Exclusive interview with “Anmol Malhotra”, founder of “Newsahoot”

Anmol Malhotra is a graduate of Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law. He has previously worked in a corporate law firm. He decided to leave his corporate job in pursuit of entrepreneurial ambitions. Do read an exclusive interview of Mr. Malhotra with “The Philox”. 

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Published on - 14 January, 2023

Newsahoot is a bootstrapped ed-tech startup owned and controlled by Anmol Malhotra. Newsahoot was born of a passion to make news accessible to children. As per him TV news channels and newspapers have become too inappropriate for kids, there was a vacuum for a trustworthy source of information and knowledge that children could safely rely on.

Anmol Malhotra is a graduate of Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law. He has previously worked in a corporate law firm. He decided to leave his corporate job in pursuit of entrepreneurial ambitions. Do read an exclusive interview of Mr. Malhotra with “The Philox”

Q1. How did you come up with the idea of establishing a ‘news for kids’ startup with a unique name like Newsahoot? What was your incentive/ motive?

I realized that adults from all walks of life were a part of the news ecosystem through various means - radio, television, newspapers, etc. But, children were completely left out.

News has so much to offer in terms of understanding the world and being an aware citizen. That’s not all, news can also help children understand empathy, sensitivity, respect, feminism, secularism, etc. These values can have a manifold impact on the character of a child, their families, friends, partners, etc. 

Newsahoot is a mix of two words - news and hoot. While the former is self-explanatory, the latter is the sound an owl makes. Our inspiration to pick an owl’s sound was the idiom “as smart as an owl.”

Q2. How is Newsahoot different from a traditional newspaper or its competitors? How is inappropriate news filtered for someone who is below 18 years of age?

Newsahoot is quite different from a traditional newspaper! We only publish one article a day across three difficulty levels with Amazon Kindle like word meanings. All of our articles also provide context before jumping to the story. Also - Newsahoot is fully digital so we’re eco-friendly as well! 

We have numerous checks and balances in place to ensure that nothing unfiltered is published on our platform. Our content writers are only allowed to refer to a limited set of approved sources. These do not include any websites that publish user-generated content or have been known to publish biased views/ opinions.

Q3. As a corporate lawyer, was it difficult to leave a well-settled job and segue into a different stream altogether? Were your friends and family cooperative?

It’s human nature to resist change. After a gruelling five years of law school and several internships, I was quite hesitant to take the plunge. But, working on similar contracts and documents can get boring fast. It also didn’t help that I was working seven days a week for over 12 hours a day.

What motivated me to take the plunge was to do something that had a positive impact on people’s lives (and my life). Current affairs were always close to my heart and so Newsahoot was born. 

Most of my friends and family believed that I was an ideal person to enter and sustain in the corporate law ecosystem. My partner continued to maintain her long-standing opinion that I would be an entrepreneur sooner or later. 

Luckily, people close to me were quite cooperative. They believed in my hard work, determination and will to build something truly amazing.

Q4. Do your lawyering/ advocacy skills aid in your journey as an entrepreneur in this field?

Oh definitely! I truly believe that the way a corporate lawyer can draft, follow up, think, condense and execute is unparalleled. I use each of these skills almost on a daily basis. 

Overtime, I’ve come to realize there’s so much more to know and learn (a learning opposite of the tunnel vision I had as a corporate lawyer). The combination of all these skills has truly been a blessing in disguise. 

Q5. Your startup is a bootstrapped one, do you plan to go for a series of rounds of investment in the future?

Yes. We’ve onboarded several schools at the moment and are serving news to thousands of children. However, our ambitions outweigh the speed at which we’re functioning. 

We want to scale aggressively, add novel features and make Newsahoot available in regional languages to reach children everywhere in the country. 

We recently took a step towards increasing accessibility by launching our news for kids application on the Play Store. 

Q6. Have you ever faced any difficult situation (other than funds) during the journey as an entrepreneur and how did you overcome that?

Running a startup is like a roller coaster ride - you sit down for the ride and hold on for dear life. There’s new challenges every day and funds (believe it or not) are only a drop in the ocean. 

From compliances to employees to business development to revenue - there’s always something to do and something to learn. Is it exhausting? Sometimes. Is it exciting? Extremely! 

Ups and downs are a part of every entrepreneurs life. I’m sure everyone has their own way of dealing with them. I usually choose to discuss issues with my core team (and partner), take time to vent out properly before making decisions and maybe exercise to clear my mind. Newsahoot is fully remote so having my dog nearby at most times also helps ALOT. 

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