Meet 14-year-old entrepreneurs who work to popularise the spelling bee

The Chennai-based twins now have over 1,000 registrations from 10 countries in their website

April 01, 2021 05:55 pm | Updated April 02, 2021 12:07 pm IST - Coimbatore

Harpith and Harpita Pandian

Harpith and Harpita Pandian

Harpith and Harpita Pandian are strict about following their daily routine. It is important for the 14-year-old twins from Chennai to divide their time between studying and managing their educational platform called Classminds.

“We believe that age is not a limit for entrepreneurship. All one needs are passion and a willingness to work hard to run a successful business. We launched our company last year. We focus on holding workshops and competitions for spelling bee. Now it has around 1,000 registrations from 10 countries,” says Harpita.

The duo’s love for spelling started at the age of three. “Our parents read us bedtime stories and we were always curious about the vocabulary. Having understood our interest, they introduced us to word games. Over the years we created a word bank with over 50,000 words,” says Harpith.

Looking back

At the age of eight, the siblings participated in the Victoria County Spelling Bee, a State-level competition. And while Harpita won the title, Harpith was the first runner-up. “This encouraged us to participate in the Great Australian Spelling Bee. It was a tight competition with over 18,000 contestants. We emerged in the top 10,” she recalls.

Since the contest, they have been taking motivational classes and workshops in schools. “We have covered over 50 schools in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. We share our journey. It was then that we realised that though many students are interested in spelling bee, there are not many platforms available to help them in the process. We wanted to fill the gap and decided to come up with this project,” says Harpith.

To know more about business, they enrolled in a summer entrepreneurship programme organised by IIT-Madras in 2019. “We also started attending entrepreneurial meetings to understand different business models. We also get guidance from our father who is a businessman,” Harpith adds.

They both agree that it is challenging to manage their time between academics and business. “But it is fun too. We are self-learners and study our portions in advance,” says Harpita. The duo is a part of APJ Abdul Kalam’s Vision 2020 Team and contributes articles for the English section of Manavar Kadamai , a student e-magazine.

They also work with the State Government to produce English educational programmes for Government schools. “It is on hold for the time being due to the pandemic. We will resume once students are back to school,” concludes Harpita.

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