“Think of Seekh as an investment into your child’s future,” says Avantika Kampani, a bright and curious student in Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Mumbai, who launched a new holistic learning programme called Seekh from Day One with a mission to bring about a revolution in children’s self-growth and development from the time they are born. Launched in 2020, Seekh by Day One is a learning tool that will enhance your newborn child’s capacity to learn and simultaneously make them fall in love with learning. Seekh consists of a variety of learning, interactive flashcards, each one helping your child to learn better, as well as giving you some tips on how to strengthen your child’s character from Day One. Her plans for Seekh are to fuel its growth and make sure it embarks on a constant upward rising streak. Under her company Day One, Avantika would like to introduce several more products that help enhance child and infant development. In a conversation with Higher Education Digest, Avantika talks about her entrepreneurial aspirations, inspirations, and much more.
What was the motive behind taking up entrepreneurship?
Living with my little cousin, I began to notice the way that babies really looked at things around them. Their constant questioning, curiosity and alertness caught my attention. That was the starting point of my journey. I also felt that learning for them was constant as there was so much stimulation they were exposed to.
This led to research on early brain development only to find that from birth to age 5, a child’s brain develops more than at any other time in life. The idea was to develop a single tool that would cover many areas of growth and yet be attractive, fun and easy to use and travel-friendly. This was where the concept of the 6 sections came about, and Seekh was well on its way to becoming a reality.
I developed the product under the guidance of my mentors at the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Namita Thapar, Ateet Sanghavi and Garima Jindal. I began speaking to early learning experts, doctors and child psychologists and launched Seekh in 2020. I also designed the cards myself as I have always had a knack for art and design.
What does entrepreneurship mean to you?
An entrepreneur is something that I have always dreamed of being. It presented itself as an opportunity for me to channel my passion for making a change through a profitable company. “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” is a quote that I live by, and being an entrepreneur allows me to put this thought into action.
Please tell us more about Seekh from DayOne and its services?
Seekh from DayOne is a learning tool that will enhance your newborn child’s capacity to learn, and simultaneously make them fall in love with learning. Seekh consists of 6 sections, containing a variety of learning, interactive flashcards each one helping your child’s brain grow, as well as giving you some tips on how to strengthen your child’s character from Day One. Seekh is divided into 6 sections, with 72 cards each one helping a different part of your child’s brain develop and grow. These sections capture and aim to enhance different touchpoints of a child’s cognitive capability. The categories of cards are named: At First Sight, Count Up, Touch and Feel, Building Blocks, Let’s Read and Link Up. Seekh by DayOne, targets brain development of infants, with focus on the ages of 0 to 3, making competition for the product smaller. Seekh, unlike other brands, provides holistic growth to the child, through a larger number of cards at a cheaper price, putting it far ahead of any possible competition. Seekh cards are also very easily translatable allowing it to grow despite language barriers. The design of the Seekh box is also compact and portable making it travel friendly, capturing the idea of ‘learning on the go’ perfectly.
How do you manage studies and your company operations simultaneously?
It would be fair to say there is no one formula that works every time. However, what really helps is planning ahead and being meticulous about details. I try to keep on top of my school studies and read ahead so I am not caught off guard. I have well organised systems in terms of excel sheets for order information and product enquiry. I also really feel that when you are very passionate about something you find a way to make it work. Time is elastic. The best use of it is to follow your passion and to have a clear plan.
As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you? How do you handle failures?
Seeing a product go from a plan in the mind to being articulated on paper and then finding it in its final physical form is very exciting. Each part of the journey from inception to production and sales has taught, challenged, and inspired me. I would like to see my failures as things that did not go as expected. Viewing it through that lens allows me to find new ways to meet those expectations. My curiosity drives me, and I feel it is also my way of working through the speed breakers in my journey. I love learning and it is my biggest motivation.
In one word, describe your life as an entrepreneur.
Focussed (on converting plans to action and on new possibilities)
What do you put your success down to?
My parents were very encouraging, and I think that was important because it allowed me to explore my idea and turn it into a reality, and eventually a successful business venture. They also encouraged me to do the Young Entrepreneurs Academy program seriously because without a clear plan, learning, perseverance, and strategy this would have remained purely an aspiration. YEA! helped me understand what being a true entrepreneur feels like, the learnings I have gained from this program are countless and I will be eternally grateful to team YEA! and my amazing mentors for making my dream a reality! I have immense gratitude for my parents and my mentors.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?
My business is in a very nascent stage, so I would like to share the key elements I focus on.
Creativity: looking at simple things differently.
Agility: turning my thoughts into action and not being fixated on setbacks
Focus: on the details of the products, the marketing and the distribution.
Who inspires you?
There are lots of great entrepreneurial journeys that are fascinating and encouraging, but for me it would be the one of my brother. As he launched his company “Scatterinnovations” at 15, he became a role model of sorts for me. I saw his journey very closely and it encouraged me to take my ideas seriously and not to be thrown off by setbacks. I learnt how to stay focussed on the work at hand and to cut out the noise. Moreover, I realized that age is just a number in the face of grit and goals. We are lucky to live in a time where there are lots of opportunities available to us and it is a shame if we let our fears limit us.
How do you generate new ideas?
My ideas come from what I am most interested in, whether it is art or music or my curiosity of human behaviour. I love observing my surroundings and decoding what impressions it leaves on me- that is a place I generate my ideas from.
What advice would you give to other student entrepreneurs who are starting out?
I believe we are lucky that we are at a time in the world that ideas are judged for their potential alone and opportunities are available for anyone who is willing to put in the effort. I plan to keep researching, developing, and creating. It is what I love best and I think that’s the best message at this point I can share.
What do you want to do in the future?
I think as a rising ninth-grader, I am not too sure about the profession I shall finally pursue. However, I know that psychology, both social and developmental, interests me. I am an avid History student, and art is my passion. I hope that, in some way, I can stitch these together and explore them further.