Ten years ago in these early hours of the morning, my third child was born. The exact time of the birth of GoaChronicle.com was 4 am on this day August 13, 2010.
GoaChronicle.com has been an effort of love and passion of three of its founders – Myrtle Savio Rodrigues, Agraj Agranayak and me, Our passion was for India. Our passion was for journalism.
Our journey started with a mission and a vision for a Better India through our kind of journalism.
We want to leave a legacy for our children, that says, we played pivotal role in shaping the thought-process of our people in India through our journalism.
We wanted to tell the people of India the truth for what the truth really is through our investigations and research.
Over the last ten years we have seen our set of hard times that every entrepreneur or change-manager experiences, we had reached a stage where we did not have money to pay salaries or pay for rent.
Yet at every step of the way, we believed that BharatMata called, BharatMata will uphold, BharatMata will preserve.
The greatest inspiration or our greatest source of conviction to pursue our kind of journalism was the Late Defence Minister of India and Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. He was always encouraging and always forthright in his criticism just as we were sometimes on his government’s policies.
I so fondly remember this advice my mentor Mr Parrikar had given me once when I had the opportunity to have lunch with him. He told me, “Remember you have a heart and a sharp mind but most of all you are fearless. Do not lose these qualities in you. It is what defines you and it is what will define GoaChronicle.com.
The respectability that GoaChronicle.com has garnered over the last few years for its fearless journalism is a silent blessing. I believe, this blessing is of the one-man who believed in our intent and our mission – Mr Parrikar from the onset.
I often wish he would have been around to watch our slow and steady growth on to the national and global stage for the kind of journalism we first tested in Goa and with our supporters in Goa.
Myrtle, Agraj and I set out to put Goa on the world map not for its beaches, parties, hotels or restaurants, we wanted people around the world to also say ‘Goa has this global news brand GoaChronicle.com that does wonderful investigative stories and has challenged some of the most powerful institutions and people in the world in their vision to make Goa, India and the world a better place’.
Someday, we believe in the years to come, people will remember Goa for GoaChronicle.com. That day is not far and we will do our best with more investigations and research, more national and internationally impactful stories.
Along this journey of ours, we have had seen our team grow, we have seen some of our team members go and we have some leave us for their heavenly abode. Each and every one of our team members along these ten-years have contributed to where GoaChronicle.com is positioned today in the world of journalism.
As a team we have stood by each other, fought with each other and sometimes even gotten disillusioned by each other but we have always stood by GoaChronicle.com and respected this child for its vision.
I remember the times when Myrtle, Agraj and myself as the founding members would sit and have a drink and plan the growth trajectory of GoaChronicle.com. We never saw it as a business and I do not think we will ever be able to see it as a business. No child is every a commodity to its parents.
Even at our worst time of financial crisis, we persevered because we believed that this was our mission, this was our child and we became the support system for each other in our weakness to carry on this journey.
GoaChronicle.com today has received a letter of intent from a consortium of private investors from India-US (NRI Indians) who believe in the mission and vision of our online news portal. The investment we have raised of Rs 5 crores is by offering 5 per cent equity. It is a blessing that we have raised this seed funding on our completion of a decade of our child.
Our investors have not valued us for our business growth over the last ten-years, we were not a money-spinner product of the Indian media. The truth is, our investors backed our idea of journalism, what we stand for and our vision for Better India through journalism.
Though technically it would look to be a Rs 100 crore valuation, to us the value of GoaChronicle.com is priceless because our journalism ethos and our vision for a Better India is priceless. This resonated with our lead investors.
To us this is a humbling moment.
But we have seen more humbling moments like when a grandmother of a grandchild tells us that she prays for us everyday because we intervened to ensure her grandchild is brought back home during COVID-19 lockdown. Or the mother who tells me whenever I meet her that she is always praying for us because she believes our timely intervention saved her son from death – he had an accident and was bleeding on the road and we had called for an ambulance, drove in the ambulance with the injured young man and ensured he was treated for his severe injuries with my shirt covered with his blood. Or the human trafficking victim we rescued and ensured she returned back home to North-East safe and is now married with children. Or the victims of sexual abuse by clergy who come to us because they believe that we will fight for their justice and who pray for our well-being.
We have many such beautiful memories, many tears off sadness but also many tears of joy. We have also have had a fair-share of intimidation and threats but we have learned to take it in our stride.
In this mission of ours we have made many very powerful enemies not only in Goa, not only in India but around the world. We have rattled the foundations of some global organisations and some nations too with our truthful and investigative stories. Some of our enemies are baffled at our audacity and sheer tenacity of our style of journalism. Some have even resorted to banning us in some nations from travel.
All this only means that we are doing our job and we are walking on the path of truth.
For a small brand out of Goa to take centre-stage because of our kind of journalism is a proud moment for us and a humbling one too.
You my dear reader and supporter but most of all friend are the encouragement for our kind journalism.
Your prayers, your best wishes and your support is the source of our energy. It is what drives us to pursue our mission for a Better India through our journalism.
Thank you and continue to pray for us that we will leave a legacy that India and the world will remember saying that there were these three young Goans with a new vision for journalism who lead a team of young journalists and whistleblowers that had the courage to swim against tide and carve a niche for themselves without political support or a corporation support.
Thank you Goa, Thank you India. You are the only reason we strive and we will strive to get better in the next ten-years.
Jai Hind. Bharat Mata Ki Jai!