Spotlight on Guide: Raju Gandha

Jan 25, 2021

Raju has been happily married for the past 35 years. His wife and he have a married daughter and reside near Rajasthan. He spent the last 25 years in hospitality managing international expositions and conventions in India.

“Unfortunately with the pandemic, all the conventions and meetings in India have been frozen.”

After years of consulting in a sector that has been practically shut down due to the pandemic, Raju was looking for something new that could utilize his practical hands-on experience with hosting.

“Working in hospitality is about getting the details, client meetings, and lots of coordination. It’s a long drawn process. A good international conference takes about 4 years to mature.”

Event managers, like Raju, are exposed to all kinds of things. That means that communication and research are essential.

“As we joke in the industry. We are - “Jack of all, and master of none.” We know everything and nothing.”

Knowing everything and nothing meant that Raju was ready for whatever opportunity came his way.

Creating Connection in the New Life Norm

Raju with his wife, Sonu. 

Adjusting to the new life norm wasn’t so easy for him, since he’s used to working with many people. Nevertheless, he can still find the positive in the situation.

“Some things are great. In the sense, the interaction in the virtual world has increased, which otherwise might not have been possible.”

While searching for opportunities, a former competitor of Raju’s posted about a startup - GetSetUp. The post highlighted that they were looking for Guides over 50 with subject knowledge, internet, and time to connect with others. At 59 years old, Raju fit the description. He reached out and after an interview, Raju was live and online as a GetSetUp Guide by November.

To brush up on his skills, Raju attended sessions by US Guides like Donna and Vikki on Zoom and watched a video of Marv conducting the New Member Orientation.

“I found the classes interesting, especially how she conducted them. And Norman was there, so I saw how to make it interactive and conduct a class. It was helpful to watch them and how they made ice-breaking seeming less intimidating. Plus they make all the participants feel as if he or she was their neighbor next door. I learned a lot from them.”

Making people feel comfortable was already a part of Raju’s hosting work before. The only real difference was he had to learn to transfer those skills to a virtual environment.

“It is more difficult to do that virtually, but with the experience I have, I got into the rhythm. Every day is a learning opportunity. Even while I am speaking I learn.”

Using His Hospitality Experience To Create Virtual Community

Raju with his wife, daughter, and son-in-law. 

Raju started by teaching technology classes. But he has some good ideas on different unique classes as well.

“One of the topics that I found interesting on the US website is “From Trash To Treasure”. I feel it is a useful class as we can recycle a lot of trash lying in our homes using our creativity.

Working with GetSetUp has been a learning and networking experience for Raju.

“We connect people from all over the globe. In fact, today I had someone who just came from California or was based there. She had logged in despite the 12 hour time difference. She follows us almost religiously and I see that.”

Raju thinks the platform is just great and enjoys working with GetSetUp. He thinks the platform is a lot like a university only you don’t have to pay for it, and there are no grades!

“This is a great platform very well thought out and executed to perfection. There is no limit you walk in and learn. And you just keep on learning.”

The very first class that Raju taught on GetSetUp was Gmail-Useful Things You Might Not Know. Since then, he has continued to teach lots of technology classes like Microsoft Word, Google Drive, Excel, and more. He also teaches classes around social technology like WhatsApp, Google Meet, and Zoom. He enjoys helping others to learn new tools to communicate better and considers this closely tied to his previous work as an event manager.

Working with GetSetUp helps Raju in many different ways.

“It keeps me motivated to do something and give back to society. ‘Knowledge shared is knowledge squared.’ I enjoy my work, interacting, and learning from learning. This is all possible since sessions are interactive.”

Raju calls his learners family members as over time they have gotten so close he feels that connection. He likes to ask them questions not just about the content but to share if there is something new so the whole group will benefit.

Raju finds that GetSetUp provides an encouraging response to bringing up new ideas and insights to enhance the community. Some of these ideas lead to new classes that he is learning about or interested in teaching.

“I have six new sessions every week. Plus I’m looking to teach more phone applications on health,  Media, and Utility tools, that are becoming popular.”

Raju teaches about 13 classes a week. He spends time learning new skills or revisiting past class topics. Plus to research, Raju often attends other Guides’ classes to gain information and knowledge so that he can pass that on to others.

“It has always been my personal goal to share my knowledge with people for their benefit. That has always been my drive. I have mentored freshers and seen them grow. As much as I can I try to contribute to the growth of any individual or growth to a business like GetSetUp.”

Raju enjoys greeting each new learner as they join the GetSetUp community. GetSetUp is creating an extended family that transcends virtual boundaries.

Join Raju to enhance your technology skills or have a bit of fun learning new tools to connect!

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