Update: 02 October 2009: Page undergoing Slight updates.. Contact me in case of any query.. Thanks!

Introspections...

 

There are two ways in which we learn in life. One is by our own experiences, and the other is through others' experiences. Also, there are primarily two kinds of questions: one that others ask you and the second type being the ones that you got to ask yourself. The second category of questions are very crucial in shaping our life. The question and its timing are equally important. Listed below are a set of introspections with answers;  hope you enjoy reading it! All facts on this page are verifiable.
 

 


My Career Progression Other than conventional work... Goals in life
How do I define success? M ost difficult career situation? More introspections..

My Startup: iPragMatrix.com


My Career Progression

 

I began my career with a decision to follow my heart. It was a very tense evening when a bunch of students were waiting at the placements section of the National Institute of Techology, Rourkela, were waiting to hear the results of the first company in campus - Infosys - and mine was the first name to be announced. The world looked more beautiful, but I joined IIT Bombay as a Research Associate - I loved Control Theory and got an opportunity at IITB to work on Wind Turbine and Engine Control. It was like working in a small startup and I was a team member involved in setting up the Engine Control lab in the Mechanical Engineering Department. Before joining IITB, I was a Junior Scientist Fellow with KVPY, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. I was hand picked by the GM (Engines, R&D) of TVS Motor, where I was involved in the first indigenously developed fuel-injected bike in India. I moved on to General Electric to add a global touch to my capabilities and continued work in clean engine technologies. Two years later, I landed at the Mercedes-Benz R&D India. My roles in these organizations has been that of an individual contributor and a mentor.

 


Other than conventional work...

Back to the list of questions

During the first year of my engineering, I got the Junior Scientist Fellowship of KVPY, from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. I was one out of four folks selected from all over India. This opened the doors of the prestigious IITs to me, and I regularly visited IIT Kharagpur and IIT Bombay to carry out newer experiments and understand technology which was a bit distant from my own peers at my college. I involved myself in student activities such as being the Class Representative of the Mechanical Engineering batch and being the General Secretary (G-Sec) of my Hostel. Being a G-Sec taught me a lot of new things. (You can have a look at this blog post here.) I was also involved in flood relief work during the aftermath of the '99 super cyclone in Orissa. Apart from these kind of work, I started an Engineering Services company, while at IITB. It was fully self funded and I contributed towards business development from scratch. It went on till one of the three founders accepted a Master's admit at Stanford University and the second one opted for a Doctorate at IIT Bombay. The experience taught me how to look beyond the normal vision and see the broader aspects of idea implementation. I continued my startup related efforts and was shortlisted at the pan - IIT 2007 conference for my idea of an oscilloscope in a mobile phone. I am an active volunteer for Headstart.in and regularly contribute to the organization of Startup Saturdays in Bangalore. I teach underprivileged children at Bangalore, with a organization called Friends Children. You can also look at some of the other social initiatives taken by me in a blog post here.

 


Goals in life

Back to the list of questions

I was asked this question by a scribe, when I was declared the state topper in matriculation. I want to contribute to a more beautiful, and sustainable world by contributing in the energy and education sector (in this particular order). This is to be done at a global scale, keeping in mind the business as well as the humane aspects. In the long run, I want to found a venture that will help me  achieve this. Apart from this, there are various short term goals such as promoting a sustainable startup ecosystem in India (am doin it through my efforts at Headstart.in), founding a support organization for leukoderma patients (particularly in the Indian society), running my consulting story in the embedded automotive field (am doing it already!) and so on.. In all these, there is a process in achieving every dream! In addition to the professional stuff, I endeavor to be a family person, and a good human being (now, this is a different story and needs a separate discussion!!).
 

How do I define success?

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An amalgamation of feelings of challenge, suspense, strategy and achievement of seeing your vision take concrete shape... A reflection of your efforts giving a smile to others.. And an internal feeling that you have grown beyond your assumed limitations..  An important addition to this question is, 'how do I define failure?'. Some 'control theory' expert once said, 'there is no failure, only feedback!'. Life teaches through many means - and you need to have resilience in all situations.
 

What is the most difficult career situation I had?

 

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Yet to come, I should say! But there have been real trying times. Being technically strong in your field is one part of the story. Being professionally and emotionally strong is another important part. Technical situations can be solved by improving your skill set but handling people and their fuzzy tantrums is fun (and at times, scary!). The most crucial career situation I might have faced is when my team manager had some personal grudge on me and used all his efforts to prove that I am not fit for the organization! It was a tense period with most of the team folks supporting me outside office, but being faithful dogs in front of the team manager. I figured out that he wanted to replace me with one of his friends. Endless presentations to customers showing what I have delivered and continuous forestalling by manager became routine. I knew that he was more powerful. I was on my wit's end (gandhigiri doesn't work at all times!) I held on to my stand; at times my mind oscillated between quitting the job and not quitting! I kept improving on my performance. I had this added confidence because I double checked the quality of my work with other seniors in the team - I was technically correct and professionally polite. I really thank him for edging me (though in a difficult manner) to do better. I also figured out that there are other members in the team who were being troubled unprofessionally. This went on for more than two months and I was losing my sleep over office nightmares. On a flight to Bangalore, back from US, I was informed that the manager has quit the company. I landed in India with a lighter mind. Perseverance, politeness with a brave face, and positive performance (even when the credit is snatched from you and given to someone else!) are the stuff that helped me sail through.
 

More introspections yet to come..!!

Back to the list of questions

Life is all about growing! I will keep posting some related topics on this page.. You can also have a look at some stories here.