An interview with Kaushik Bose, Co-founder and CEO of SustLabs (a consumer IoT company in the energy space)

September 27th, 2021|

John Hoffmire: I remember when I first met you during your time as a fellow of the Chevening Research Science and Innovation Leadership Programme (CRISP). You were so passionate about energy conservation and had recently cofounded SustLabs. Is SustLabs an energy saving or a data analytics company? Kaushik: At the moment, we are primarily a consumer IoT company. We license the tech-stack to the global OEMs, telcos, utilities and others. We are able to talk about appliance level consumption without deploying additional sensors inside homes. The larger story is about consumer-big-data analytics related to energy consumption. As we unlock the

An interview with Vinita Srivastava, Executive Director (Heritage) at Railway Board

September 1st, 2021|

John Hoffmire:  You’ve had an interesting career that spans mechanical engineering, the transportation sector, and cultural preservation. That’s an unusual mix. I’d love to learn more about how that came about? Vinita: I don’t see it as such an unusual mix. I’ve always had a love for the Indian railroads. You see, a railway isn’t just tracks and trains. It’s the backbone of the country, connecting people and goods with the various remote parts of our country. The Indian rail system is the fourth largest network in the world. Beyond the immense utility of the railways, there is also a rich cultural,

An Interview with Meghna Apparao, Chevening Research Science and Innovation Leadership Programme (CRISP) Fellow, 2018

August 5th, 2021|

John Hoffmire: Since your time as a fellow at the Chevening Research Science and Innovation Leadership Programme (CRISP), you’ve taken on new roles and responsibilities as a leader of brand awareness and customer experience. I’d love to hear more about that? Meghna: I came to Oxford in 2018 as part of the CRISP program at St. Cross College. I had been working with some of the biggest names in India such as Hindustan Unilever, Amazon, Godrej Consumer Products Limited and Licious - a food-tech space startup. My responsibilities included strategizing for growth, launching new categories, building business verticals, leading pioneering

An interview with Shilpa Pandit, Associate Professor of Psychology and Co-Founder of Dreampath Foundation (which works with adolescents and youth as they navigate their careers)

August 2nd, 2021|

John Hoffmire: When I first met you in 2018, I remember being impressed by three things: 1) You seemed like a very wise soul – like someone full of hard-earned wisdom; 2) You radiated joy and fun – happiness just spilled out of you; and, 3) You’ve worked in such a wide variety of ways and means to make the world a better place, especially for young people. This might be an awkward first question but will you expand on my impressions of you? Shilpa: I think I’ll skip your first impression. You are entitled to it, of course, but

An interview with Michael Jayawardana, Assistant General Manager at Mitsubishi Corporation, Sri Lanka

July 30th, 2021|

John Hoffmire: When you were a fellow of the Chevening Research Science and Innovation Leadership Programme (CRISP) at Oxford a few years ago, we spent a lot of time talking about entrepreneurship. You’ve taken those concepts in an important direction as an intrapreneur - behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization. Please tell me more about that. Michael: Being a part of Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) allows me to explore opportunities that can make a significant difference to Sri Lanka. This could range from power sector solutions that could bring down the power generation cost, thereby making it

An interview with Reena Dayal, founder and CEO of Benzaiten Advisors, and Chair at Quantum Ecosystems Technology Council of India

July 27th, 2021|

John Hoffmire: I understand that you have been a strong advocate and promoter of the field of quantum computing in India, that you have a new position as Chair at Quantum Ecosystems Technology Council of India, and that you founded a startup focused on innovation management and future tech consulting, called Benzaiten Advisors. I’d love to know more about all of this. Reena: Thank you, John.  I am very passionate about quantum technology and computing and the potential it has to change the world in many positive ways. Society, industry, and ecosystems have the opportunity to shape and point this

An interview with Basava Purushottam, Private Secretary to Union Minister of Education, Government of India

July 22nd, 2021|

John Hoffmire: I met you when you were a scholar in the Chevening Research Science and Innovation Leadership Programme (CRISP) at Oxford in 2016. If I remember right, you were creating a plan for a more effective cruise industry in India at the time. I believe that was the assignment you had taken on for the Government of India. Please catch me up on what you’ve been doing since your time in the CRISP programme. Basava: You remember right. I have been a career civil servant belonging to the prestigious Indian Administrative Service for over 16 years now. I took

An interview with Rajesh Parishwad, External Relationships Manager, India at the Royal Society of Chemistry

June 18th, 2021|

John Hoffmire: I first met you in Oxford in 2018 when you were a Chevening CRISP Scholar. You were working for the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and I thought that was a UK-based organization. You taught me otherwise. Rajesh: It certainly had its beginnings in England. We were founded as The Chemical Society of London in 1841, in London, by a group of scientists, doctors, entrepreneurs and industrialists. They believed in the power of chemical science to change our world for the better. To take just one example, our first President, Thomas Graham, invented the life-saving process of dialysis. Seven years

An interview with Shyam Menon, Partner and Co-Founder at Bharat Innovation Fund and Infuse Ventures, and Chief Growth Officer at CIIE.CO.

April 22nd, 2021|

John Hoffmire: Like so many CRISP scholars, you’ve had an interesting journey including everything from being a research engineer to managing two successful venture capital funds you co-founded. Tell me how your career has taken shape. Shyam: For me personally, it began back in 2001 when I got an opportunity to be part of a nanomaterials startup in Ann Arbor, Michigan when I graduated from a Masters program in materials engineering. I bounced around couple more next gen energy startups developing high temperature fuel cells in Boston and Connecticut. Then in 2004, I decided to explore if I could handle

An interview with Shailesh Pathak, Chief Executive Officer of L&T IDPL (Infrastructure Development Projects Ltd.)

April 21st, 2021|

John Hoffmire: I always like to start an interview by asking for a broad brushstroke picture of a career. Will you tell me about yours? Shailesh: A British friend described my career as poacher-turned-gamekeeper-turned-poacher. After my MBA in 1986 I worked in project finance and investment banking with ICICI for four years in Bombay, as it then was. After a brief stint with HSBC, I joined the Government of India’s top civil service, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). I spent the next 17 years in the IAS in a variety of fascinating roles at districts and state capitals. In 2007

An interview with Dr. Shalini Sharma, Founder and CEO, Sanshodhan An E-Waste Exchange, and founding Director of the Global Institute for Circular Economy and Sustainable Development Goals (ICE&SDGs)

April 19th, 2021|

John Hoffmire: You are the founder of Sanshodhan An E-Waste Exchange, an emerging company working for e-waste management and the development of zero waste businesses and organizations. You also founded Global Institute for Circular Economy and Sustainable Development Goals (ICE&SDGs), the NGO. Tell me how this came about? Shalini: It goes back to January 2017, when I was cleaning and reorganizing my home. I found that I had accumulated too many obsolete electronic devises. When I decided to dispose of them through recycling, I discovered that it was quite a challenge to find authorized scrap-dealers to take and recycle my obsolete electronics.

An interview with Dr. Nitin Shukla, Principal Scientist, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India

April 12th, 2021|

John Hoffmire: You are a principal scientist at the National Chemical Laboratory in Pune, which is known for its excellence in scientific research in chemistry and chemical engineering. Tell me about the work you do there, if you will. Nitin: The saying, “Do what you’ll love, and you’ll never work another day in your life” definitely applies to me so I would say, rather than work, I follow my passion for studying new technologies being developed in my institute and coming up with the best strategies to turn them into intellectual property assets for the organization. This involves reviewing disclosure