Why I do what I do

To everyone who wonders why I work so hard for the students of India

The biggest economic revolutions have happened around new infrastructural capabilities created at that time. The most recent example would be Jio and the advent of 4G in India. With everyone having access to high-speed internet, our speed of digital adoption, from payments to learning to entertainment to everything else under the sun, skyrocketed. Back in the day, China created these megacities to rally their manufacturing strength. Its economy grew rapidly through those cities and would surpass US GDP in the near future if it sustains the pace.

Today, India is ready to build on its solid base of technological infrastructure. It's ripe with energy and entrepreneurial spirit. We are lacking, however, on one critical aspect — skilled builders. Without a CTO, you can't build a company that's reliant on tech in any manner. And without tech, you can't scale a venture anymore. Tech has already been the backbone of most new-age product companies, and it's now becoming increasingly indispensable for even legacy businesses like Tata, Reliance, Aditya Birla, Mahindra, etc because of their foray into tech-based products.

You'd expect, then, that our colleges would feed this growing demand of tech talent with high-quality graduates ready to build great products. But our colleges have failed us monumentally! People who normally swear by college do it on the basis of having gained an "experience of a lifetime" or having "made awesome friends". Fair points both, but what about skills? Isn't that the most basic delivery expectation from a college?

Recently, I was speaking to the Head of HR at a unicorn and he conveyed how grim the situation on the ground is. Currently, India has just about 20-30k devs who are fit for start-ups. Just 20k from all these hundreds of thousands graduating every year! These are people who work in either startups or product companies. An overwhelming majority of engineers work in service companies but sadly they're not the builders. So you see, when I train 1000 students and put them into startups, I move the needle by 5%. 5% of the total tech workforce in a growing startup hub like India is a mammoth impact from a small team!

Someone has to lay the pipes, the bricks, the wires. Great infrastructure makes unimaginable possible. With more builders, I am positive that India will experiment more, build more and build better. My students are freshers today, but in 5 years they'll be experienced in scaling startups. And in subsequent years they'll be growing as CTOs, hiring, and creating more jobs.

I often get asked how I am able to work so hard. My answer: "I am shaping future CTOs of India."