Originally an entry for the IIT Vigilance Cell contest, here’s a picture that speaks a thousand words.
It is with deep regret that I have to let you know
I have to say it ‘n I hope its not too snide
It breaks my heart as its about something I hold dear
I am sad to say our Washing Machine died.
My name is Rohit, and I am a runner. I came to running late in life. I am not the fastest runner I know (by far), and will never be as fast as many of the people I run with. The fastest I have come to running a marathon under 2 hours and 30 minutes is running near Galen Rupp and Peter Bromka. But I have come to love running even when I’m cheering and chafing at the people passing me effortlessly on the road.
November – December, 2017
This month, we’re unleashing the ‘fun’ element in Fundamatics. Life at IITB has always been enlivened with oodles of cultural activity and sporting events, with young students making the most of every opportunity. With alumni now scattered across all corners of the globe, an e-zine is a perfect vehicle to re-ignite that spark. So here’s the fun n’ games issue with plenty of activity for you – so shake off the passive reader avatar to reclaim and rediscover your enthu self.
Here in Taluka. Cool, windy, drizzly. The forest rest house is spacious, musty, British.
Let’s trace the path up to here… From Delhi took a bus to Dehra Dun. Overnight journey… slept most of the way. Reached Purola. Small town. Boasts of Monica Beauty Parlour! Stayed there overnight. Stuffed ourselves on decent Jain food. Said our farewells to electricity, phones, tap-water and other such necessities of life. Took a couple of jeeps that lugged the thirteen of us here.
Came via Sankri… a good journey. Had a glimpse of the snow capped peaks. The vegetation got steadily denser and richer. Purola and Sankri presented a rather homogeneous look. Only tall pines. No undergrowth. The ground was carpeted with the brown, soft yet prickly pine needles.
There is a brick wall between careers in the corporate and government worlds in India. Besides the IAS bridge, my peer group did not think of crossing thiswall. It raised a few eyebrows when I joined the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) as a consultant for Renewable Energy (RE) in May 2015. Reactions from friends varied from disbelief to wonderment. Here I was with family, moving from Berkeley to New Delhi to help lay the foundation of a sector with the audacious goal to reach ‘175 GW of renewable capacity by 2022’.
“Why is it so hard for our government to move the needle?” was a big question that drove me to the ‘other side’. I was particularly intrigued by the power sector. Even after 65+ years of independence and decades of government programs, ~300 million Indians did not have access to electricity in 2014 . In fact, India saw the largest grid failure in the history of mankind in 2012 . Is it sheer lack of capacity or willingness, is it corruption or is there more? In this article, I share the answers that I have found so far.
San Francisco. Sep 1, 2017: The alarm goes off at 5 am. I realize that I fell asleep while reading my son to bed again. I get up even though dawn hasn’t broken yet, mornings are my favorite time to get a head start on the day.
It has been a year since my husband, Prateek (also from IITB) and 6-year-old son, Abir, moved around the world from Bangalore to San Francisco, to support me in growing my education startup Springboard. My co-founder Gautam and I started the company in July 2013 to solve the skills gap and unemployability problem for India. We quickly realized that online was a more scalable model, and held the promise of larger impact globally. We built Springboard with the global student in mind from day one, with me taking charge of Bangalore and Gautam holding fort in SF. Soon, the business grew to a scale that necessitated my move to SF. We learnt so much about scaling a business, the team and ourselves along the way that I could write a tome on each of them. However, I will save those for future posts or a coffee conversation. For now, let me rewind to how entrepreneurship came about, almost by accident, for me. From the outside, it might look like startups are a result of lifelong passion, or come about in a flash of sweeping inspiration. In my case, it was more of an unglamorous but persistent pursuit for impact. Hopefully this alternate perspective will be interesting for you.
Engineers are changemakers. Whether we know it or not we have changed the world in ways that even we could not have imagined. I arrived at IIT Bombay a naïve teenager with what I thought I knew engineering was all about. I excelled at mathematics and science; my father was a leading engineer and involved in many exciting projects and I had heard that IIT Bombay was the place to be. I had no idea that engineering would provide me with the tools and capacity to change the world.