Gujarat, India - Vancouver
Art by Emily Honderich
Sumehra Batala story
Sumehra Batala comes from a small town in Gujarat, India. She worked as a private tutor back home and always strived to help students excel academically. She moved to Canada twelve years ago. To inculcate the love of reading and math, she started her business in the education field three years ago.
My Journey Through COVID-19
Creating stress, anxiety, and instability, COVID-19 changed my life. From a very old school, I preferred to do work in a more traditional way. Little did I know that this would change soon. I have a small business in the education field. As the state of emergency was declared, I had to suspend the in-class operations. Questions started to swirl in my mind, feelings of being lost gave me sleepless nights, and I couldn’t pause my thoughts.
I contacted other entrepreneurs in the same business, and we shared innovative ideas about utilizing technology. I was afraid. This was a big change in my life since I left India twelve years ago. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and became accustomed to doing business in a different way.
It was burdensome to do things single-handed, and I couldn’t take it. I joined many training sessions on how to conduct virtual classes for my students. At the same time, the announcement of the wage subsidy became a lifesaver, which allowed me to train my employees, who assisted me in implementing a hybrid model. Students were provided an option to join the classes online or in-person with strict procedures. It is challenging, but I am determined to stay put.
"I was afraid. This was a big change in my life since I left India twelve years ago. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and became accustomed to doing business in a different way."