Nilambari Solanki is the founder of BookMan, which provides books, music & movies at your doorstep. One can visit their store or dial them to buy or rent the products and they also provide the home deliver & pick-up services.
Please tell us something about you.
Currently, I’m a second year student of Political Science. A student of Science, I shifted from
Science to Humanities for my utmost love of Social Service and the desire to do something more meaningful for the society. I want to do my bit. At the core, I can describe myself as a person who lives and follows her heart. I truly appreciate the value of life, understand my goal of spiritual realization and advancement; and my work reflects that.
What is concept and idea behind BookMan?
My experiences with NGOs and social organisations made me understand the lack of financial, project and organizational sustainability in those structures because of which they haven’t been able to bring about revolutions in spite of their dedication, will, talent and efforts. Thus the idea behind BookMan was to design a self-sustainable model that generates finances and resources to create a platform of continuous and consistent evolution of actions to achieve the aim of making knowledge accessible as an effort to solve the problems of the world at the grass root level.
“Bookman” is thus the door-step delivery library I’ve started in Ahmedabad to reach and maintain leadership role in the arena of Modern Library services by focusing on providing innovative, best quality recreational products that are easily accessible, affordable with best quality of Service. The profits from this business are invested into making Slum libraries and other structures which basically makes knowledge accessible to the under-privileged society. The simple basic concept is to earn money and invest in service to the society.
How the idea of BookMan born?
As mentioned above, the experiences of the problems of financial, project and organizational sustainability led to the solution of BookMan which basically acts as the foundation base for generating resources to enable the social service which I would love to do.
It is also a model that aims to encourage and help the youth to create and replicate such sustainable business structures. Such businesses can then build resources in order to achieve sustainability for social service.
What difficulties you have faced while converting your idea into reality?
I started my own library at the age of 20. So to be very honest, the most initial, in fact the problem which I still face is to bring trust and credibility to my age and the brand “BookMan”. This might sound very funny, but this is a fact that my first five minutes always go in convincing people that the library which crossed its first million in the first year itself by crossing 450 members is run by a now 21 year old. India was not a country where the young entrepreneurs were accepted gracefully in the market and society. Instead of supporting and guiding the young, the more experienced people have always found it more important to ascertain that 20-year-olds cannot run a business. The only difficulty thus I think I faced and still face is that “My age as a fact is considered more important than my work in action”.
How did you get into Entrepreneurship?
I think the best way one can contribute to the society is either through business by which you have the vital components which affect and can change the society and system for the better or through law by which you can challenge; change and fight with the system for justice. To practice law, you need the appropriate degrees for which I’ll have to wait till I finish my Bachelors, but business was something that didn’t need any degree to practice.
Can you tell us some advantages & disadvantages of being a woman entrepreneur?
I’m just an entrepreneur who happens to be a woman. Personally, I think there are no advantages or disadvantages of being a woman entrepreneur because I don’t think the gender matters. So, there are no pros and cons “of being a woman entrepreneur” according to me. The only factors at play here would be the perceptions of the society.
What is your future plan?
The future plan is to make this model perfect and more efficient which will allow expansion and thus be the source of inspiration for all those who want to contribute to the society. We are already coming up with a library in the Paldikankaj Village for the under privileged people there.
What message would you give to upcoming entrepreneurs?
Be true to your real self. Be yourself. Do what you love. Be the first cause. Have no expectations. Become aware. Grow. Make the choice. Just do your karma. Be brave. Follow your heart. Be awesome.