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Normalising Career Breaks and Path Changes: Lessons Learned at Rootworkz

As the founder of Rootworkz, an ed-tech startup focused on empowering online education in India, I learned many valuable lessons during my entrepreneurial journey. One particularly memorable lesson was realising the importance of keeping an open mind and normalising career breaks and path changes.

Our team at Rootworkz developed a platform that facilitated live online classes by connecting teachers and students across India. The platform provided teachers with a modern, user-friendly learning environment and enabled them to share resources, assess and provide feedback, and encourage collaboration between students. Our goal was to provide an innovative and inclusive learning solution to every student in India, regardless of any digital barriers that might stand in their way.

However, during the early days of Rootworkz, i faced several challenges when trying to sell our learning management system to education institutions. As a new startup, we didn't have the resources to hire seasoned business development sales professionals, and the COVID pandemic made it difficult for us to reach out to schools and education institutions in person. Additionally, we needed team members who had some understanding of the challenges faced by students and teachers during the pandemic and could empathize with our users and customers in order to sell the product effectively.

To overcome these challenges and find a way to sell our solution, I came up with an uncoventional solution. Instead of hiring traditional business development sales professionals, I reached out to women who were looking to return to work after a career break. Many women struggle to return to work after taking a break, and many highly educated and capable women don't get a chance to even begin their careers. By offering internship jobs with flexible working options like working from home and part-time options, I was able to provide these women with employment opportunities and help them restart their careers. Additionally, because many of these women were mothers who had experienced online education with their children, they had a deep understanding of the challenges faced by students and teachers, which made it easier for them to learn and sell our product effectively.

By hiring these women for the business development and sales roles, we were able to reduce the time invested in training new hires about the industry and the problems faced by customers. This was especially beneficial as we were a new startup and didn't have the resources to invest in lengthy training programs. Additionally, we were able to hire passionate, highly educated and capable women at a much lower salary compared to traditional sales professionals. These women also shared valuable insights as being parents, they were potential users of our platform as well. Ultimately, this innovative approach led to our rapid growth and an increase in our lead to conversion ratio from 2% to 5%. It's important to keep an open mind and embrace career breaks and path changes, as they can often lead to innovative solutions and opportunities for growth. By recognizing that career breaks and path changes are a normal part of life and being open to new ideas and approaches, we can create more inclusive and diverse workplaces.

In conclusion, the experience at Rootworkz taught me the value of embracing flexibility and supporting our team members. We were able to build a strong and successful team that was able to overcome any challenges and succeed in today's fast-paced and constantly changing world.

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