our team & story

find out more about us and our story below! 

hey! i'm khawar and i head things up at somos πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘‹πŸ½

growing up with my nani (grandma) in southall, west london i spoke a blend of languages that represented my family's migratory history - punjabi, urdu, english (each peppered with swahili words & phrases). 

like a lot of second/third generation migrants to places like the uk, my teenage self gradually let english take over at home and school (especially after a fresh prince style move to greater london suburbia 😱)!

as an adult wanting to reconnect, i was fortunate to set-up and run apples & pears - a charity that built community projects with often overlooked groups across london. 

engaging with migrant communities similar to the ones i grew up in brought me halfway 'home' and i was eager to complete the journey! 

lacking the confidence to bring it up (or practice!) with my wider family, i started looking for online punjabi, urdu and swahili teachers as a way of revisiting my heritage and ancestral memory.

the process uncovered some uncomfortable truths:

  1. online 1:1 language teachers often face poor pay, burnout, loneliness and no or limited access to employee style benefits
  2. as a student (especially of heritage, creole languages), it's not always easy to find reliable conversation partners to practice with! 
  3. most of the world's 7,000+ languages have very little online/digital representation, worse still up to 40% of those are in danger of extinction over the next 80-100 years

enter somos... a project on a mission to:  

  1. enable teachers to earn & live well;
  2. provide access to affordable language education; and
  3. support language rights for all people.  

we've ambitious goals for somos, starting with our free to join community for online language teachers, which - if you teach languages online - we invite you to join here!

we'll be launching our 4-week conversation courses later on in the year.    

if you'd like to find out a little more about how somos is managed, our team, plans for the future and approach, please see below.

thanks!

- km 😘

you're welcome to connect with meπŸ‘‹πŸ½:

linkedin | twitter | instagram | newsletter

meet our team!

we're a friendly bunch - come & say hello πŸ‘‹πŸ½

  • Km profile 2
    khawar malik
    founder & ceo

    music taste getting worse with age but can make a variety of hot sauces 🌢πŸ”₯ can't have it all. 

    mixed career background: law, m&a, insurance & community organising. from london. building somos on the move. 

  • Photo 2022 06 13 16 39 40
    Ali Ahmad Ahmadi
    Associate

    learning consistently will open up doors you could not imagine!

    I enjoy playing soccer and learning new skills and I believe EQ is more important than IQ. I am passionate to learn more about different parts of a business πŸ˜€

  • Areej
    Areej Khan
    Associate

    learning a lot is necessary to stay connected as the world becomes more virtual than physical. exploring…

    currently pursuing a degree in accounting and finance after studying health & social care online from the uk.

  • open door policy logo
    open door policy
    partner organisation

    our team is made up of amazing graduates from open door policy's remote employment programme!

    are you an employer hiring for remote roles? check out the link below or ask us to set up an intro 😊

how somos is managed

somos is community backed with 23 investors taking part in our pre-seed fundraising round. they've all bought into a business model that allocates equity ownership for employees, teachers and grassroots community organisations. 

we're grateful for support from

  • Startupsforall logo
  • heartbeat chat logo
  • Notion app logo
  • Twilio for startups logo
  • Airtable logo