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

An interview with Sreedevi Devireddy, Founding Chief Executive Officer, SR Innovation Exchange, the technology-business incubator of SR University, Warangal

April 8th, 2021|

John Hoffmire: In the three years since I met you as a fellow of the Chevening Research Science and Innovation Leadership Programme (CRISP) at Oxford University, you created and have steered SR Innovation Exchange (SRiX) to a level where you are receiving international recognition. Please tell me more about that. Sreedevi: I explain it this way: in the years before Oxford, while I had done meaningful work and research in the field of Innovation and entrepreneurship, to that point I had been jogging. Then, with all the inspiration, learning, and support I received as a CRISP fellow, combined with my

Empowering Women and Social Enterprise in India so Both Can Thrive During the Pandemic

April 7th, 2021|

In its 72 years of independence, India has shown its unprecedented prowess in building a modern, democratic nation. It has lifted millions out of poverty, is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and has increased its global influence by becoming a member of the G20 and the BRICS. More recently, it has played a central role in providing the world with COVID-19 vaccines as it has one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing capacities in the world. However, what’s so unfortunate and saddening for a country making such strides on a global scale is that its gender gap

An interview with Sachinder (Sachin) Mohan Sharma, Group General Manager at the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL)

April 2nd, 2021|

John Hoffmire: I’ve been on trains in India but I still can’t fathom the scale of what you must manage as the Group General Manager at the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL). Tell me more about what you do. Sachin: The Government of India has entrusted DFCCIL with construction, maintenance and operation of the dedicated rail freight corridors across the country. The Indian railway is a lifeline of the Indian economy, traversing the length and breadth of the country. The ‘Golden Quadrilateral’ connecting Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata comprises only16 percent of the route kilometers but carries

An interview with Sushrut Vaidya, innovation leader with one of the largest technology companies in the world

April 1st, 2021|

John Hoffmire: One of the things that always impresses me when I sit down with a CRISP scholar is the interdisciplinary learning that each of you have engaged in. You are no exception. You’ve gone from a Bachelor of Engineering, to printing technology and graphic communication, technology management, Indology and Buddhist studies. Then on to consulting for Fortune 100 clients and working on emerging economy issues, and now heading business innovation at one of the largest technology companies. That’s a lot of diverse learning! Sushrut: Well, my engineering degree has served me well in fields related to emerging markets and business innovation.

An interview with Kamesh Gupta, Senior Vice President, Strategic Collaborations & Programs, Group Technology & Innovation Office (GTIO), Tata Sons Limited

March 29th, 2021|

John Hoffmire: Kamesh, you are a man who wears lots of hats. Tell me about your many responsibilities at Tata. Kamesh: As a Senior Vice President, Strategic Collaborations and Programs in the Group Technology and Innovation Office of Tata Sons, my job is to create and deliver strategic collaborations and new technology programs for global impact. So, in a way, I wear a focused singular hat, but yes, the way we go about delivering impact opens into many avenues and opportunities to make a difference. The fact that my role allows so many critical departures from the regular ways work

An interview with Dr. Mohita Gangwar Sharma, Professor of Quantitative Techniques and Operations Management, FORE School of Management, New Delhi

March 26th, 2021|

John Hoffmire: I hope you don’t mind my starting out on a somewhat personal note by saying I remember you as one of the nicest people I have ever met. I’ve often wondered how you balance your kindness and positive attitude against the sometimes hard edge that is expected in the business management world. Mohita: In describing the life that we working women lead, especially the work-life balance for the working women, I’ve often used the analogy of flying a kite. I love the beautiful festival of ‘Uttarayan’, which represents the dawn of positivity, and the meaningful lessons to be

An interview with Suphiya Khan, Associate Professor, Banasthali University, India, and Founding Director at Drumlins Water Technologies Pvt LTD

March 24th, 2021|

 John Hoffmire: When I met you in Oxford two years ago, if I remember right, you were working on providing safer drinking water throughout India. Is that still one of your priorities? Suphiya: You remember right. In India, as in many other parts of the world, water scarcity is considered a major crisis in the 21st century. And fluoride contamination is a major contributor to the world water crisis affecting about 200 million people worldwide. My research has led to a new, low-cost method to remove harmful fluoride from drinking water with specially made teabag-like pouches. This new method uses pouches

More youth in north turn to innovative startups

March 22nd, 2021|

More youth from the Northern Province are turning to innovative startups under the initiative of Yarl IT Hub (YIT), originally set up in 2013. They are made competitive via the Yarl Geek Challenge Accelerator which runs for six months for a selected cohort of early-stage startups twice a year. During these six months, the startups will be offered training, mentoring, seed funding, and networking opportunities. In doing so, the accelerator aims to help its entrepreneurs generate revenue, acquire the skills needed to build a startup, expand their networks, and to be investor-ready. When initial applications were called, the Yarl IT

An interview with Nidhi Nagabhatla, Director of Water Without Borders, and Programme Officer, United Nations University

March 19th, 2021|

John Hoffmire: I just finished watching the documentary ‘Our Planet’ with David Attenborough. It has deepened my respect for anyone who has devoted their work to preserving our planet’s natural resources and making this world more equitable. That certainly includes you. Please tell me how you became a sustainability science expert and a trans-disciplinary research scholar. Nidhi: I started out with a graduate degree from the Honors School, Punjab University. After completing a master’s degree from the Indian Council of Agriculture Research University, I joined the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), a research institute connected to the Indian Institute of

An interview with Ananth Aravamudan, Energy Sector Lead, Villgro Innovations Foundation and an alum of the Chevening Research Science and Innovation Leadership Programme (CRISP)

March 11th, 2021|

John Hoffmire: You’ve had an interesting journey from electrical engineer to being the energy sector lead for Villgro Innovations Foundation, India's oldest and one of the world's largest social enterprise incubators. Please tell me about that journey? Ananth: I started out as an electronics engineer by training. I spent 14 years in the IT/Tech sector at multi-national companies like Siemens, Lucent Technologies and MindTree, and then six years with SELCO Foundation, a social enterprise in the renewable energy sector. In 2015, I was selected as a Fellow of the Chevening Research Science and Innovation Leadership program (CRISP), which enabled me

An interview with Dr. Beena Rai, Head – Physical Sciences at TCS Research, Tata Consultancy Services

March 5th, 2021|

John Hoffmire: I love your Twitter tag: “A scientist who makes serious research fun.” Tell me about your recent research and what is fun about it? Beena: First, to me what makes research fun is that one gets to follow one’s curiosity. As a scientist, I’ll take on a challenge and then use my curiosity and creatively to come up with and design a solution. What could be more fun than that. There is a lot more creativity involved in scientific research than most people realize. To give you an example, one of the current projects that my team is