art and craft stories reiterates the adoration for handmade items as well as Indian culture. Here are our best performers of 2022 in the order of popularity:
1. Sankheda furniture craft
2. Techi Anna’s bamboo success story
3. Idli entrepreneur Krishnan Mahadevan
4. Guava farmer Rajeev Bhaskar
5. Krishnan Subramanian and his wife Gowri Gopinath’s YellowBag Foundation
6. Jaipur Blue Pottery
7. Ten mid-cap stocks
8. Marquee Equity
9. Mandeep Verma, Kiwi grower
10. Environmentalist Meera Chandran