“It’s important to defy, if you want to chase after something”
– Lakshmi Pratury, Founder and CEO of INK
This week saw a new bunch of INK Fellows get inducted into our ever-growing family! As a kickoff to the Road to GES: Beyond Boundaries event on 26-27th November, we had our official INK Fellows Program 2017 welcome at the Novotel Hotel in Hyderabad on 24th November.
20 unsuspecting individuals came together under one roof, unaware of what was in store for them, and spent 4 hours being completely ‘INKified‘! We’d like to give you a small peek into what went down for the day.
The Fellows orientation started off with talks by Fellows Co-Chair Anu Sethuram and Fellows Program Lead Swetha Suresh. Anu charmingly overcame her stage fear to introduce the program after which Swetha took over and explained what it means to be an INK Fellow. Lakshmi Pratury and Rajat Rakkhit (Head of Ixoraa Foundation) took their turns next to extend their welcomes.
It was time for some of our Senior Fellows to display their grit. Joi Barua, Sanvar Oberoi, Manvendra Singh, Sandy Reddy, Nikhil Velpanur, Nishikant Deshmukh, Sarvesh Shashi showed off some swag to the new kids on the block (along with talking about their INK Fellow experience, of course!). In Sanvar’s words, “INK was my rocket booster”!
Following this, on encouragement by the old Fellows, the new ones came up one-by-one to introduce themselves, ‘shamelessly’ (a practice started by our Fellows Co-Chair Raghava KK).
Thanks to that, we learned what they did, what they achieved and also, a few fun facts! Like,
- Gadhadar Reddy wants to go to Mars someday. Also, his brother works with Jon Favreau on the ‘Lion King’ production!
- Farid Ahsan, CEO of Sharechat is hugely successful….but also responsible for most of the good morning and happy festival texts that fill our inbox everyday.
- Pooja Dhingra, our pastry queen, was successful in pulling off a talk in French, in front of a huge French audience!
- Kalyan Veeramachaneni is a Research Scientist at MIT, but also managed to grab a funding of 7 million for his own company!
- Nitesh Jangir’s mission is to save the lives of children….in his words, he is successful because “he was fortunate enough not to go to IIT”. In fact, he used to make a business of pushing his IIT friends to teach children in rural areas during his college days. Classic example of using wiles for good!
- Trisha Shetty ran the largest campaign in the world to end tax on sanitary pads in India. Even former USA President Obama gave her a special mention at the Obama Foundation Summit!
- Prerna Sharma has a soft voice but she is a force to reckon with! Describing herself as a ‘minority within a minority”, she is a no-nonsense physicist who can put all the male physicists to shame!
- Travis Wu, the VR genius, put himself through college by playing the piano at a jazz bar, but dropped out when he had one credit left to finish….just to prove a point! And he certainly has, as we can see from his achievements!
- Judith Amores is our ‘sensory hacker’ but not many people know that she is a former skiing champion as well!
- Gary Mao redefines the way artisans monetize their work, but also used to be a reality TV star in China. He sure gave us the giggles with his unique brand of jokes!
The orientation wrapped up with a festive atmosphere, with all the new Fellows bonding with each other and excited for the next few days – meeting new people, sharing ideas, stumbling on new collaborations and above all, speaking on stage amongst eminent personalities to an audience of 1200. One thing we know for sure is that Road to GES will be a blast with all our Fellows, old and new!