Parikshit Dilip Shah, 25 years old, an Osteogenesis imperfecta fighter who has never moved out of his bed, except without the support of his mother, and he runs his own digital media company successfully to earn his livelihood and to support his family. Until today he has attempted all the exams lying in bed.
Do read his full interview about Inspirational Beings to know what all challenges he had to go through during his journey, how did he manage to overcome those challenges, what keeps him motivated during his low times, and what is her message to our readers.
Q1: Tell us about your background and education?
I was born in a middle-class family in Gujrat; later my family moved to Mumbai. My father passed away when I was 8 yrs old. My mother supported me and is my greatest strength.
I have completed my master in arts and masters in economics with first class and have passed the entrance exam for Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)
Q2: What are the challenges you faced while completing your education?
Almost all school denied the admission when I was to get in first grade. My parents had to follow up to a great extent. My parents had to plead my case too many school management bodies, and as a last resort, they were ready to approach court against schools at that point once school agreed to grant me admission and allowed me to study from home. But later since my grades were exemplary, I was allowed in high school, and college and my teachers supported me a lot considering my particular needs. I was allowed to give exams wearing plaster. My education has always been from home. My mother used to teach me at my house till my grade 8th Later I started studying on my own. I completed my graduation. Sometimes I used to take guidance from tutors, but it was all doable. When I was doing my master, I faced the challenge of missing on college library as finding perfect books for your studies but till then I was well acquainted with the internet, and it was a lifesaver. My parents, teachers and many people supported and motivated me in learning new academic skills through extracurricular activities and with their support I overcome those challenges.
Q3: Why did you think education is important when you had so many hurdles?
I believe education is not about what you study from academic books or how well you score in the exams. For me, teaching is something you learn to gain wisdom and for becoming a competent human being. In the modern world, there are several ways you can learn things. I have obtained knowledge and skills from my external readings and in discussion with my mentors and teachers than my textbooks. Degrees you get from academics makes your path for the future and give you the confidence to face the competitive world.
Q4: Why did you think of starting internet/social media branding/promotional activities?
Because of physical constraint, I have been bedridden since birth. I can’t move from bed without support. I started exploring the internet and other digital mediums of communication. I realized the immense potentiality of reaching the world, collaborating with like-minded people, empowering ourselves with the information and by exchanging our ideas. I realized the potential to improve the way we live, talk and do the business. I have met many wonderful people online. I got my first online job at the age of 21, and then I could explore more opportunities in this digital world. The opportunities in social media marketing are immense, and I think the power of the internet can be used not only to grow businesses but to bring a positive change in society.
Q5: What challenges do you face while running your business & how do you handle them?
Challenges keep you motivated to do your best, to push your limits, to think out-of-the-box. Being on mobile is a challenge, and it limits opportunity sometimes, many things which could have been easier otherwise are taking a lot of time to happen. Hopefully, I will find some solution to it very soon. Assembling and aligning resources for my work is tough sometime as many times people go on appearances than the merit in an idea or your talent. I work with Patience and determination when people see your firmness and confidence they support.
Q6: How you manage your activities despite being dependent on others?
I have learned to adjust my pace and work as per the speed of support system. Honestly, my mother has never made me felt like I am dependant on her and neither my friends, family or other people around me have treated me differently. The encouragement and support I get from them are great. I have been immensely benefited by the internet and digital media and use the same as my strength for making contact and for learning new technologies to improve my knowledge and business. I reach out to knowledgeable scholars for guidance on various subjects with whom I have developed a connection through social media,
Q7: How do you keep your motivation in low time?
Yes, there are times when you find yourself clueless or missing. I know these moments make you think- Why did I start this in the first place? I believe work is the biggest motivation. The more you keep yourself busy with the job, the lesser time you have to think about the things that hold you back. Talking to my mom, talking to friends, watching some inspiring stuff on the internet also helps at times.
Q8: What is your advice to youth?
Don’t limit yourself. Explore new opportunities outside and build capabilities in things you like. Don’t settle for one field or one career. Take some calculated risks. Don’t consider any work as small until you are happy in doing it because every experience makes you learn things.
Most importantly, don’t study because you have to obtain brilliant grades. Make it a learning experience, not a memorizing exercise. Thankfully, neither my parents nor my teachers forced me into the race for being the best in the university. They instead encouraged me to learn things outside books which helped me a lot.
Q9: What is your plan ahead?
I am dedicating my time to our start-up. It’s called Eerlik Media. We started it around May 2018, and it’s been a pleasant journey so far. I had cleared my PET (Ph.D. Entrance Test) from the University of Mumbai on Dec. 2018. So now I am eligible for the Ph.D. course as well. However, I am keeping it on hold for the time being as I feel my work needs me more than anything else. One thing which I wish to go along with digital marketing is blogging. I am hopeful that I will be able to revisit that side of me very soon and I will be able to keep that thing going.