Mrs Veena Rao is the founder/editor of NRI Pulse, a free monthly newspaper. She is self made journalism, who had passion of journalism since she was 12 years old. She faced all the obstacles with positive attitude to give birth to nripulse. Lets find out from her mor about NRI pulse.
1. Hello Veena, We are so glad to have you with us at NaariSakhi. Let’s start with getting to know you. Please tell us about yourself.
Thank you Laxmi. I am the founder/editor of NRI Pulse, a free monthly newspaper that serves the Indian-American community in southeast USA (www.NRIPulse.com). I live in Atlanta, Georgia.
2. What motivated you to be in Journalism?
I was very quiet as a child. Quiet at home, and quiet at school. Writing fiction became my way of expressing myself. By the age of 12, I wrote mystery novels during school lunch break that were modeled on the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys books that I read in those days. My classmates would make it a point to read the daily updates- and that fueled my confidence in writing. By the time I was in college, I had graduated to contributing stories and non-fiction articles to Indian magazines like Women’s Era and Femina. But for all the amateur writing I did, I had no clue what career path I would choose. I ended up with a post-graduate degree in Economics from the famed Fergusson College in Pune. It was during the two transformative years of my postgraduate studies that I got really interested in current affairs. Those were the years when we, a very idealistic clique of friends, motivated each other to read, think, discuss and analyze all things ‘in the news’. Getting into a journalism institute seemed like an attractive next step because it did not seem to me like I had skills for any other career! I ended up working at the news desk of Indian Express for several years.
3. Who are the people who have inspired you?
I am inspired by stories of everyday people who battle against odds to achieve balance in their lives. I admire everyday people who have a magnanimous heart and will step beyond their means to help somebody in need. To me, that’s what living a full life is all about.
My dad, who passed away last year, always had big hopes from me. He was incredibly proud of what I did. In several ways, daddy’s little girl is always, subconsciously, trying to make him proud. In that sense, he is my inspiration to forge ahead in my career.
4. Were there any obstacles faced by you in your work or did lady luck smile on you immediately?
NRI Pulse is a household name here today. But like with any other business, our newspaper has also had its share of obstacles. While the response from readers has always been overwhelming, there have been tough times with getting advertisements, or with getting payment from advertisers. That is one thing about our community. We are hardworking, resilient, successful- but we will not support our own cause unless there is something to gain from it for ourselves. I have had innumerable requests for partnerships from wealthy, successful community members. But few will support the community newspaper unless there is something to be gained out of it.
Miraculously, we have always bounced back from the brink and persevered.
5. What is your objective behind nripulse? How did it begin?
The objective of NRI Pulse is to provide a voice for the Indian-American community in USA. Our job is to inform readers about happenings in the USA and in the local community. We also pride ourselves in being the only media in the region to talk about issues that affect our everyday lives.
NRI Pulse was launched as an online magazine in 2004. The print edition was launched in 2006 to meet the need for a community newspaper with a focus on local and national news. Today, while the market is chock-a-block with magazines of all kinds, we are the only free newspaper to serve southeast USA.
6. What advice would you give to the woman who wants to be an entrepreneur?
Think outside the box. Absorb good advice, but do not be deterred with criticism. Be focused. Remember that when the going gets tough, the tough get going! Ultimately, if you believe in yourself, your perseverance will pay.
————————————————-Interviewed By Laxmi Khalap Bhatt,Editor, www.naarisakhi.com