“Instead of thinking out of the box, get rid of the box.”
There are few people alongside us who set an example before the world by opting for the non-customary and then getting the best out of it.
An entrepreneur, an educator and much more, handling a government job at the same time, Ravi Singh Choudhary, Mechanical Engineering, 2k11 batch, BIT Sindri, is a path breaker and trend setter for some reason.
Founder of Krishi Utthan, developing an integrated and comprehensive approach towards agriculture, making organic fruits and veggies available at door step, the man is indefatigably focusing on the growth of farmers as well. Presently working in HEC Ltd, Ranchi, he continues to follow his teaching passion through Unacademy.
Here is a short conversation with the man himself in which we try unravelling him.
Sarjana: Tell us something about yourself.
Ravi Sir: I cannot sit idle. I use time as a fuel. I have an unusual habit of connecting every event to a single series. Besides, I have a huge respect for people who work hard and bring smile on faces.
Sarjana: What was your childhood and teenage like?
Ravi Sir: I do not have guts to talk about things having negative vibes. But the thing is, what I am today is due to a molding process which started in my childhood. Patience and perseverance comes with a price. Although I had a childhood like everyone else, care-free, I was mostly involved in co-curricular activities and was not able to focus on one thing. I wanted to learn everything and was ready to get into a debate about anything with anyone without having prior knowledge of the subject. I was kind of a freak. I wanted to beat everyone in every field. I spent time day dreaming about bizarre things, singing louder and having a bit lesser humility.
Sarjana: What were your expectations when you joined B.I T. Sindri ?
Ravi Sir: No expectations. I came here just to crack IIT entrance in first year, thinking it was safer than taking a drop. There were no dreams and expectations at all.
Sarjana: What is your story of shifting from a traditional field to something this innovative ?
Ravi Sir: It’s scary to think of all those series of events. I got rejected from ISRO, BARC, DRDO, again ISRO after my resignation from Vedanta. I wanted a tag of scientist, kind of October Sky boy. For consolation you think like bade logon ke Saath aise hi hota hai (series of rejections). Then I came across YouTube videos of RaghuRam Rajan, APJ Abdul Kalam and R Madhavan. I used to get goosebumps when I heard all of my role models talking about real India. I started exploring Israeli techniques and I was like Oh! there’s more to engineering and science. You have a recipe of Nationalism, working for society and unprivileged and yes, innovation is there too. So why not make it a social entrepreneurship?
Sarjana: Do you have any working partners ?
Ravi Sir: We are still in team development phase.
Sarjana: What is your vision regarding KRISHI UTTHAN?
Ravi Sir: Krishi Utthaan wants to change living standard of people related to agriculture, encompassing whole Jharkhand.
Sarjana: How is your engineering background proving beneficial in this field?
Ravi sir: Everyone wants to connect with you. Networking becomes easy. Honestly speaking, I am applying mechanical engineering more here than my 9 to 5 job. There is fluid mechanics, there is evaporation, humidity and so much. You can try new things in Agriculture Engineering because you know how and why it works at the same time. But the prerequisite is, apart from solving numericals in college time you need to look up for more interesting foreign writer’s books, you need to join physics forums etc., all for solid understanding of fundamentals.
Sarjana: Where, according to you, does India lack when it comes to Agriculture and Agro based industries?
Ravi Sir: Supply chain management and Retail chain management. I shall not talk about other problems here. All issues are loud and clear. We need a bunch of people with critical thinking who can solve these problems.
Sarjana: What are your future steps to accelerate the growth of your current venture?
Ravi sir: I am collaborating with people of their own expertise. I am not losing my time learning about every field associated with Agriculture. I am instead, forming clusters of our farmers in a broader scale and providing them exposure to modern farming technique.
Sarjana: What are the problems you faced in the initial days and what are the problems you are tackling now?
Ravi Sir: The problems that I was facing initially was taking best out of people without imposing the feeling of slavery on them. You work for your vision but they will work for money. You’ll be dedicated but you will learn that there is huge difference between the thought processes. That’s where work culture has its importance. Working alone with full potential is a lot easier than leading a team. Problems that I face now is that I am dealing with a class of people which is more inclined to religion and has almost no professionalism.
Sarjana: Are you satisfied, in all means, by this?
Ravi Sir: Just see this Maslow’s pyramid. Top most is the Self-Actualization. Testing your own limit is always satisfying but in India we all are habituated with results so I am waiting for the day when I can say that I have brought substantial change in the lives of farmer.
Sarjana: What are the things you do in your leisure time?
Ravi Sir: I read novels, Quora, upload songs on smule, play Video Games, watch YouTube videos. One movie every night before I sleep!
Sarjana: What are your future plans?
Ravi Sir: Agriculture is a tool to create local economy, according to me. It should be creating more and more jobs through value addition business to farmer’s produce. Many plans are already existing, but before implementation I am not going to talk here.
Sarjana: You actually chose The Road not Taken, do you think it made all the difference?
Ravi Sir: Frankly speaking I am here, disqualified by 0.66 marks, but at the same time I am enjoying the feeling of experimenting with my farm and enjoying results which is not just fetching marks but also rupees. May be I can boast of “लोगों को अपने पैरों पर खड़ा करने में सफल हो रहा हूँ, कुछ हद तक”. But this is a journey of creating a pipeline. One day I may be able to turn on the pump and water will reach out to each one without manually filling the bucket.
Sarjana: What would you like to say to all the budding engineers of BIT?
Ravi Sir: World is changing fast. It is no more a single degree or domain of knowledge. Make sure what you learn, give it your full heart. Work on yourself first. Improvement goals are much more important in life. I don’t need to tell them what they should do. There are tons of motivational videos on YouTube. Make sure that you have role models. India needs people with integrity and purpose. System is full of people with no moral obligation for unprivileged ones. World’s least materialistic country of the ancient times has become what you can see today. So bring a change. Strive for greater good. And yes, read Bhagwadgeeta.
Thank you !😊