Of friendships that shaped careers

Published on Aug 17, 2022 07:12 PM IST

As part of a campaign, Bengalureans share stories of friends who showed them the way when they felt lost

Bengalureans share stories of friendship
Bengalureans share stories of friendship
ByAayushi Parekh

As part of a campaign, Bengalureans share stories of friends who showed them the way when they felt lost

A friend is a confidante, cheerleader and support system who stands by us through all the highs and lows of life. Often, they also don the hat of a mentor by helping us navigate our careers and professional lives. A recent campaign by the Bengaluru-based startup, KhaaliJeb, aimed to explore this role of a friend through stories of folks in the city.

“We ran the #FriendsShowtheWay campaign, which celebrated extraordinary stories about friends who helped people shape their careers. It’s because of such friends that these people were able to achieve success and reach where they are in life,” says Wilson Birua, 28, co-founder of the company. As part of the campaign, a team scouted the streets of the city to interview more than 160 people belonging to a diverse field of professions, including tech professionals, delivery-persons, street-food vendors, auto drivers, restaurant owners, startup founders and students, among others.

Co-founder Prakash Kumar, 30, shares, “There were a lot of common stories. Some friends are providing places for people to stay and prepare for their career. Others are calling their friends to the city and helping them start businesses, while still others are encouraging their friends to follow a career that they are passionate about. It’s a common story that most blue-collar professionals will tell you, that they are working here because of their friends.”

The company, which is a payments and banking application for students, shot and posted videos of people sharing their friendship stories across its social media platforms. Kumar tells us, “In the main campaign video, we tried featuring stories from people of different backgrounds, career fields and age groups. There were many other wonderful and inspirational stories of friendship that could not be featured in the video. But, we are posting each one of them now as individual videos on our YouTube channel, Instagram and other platforms.”

He goes on to narrate one such story that couldn’t make it to the main campaign video, but did touch their hearts. “This story begins 25 years ago. It’s about a person staying in a remote village in Uttarakhand, whose friend, a blue-collar job in Bengaluru. asks him to come to the city. This is the first time he gets to sit in, or even see a train. His friend receives him at the station and helps him start a career by getting a job for 600 per month. Today, 25 years later, this person runs a restaurant here. Another story is about a group of 8-10 college friends studying BSc Mathematics, who could crack computer science jobs only because they helped and motivated each other.”

Appreciating all that they learned from the campaign, the founders share how they intend to conduct more such interactive initiatives to get closer to Bengalureans and all that inspires them.

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