In Startup50 2016: For creating India’s First English Lifestyle Magazine in Braille for the blind
Founder: Upasana Makati
With India being home to the largest visually impaired population in the world, Makati had taken up quite a challenge when she decided to publish White Print, India’s First English Lifestyle Magazine in Braille. From Google to the gates of the National Association for Blind, she had done it all to understand inside out of what her audience would want to know and how. “Just as any of us do, they also want to know more about the products and services available in the market. They love reading about anything, from fashion to entertainment to politics and short stories,” she had cited, in an earlier interview with The Smart CEO.
While it was a one-woman show during the formative period, Makati now has four employees on board, and prints the magazine at the National Association for the Blind in Mumbai. WhitePrint is circulated across the country, and currently enjoys a readership of 350. Its content has also expanded to include news pieces on music, politics, culture, technology and entrepreneurship.
With the business solely dependent on advertising revenues, WhitePrint counts the likes of Coca Cola, Vodafone and Aircel as its clients.
In fact, to not just provide a reading experience to the visually impaired but to also create awareness around this cause, Makati and her team (earlier this year), started an initiative called B for Braille. “The ratio of visually impaired and literate visually impaired is heavily skewed in India. There is an urgent need to educate and empower them,” she opines.
With a growing subscription and steady revenues in place, Makati hopes to move beyond WhitePrint to writing a book which educates the masses about developing content for the visually impaired.
Box: B For Braille
B for Braille educates and creates awareness among people about the need to increase the number of literate visually impaired people in India, who otherwise resort to audio recordings.