Reeti Roy

Success Is Her Middle Name

It often takes years to taste success in life. But having spent only 28 years on this planet, Reeti Roy has already tasted her fair share. And the keyword here, is "fair". Because this is a young woman who has achieved so much with sheer grit and determination!

I have always been an achiever.

After receiving a first degree in English Literature from Jadavpur University, Calcutta and further, a Master's degree in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science, I went on to be chosen as one of 40 young Indians to assist the Members of Parliament in a unique initiative called the Legislative Assistant to Members of Parliament (LAMP) Fellowship. Here, I worked as an assistant to Dr. ShashiTharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, and was responsible for Parliamentary Legislative Research such as 377s and zero hour speeches. Upon completion of my Fellowship, I worked with Pratham Education Foundation as a Communications and International Donor Liaison Associate.

I have also worked as a Research Associate at Harvard Business School's India Research Centre. At the HBS India Research Centre, I co-authored a case on BRAC - the largest non-governmental organisation in Bangladesh and was even the first member of the Indian Research Centre team to establish relationships in Bangladesh.

Furthermore, I have also worked with Columbia University's Global Centre in Mumbai, and with the UNICEF.

Adding to that, I am also a writer, having written for The Telegraph (Calcutta), The Statesman (Calcutta), The Times of India, Femina, Tehelka, Chicken Soup for The Indian Soul, and Northern Lights (an Edinburgh Publication). I have had the honour of being a recipient of the Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship, The Choice Fellowship conferred by the Seagull Foundation for the arts, The LAMP fellowship, The Matador Network Travel Writing Scholarship and most recently, the Goethe-Institut/Zubaan fellowship for creative writing on the topic "Children Understand More."

But amidst all that, at the age of 26, something rather dramatic happened. I had to be hospitalised, and had to undergo a potentially life-threatening surgery. This led me to quit my cushy job, knowing that I would not be able to sustain a nineteen-hour workload with ill health. My nerves hurt all the time...

So I decided to take the plunge. I decided to become an entrepreneur. And so, from this dark hour, Aglet Ink was born!

The word ‘Aglet’ means a small metal or plastic sheath, which is typically used on each end of ashoe lace, cord or drawstring. ‘Ink’ is a play on the word 'inc.' i.e 'incorporated'.

The thoughts that led to this brainwave included realising that many professionals had the required qualifications for the jobs they sought, but were unable to present themselves well on paper, and express themselves through their cover letter. And since the resume and cover letter is usually the first point of contact, it could be a ‘make or break’ situation for the thousands of prospective job hunters.

Today, I am proud to say that Aglet Ink is a profit-making small business. Through it, I have worked with clients of the likes of Deloitte, Accenture, PWC, HSBC, Boston Consulting Group, Welspun Group and Discovery Channel, India.

But Aglet Ink is not the end of the line for me. I am also a tour guide with start-up Seeksherpa and am proud to say that our tours have won Tripadvisor 2017's award for excellence.

My friends and other women younger to me often tell me that my story is one of grit and determination. And to that I say, if you set your mind to something, you will succeed. Not at first, but one day you will.

Back to top

Read More