Defying Stereotypes: An IAS Academy Founder with the Gumption to Match her Vision

A home based business can be deceptively tough to launch, or grow. Anshu Sharma found out this to her peril. Realizing the lack of guidance for Indian students in the field of civil services exams, undaunted Anshu founded Achievers IAS Academy. This Bangalore-based academy has a mission to cater quality education to rural students and IAS Aspirants in Bangalore. Anshu began her teaching career from the limited premises of her home and has become a leading women influencer today. HerMoneyTalks decided to find out what made her tick.


“When my father expired, I was stuck in Bangalore with my previously scheduled classes. I returned to attend his funeral at Allahabad only after I finished all my work. Internally, I was crying, but tried to put on a brave front to my students. It made me realize how strong and bold I am as a woman,” begins Anshu, lost in thought.


Being the sole proprietor of her venture, she manages everything right from the conduction of classes to efficient management of money. “Unlike today, when I started my institution 12 years back as a home based business, it was a challenge. There were not enough facilities for a woman to avail a bank loan,” recalls Anshu. According to her, even now, it is challenging for women to come out of their houses and start a business of their own.


A fighter fights all day


Being a new mother and teacher when she began her career brought with it their own pressures. “Those stressful times made me a multi-tasker in life. I still remember an incident that occurred while teaching one of my best students. My son who was around 1 year old, became severely ill with fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and cough. I used to prepare teaching notes at night and look after my baby in the mornings.” The pain in Anshu's voice is evident.


In the early stages of starting her home based business, making a decision itself was a strenuous task. Initially, the public didn’t support Anshu’s idea of teaching at home and she had to open up an institute to go ahead with her mission. With the support of her family members, Anshu gained the confidence to focus on her job.


My son who was around 1 year old, became severely ill with fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and cough. I used to prepare teaching notes at night and look after my baby in the mornings.


Having done her MCA, Ashu was always welcomed with high profile jobs in the corporate sector. But her passion for teaching and strong urge to provide quality training to IAS aspirants made her sacrifice all such job offers.


Most women face a dilemma in trusting their capabilities. Whether she can do it or not creates internal traumas. But Anshu had an answer for all such dilemmas. She believes it is very important for a woman to gain the trust of her family and customers.


Work for the best and for the worst


“There springs a trust issue in the public’s mind, when a woman becomes the head of a venture,” adds Anshu. Profit making was the biggest challenge that she had to face as a business builder. The gutsy educationist feels it is high time for investors to discard their stereotypical notions on the potential of women.


Financial challenges were indeed a part of her journey. Payment of taxes and legalization of her organization at times forced her to take loans from her family members. To maintain balance in her firm, she even negotiated her salaries and worked meticulously to increase their profit share.


There springs a trust issue in the public’s mind, when a woman becomes the head of a venture.


Anshu envisions uplifting rural students by offering them a platform to prepare efficiently for IAS examinations. When they clear all the tests and get posted in various sectors, this confident teacher gets an extra boost of energy and satisfaction. For someone who started with a home based business, Anshu believes that when a woman runs an organization, she provides greater security and care to employees.


Money hacks for the new age entrepreneur


“I was very bad with numbers when I started as an entrepreneur. But then I learnt some valuable tips to understand more about finance,” chuckles Anshu. That's something she wishes to pass on to fellow entrepreneurs:


(1) Increase your income by cutting down on unwanted expenses


(2) Efficiently utilize your savings during unexpected situations


(3) Keep an eye on your accounts and never blindly follow others' advice


(4) Maintain 3-6 months' savings as a backup option


Despite rising competition in the field of education and pressure from MNCs, Anshu remained undaunted in chasing her dreams. The success of her students in cracking IAS, IPS, IRS, and KAS is rivaled only by Anshu’s determination to fight against all hurdles.


Anshu wrapped up her candid talk with this personal gem of entrepreneurial wisdom: “Never compromise on your passion!”