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‘If you have an innovative idea, do not ignore it’

Apeejay College of Fine Arts (ACFA) alumnus Sarabjeet Singh has been training more than 15 overseas students in the nuances of resolving mobile phone issues at his institute

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In the wake of greater emphasis on vocational training, mobile hardware specialist Sarabjeet Singh, an alumnus of Apeejay College of Fine Arts (ACFA), is giving graduates an opportunity to undertake formal training in mobile repairing, thereby using their skill set for employment. Singh, who quit his government job to become an entrepreneur, says he is always driven by the urge to explore and innovate. In an interview, the Jalandhar-based iPhone specialist shares more about his business, tips to sanitise a phone, increase its longevity, and more. Edited excerpts:

Can you share your memories from ACFA?

I have too many memories from that institution! During my two years of college from 2013 to 2015, I was a part of the Student Welfare Association (SWA). I was also made the student president of the IT department. My teachers always encouraged me to find my passion and do something different from the rest of the crowd. I think that is the philosophy that has helped me reach where I am today. I was always motivated to innovate; I remember I made a quadcopter—android and Windows-based—in college when everyone else was busy creating websites. I later won an award for the project too.

Tell us about your venture.

At present, I run two companies—Broken Glass Point and Makkar I Solutions. The former is for mobile repair. The latter is an institute for graduates where they learn about hardware, from schematic to implementation. It is a three-month course in online as well as offline formats for both Indian and foreign students.

This is part of my endeavour to share my knowledge and skills with others, as much as possible. This also opens up employment opportunities for students. In fact, we put some of them on the payroll too if we find them deserving.

Are foreign students also undergoing training in the offline mode?

We provide accommodation to the international students, among other facilities. They usually spend up to eight to nine hours a day in training. Foreign students train for at least a month, go back to their respective countries for six months to work, and again return to India for a month for an advanced level of training. So far, we have trained 15 foreign students, although we stopped enrolling them amid the pandemic.

What inspired you to start your own business?

Prior to my ventures, I worked as an IT officer with Punjab Sports Department for two-and-a-half years. However, the job could not provide me with much-needed inspiration. In a moment of epiphany, I realised I wanted to do something better. During my time as a government professional, I applied for a Visa for China to pursue further studies for six months. I finally resigned in 2016 and concentrated on my business.

How did you gather the funds? What kind of challenges did you face?

I took a loan to finance my venture. There were several challenges in the beginning. The fact that I quit a government job upset my family members and I had a hard time convincing them. I knew that the path I had chosen was difficult but not impossible. Every journey has its own set of obstacles, and I was ready to tackle them. My business turned out to be successful, so my parents did not object any further.

Last month, someone wanted me to obtain all the data from his son’s broken phone after his demise. The kind of satisfaction you experience when you are able to fulfil a person’s wishes is something that keeps me going.

How did the pandemic affect your work?

Fortunately, I did not face too much of a problem. During the time of crisis, I was still helping frontline workers, from the police to the doctors, with their devices. In fact, with most people shifting to the online mode of work, our business was boosted. Coming to training, we have two students with us now.

What is the best way to sanitise a mobile phone?

Many companies have now started making UV boxes for sanitising mobile phones. You can also purchase alcohol-based mobile sanitisers, spray on a cloth and then use it to wipe your phone.

We often complain about how our mobile phones do not last long. How can one improve a phone’s longevity?

Most of us have the habit of overcharging our mobile phones, which reduces longevity. The lithium in your phone may be affected because of excess charging and ultimately the device will stop working. Once your phone battery reaches 20 per cent, put it to charge. Remove it once it is charged up to 85 per cent. Avoid charging it too many times. This will increase the longevity by around 1.5 years.

Putting a wet phone in a rice container is a popular practice. Does it work?

Sometimes, yes. If your phone gets wet, you can put it in uncooked rice, which soaks the water. But it is only a temporary remedy; it does not fix your phone. Also, do not put your phone on charge or the external power supply may react with the salt in tap water. Ultimately, you have to take it to a repair shop.

Your message for ACFA students.

If you have an innovative idea, do not ignore it. I would recommend you to at least work on the idea so that you will know you have tried your best. Do not wait, try it now. 

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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