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This Apeejay Pitampura alumnus dreams of soaring high fuelled by green energy

Armed with a degree in Aerospace Engineering, Dishank Kathuria says the one thing that is common among the world’s top technology professionals is that they are passionate as well as purpose-driven

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Apeejay School, Pitampura alumnus Dishank Kathuria did his Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder, United States. In an interview, the co-founder of Solvano talks about, among other subjects, the mantra for being a successful technology professional, why he is passionate about sustainable aviation, the diverse life lessons that he picked up at Apeejay School, Pitampura and the importance of effective communication for the world’s greatest business leaders and entrepreneurs. Edited excerpts:

From Apeejay School, Pitampura to the University of Colorado Boulder and becoming the co-founder of Solvano. Please share your educational and professional journey with us.

 I did my undergraduate studies in Aerospace Engineering from University of Colorado Boulder in the United States. I graduated last year in May and since then I’ve been trying to make a foray into the renewable energy industry. I don’t have a very long professional experience. However, during this past year, I have worked at a non-profit research organisation that focused on developing new hydrogen technologies. I worked on converting conventional mobility sector vehicles (such as bikes, cars etc.) into hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. Using this experience, I later started my own company with a friend called Solvano. We are developing a camper trailer that is specifically designed for the next generation of electric vehicles. It can charge your car on the go, among other things. However, owing to some visa issues, I had to return to India and for now I am working as a consultant for them since I designed and engineered the entire system. I plan to go back this fall.

What does your job as Co-founder– Solvano based in Colorado entail? What is your area of specialisation?

I partly answered some of this in my previous response. I am the technical co-founder of Solvano. So I designed the trailer, did the trade study and market research in order to determine the viability of the product. From electrical systems to the structure of the camper, I designed the entire thing. My area of specialisation is Aerospace Engineering. However, it is very easy to apply the engineering knowledge from the background to any other field. For example, for my preliminary designs, I played the role of an electrical engineer, an aerospace engineer, and a mechanical engineer. It is pretty simple as long as you have the fundamentals down. 

What is the secret of being a successful technology professional?

I personally don’t like the term ‘successful’ as success can be relative. One thing that is common among technology professionals at the top of the pyramid is that they are very passionate about what they do. Moreover, they are very purpose-driven and that could mean anything (climate change, human rights etc.). Their drive is what makes them the best. If you are passionate about what you do, you are on the right track! Keep grinding!

From Sunder Pichai, to Satya Nadella, to Parag Agrawal and Leena Nair a number of Indian-origin executives are heading diverse businesses around the world, particularly those based in the United States. Would you attribute their rise to a good work ethic, individual brilliance or anything else?

I think both things that you mentioned, good work ethic, and individual brilliance play a very important role in their success. I also think that these executives were effective communicators and have worked really hard on their leadership skills which ultimately earned them these prestigious positions. 

What are your memories of the time you spent at Apeejay?

I learned that life is not always fair. Whether it’s a bad exam or a bad classmate, there will be times where you would feel like the world is conspiring against you. But at these times you must tell yourself that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. When I look back at my time in school, sometimes I had tough times, but that’s what made me resilient in life and it’s really important because life only gets more complex and challenging. I appreciate those diverse experiences that I had during school.   

Aasheesh Sharma is a seasoned journalist with an experience of more than 25 years spread over newspapers, news agencies, magazines and television. He has worked in leadership positions in media groups such as Hindustan Times, India Today, Times of India, NDTV, UNI and IANS. He is a published author and his essay on the longest train journey in India was included in an anthology of writings on the railways, brought out by Rupa Publications. As the Editor of Apeejay Newsroom, he is responsible for coverage of the latest news and developments in the Apeejay institutions. He can be reached at [email protected] He tweets @Aasheesh74

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