Pragnya Wakhlu is a known name in the Pune music circuit. After quitting her successful career in a major IT company, she’s decided to follow her passion – singing! A lyricist and composer herself, she wants to change the lives of others through her music initiatives. She has been part of many renowned bands in Pune and has done many gigs throughout the city entertaining thousands of people. Apart from her association with the bands she is also a startup founder and CEO for ‘Mousai’, a firm dedicated to re-energising & liberating people through the use of music and movement. Pragnya, a trained guitarist and vocalist, tells SIS all about her dream venture, things close to her heart and music.
Mousai CEO Pragnya Wakhlu in conversation with ‘StageISset’
SIS: When did you start Mousai activities?
PW: Mousai was registered in May 2009 after which I completed my entrepreneurship course at IIMB and returned to Pune. MOUSAI related activities and events started in August 2009. It’s almost been a year since its inception.
SIS: What is Mousai all about?
PW: Mousai is dedicated to re-energizing & liberating people through the use of music and movement. Mousai conducts learning programs in the areas of creative thinking, positive attitudes, emotional expression & others. These programs are conducted for the education, Corporate and NGO sectors. We also conduct open programs which anyone can attend. Our unique methodology involves the use of music and dance in learning. High participant involvement, singing and dancing together, powerful short films and slides provide a fun and interactive learning environment. Music and dance have the ability to connect to the heart and mind at a deeper and more emotional level; thereby moving a person and creating powerful experiences.
SIS: What kind of activism and events has Mousai done ?
PW: Mousai ‘s clientele in the Corporate sector include WNS, Principal Global Services, Zensar, GAIA ITES, Sodexo, EXL Services , Lila Poonawalla Foundation, Indusion Consulting ,Maharashtra Catering College and United Arts Society. Some of the open workshops we conduct are “Dancing Spirit and Song” an exclusive workshop for women ,”Expanding Emotional and Creative Expression” and “Healing with Sounds” open for all & “Rediscover Yourself” for the youth.
SIS: What are the barriers in getting such a unique concept to the world?
PW: The concept of integrating arts with learning has newly been introduced in India and is catching up slowly. Integrating music and movement to teach a person to be creative, confident and positive is a newly launched concept. Since this is a very specialized service; finding the right people for this job and training them for scalability is a bit of a barrier. If it were a regular training skills program it would be easier to train people. Here since we are using art with music, it is a little more challenging to find and train the trainers.
SIS: Any upcoming events?
PW: An open program for school teachers called “Creative teachers” in association with Pragati Leadership Institute. This is to educate teachers about creative teaching methods that can be used in classrooms to make education more fun. We are also having an open “Healing with Sound” workshop and another one for teenagers which will be held at Urban Ashram. Our open workshop calendar can be accessed at http://www.mousaiindia.blogspot.com
SIS: What is the audience acceptance for such kind of events?
PW: The audience acceptance has been good and encouraging. We even had a few people who wanted to join the company after attending our programs.
SIS: Message to our readers.
PW: Always do what you love in life and never give up on your dream. There may be times things seem dark in life, but the key is to remember that every challenge in life is something that you can learn from that will make you a wiser person tomorrow.
One of my favourite sayings is
”Life’s battles don’t always go,
To the stronger or faster man,
But sooner or later the one who wins,
Is the one who thinks HE CAN!”
Mousai has been covered as a case study in the book “Inspiring Women to start Innovative Enterprises” by IIMB and Pragnya is foreseeing her company’s global presence ten years down the line. She considers hard work, patience and determination as key factors in her achievements so far and to other entrepreneurs, especially women, she advises putting in extra efforts to balance their personal and work life. She considers Kiran Bedi, Kiran Mazumda Shaw, Anu Agha and Lila Poonawalla as her icons.
StageISSet wishes Pragnya all the very best for all her future endeavours.