2022 Recap: Networking For The Win
What a fantastic year it has been, to say the least! 2022 brought along a heap of opportunities. Networking was something that was broadly the biggest takeaway from this year, for me. Also, with the pandemic having subsided earlier this year, meeting new people was no longer restricted to Zoom calls, but began with physical handshakes. Unlike last year, where I touched upon topics in a category-wise manner, this year’s annual review will be chronological.
Tech Nuttiez App Launch
The year started with us launching our mobile app and in January, our very first month, we saw some interesting traction without spending a single rupee on marketing. We hit downloads from users in more than 50 countries from across the globe in our very first month.
Our app primarily focuses on educating the youth on new-age technologies through interactive content, competitions, and rewards, providing them with a fun-filled ecosystem for learning about robotics and other technologies.
Meeting IT Minister of State
In January 2022, I also had the privilege of meeting the Hon’ble IT Minister of Telangana State, KTR sir. It was an enlightening experience filled with a lot of learning and numerous opportunities soon coming my way.
I also contracted the COVID-19 virus on the 30th. Surprisingly, it was also my birthday. Lying on the bed all day, not being able to do anything on my birthday was a turnoff. Nevertheless, the month was insanely productive and was undoubtedly a great start to the year.
Featured in Telangana Today Newspaper
The month started with a bang when my journey with Tech Nuttiez, and the app that we had launched, was covered by Telangana Today, a leading media publication in the state.
Documentary Shoot by ETV
Later in February, I was approached by ETV and they wanted to create a documentary on my journey. I was delighted to receive the offer and was more than willing to share my story with the world (I love documenting my work anyway).
I had never been a part of any TV shoot before and it was an exciting experience. Though it was a day-long shoot, I was energetic and super pumped up.
First Time at T-Hub Hyderabad
I began the month of March by visiting T-Hub (Phase-1)for the first time. Little did I know back then that it would become a place frequently visited by me, soon. T-Hub is a startup incubator and an innovation enabler in Hyderabad for people interested in skyrocketing growth and development through their innovative ideas.
I met some wonderful people from the Telangana State Innovation Cell there for the first time, including Dr. Shanta Thoutam (CIO, Telangana Government), Annie V, and Dhruti K among others. I also met Vedanth, a fellow teen entrepreneur, who would later become a great friend.
Onboarding 10+ Leading Corporate Partners
March was crucial for us at Tech Nuttiez as we successfully onboarded 12 leading brands as corporate partners for our Rewards program where the users of our app can participate in interesting quizzes, events, and competitions, and win exciting rewards in the form of offers, giveaways and much more from some of their favorite brands across various categories like food, apparel, travel, electronics, etc.
This was a very successful and learning-filled campaign for us as we learned a lot more about cold-emailing and -calling; executing the entire campaign and onboarding all the brands within 2 weeks was something that looked impossible but we somehow managed to bring it on!
Offline School After 2 Years
In March, our school also reopened physically as the pandemic was on a steady decline and educational institutions all around had been reopening quickly, trying to get back to the old ways of living.
Something that used to be a normal activity–going to school physically, now became fascinating. The only way our classes had been taking place and we had been meeting our friends was from behind the screen through Zoom calls for the past 2 years. Being able to go to school physically surprisingly seemed like a huge transformation.
Conducted Workshop at Previous School
I kicked off the month by conducting a workshop on emerging technologies at Sister Nivedita School, the place where I completed my entire education up until the 10th grade.
It was a surreal experience–standing on the same stage where I had spoken multiple times as a student, but this time as an alum.
Tech Nuttiez Summer Internship Program (TNSIP’22)
In April, we launched The Tech Nuttiez Summer Internship Program. The program was headed by Rhythm Doshi, who heads content as the Managing Editor at Tech Nuttiez, and has also developed into one of my closest friends this year.
We got over 100 applicants and accepted around 20 of them with an acceptance rate of 14.4%. It was so much fun interacting with the fabulous summer interns throughout the program. And as Rhythm said in the orientation session, the internship program was not just about hopping in, submitting work, and leaving; it was about creating a stream of endless memories that everyone cherishes forever, while also developing ourselves and growing together as individuals.
11th Grade Final Exams
In May, I was majorly involved in my 11th-grade final examinations. We were writing offline exams after a long time and again, what was a very normal affair–writing offline exams, felt like a very different experience!
Documentary Streamed on TV & YouTube
The TV shoot that took place earlier in February in my home, where ETV took a few snippets of my journey and our app, was streamed on national television in June. The video was also uploaded on YouTube and has amassed over 125,000 views until the time of writing this article.
T-Hub Phase-2 Inaugration
June also brought along one of the most significant events of this year–the launch of T-Hub Phase-2. This is the largest startup incubator in the country. It spans a build-up area of 500,000+ square feet, making it the largest innovation campus in the world; it can accommodate over 4000 startups and has been built at a massive cost of over 50 Million dollars.
On the day of the launch, I met some of the leading Indian unicorn founders who have built successful multi-billion dollar businesses. I learned a lot and got some insightful feedback for our startup, Tech Nuttiez. I also met some of the leading stakeholders from the Telangana startup & innovation ecosystem and the Telangana Government.
Tech Nuttiez Podcast Shoot: Episode 01
In July, we launched the Tech Nuttiez Podcast. This is a podcast where we have insightful and exciting conversations with people who have created a dent in the landscape of the startup and technology ecosystem!
We shot the first episode with Mr. Jayesh Ranjan (IAS), Principal Secretary to the Telangana Government- IT and I&C Departments. I learned a lot about how governments operate, and also about how the government is acting as a solid backbone to the startup ecosystem in Telangana State.
Watch Episode #01 of the Tech Nuttiez Podcast 🔗
Tech Nuttiez Podcast Shoot: Episode 02
For the second episode of the Tech Nuttiez Podcast, we had Dr. Andrew Fleming as our guest. At the time of the shoot, he was the Deputy British High Commissioner to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana States.
This time, the COO of Tech Nuttiez, Trinav also accompanied me for the podcast shoot. We had so much fun that day, while also learning a lot about international relations and the impact of international economics on businesses and startups around the world.
Watch Episode #02 of the Tech Nuttiez Podcast 🔗
Met Ankur Warikoo
In late July, I got the opportunity to meet Ankur Warikoo at T-Hub. Had learned a lot from him through his content. Meeting him in person was both a fun and a knowledgeable experience. Got some insightful feedback.
Concluded Tech Nuttiez Summer Internship Program
The Tech Nuttiez Summer Internship Program officially came to a fruitful end. Those 3 months had been an absolute rollercoaster ride and were such a huge learning curve for all of us. Rhythm was such a powerful and amicable leader who effortlessly led the program toward its huge success.
We closely saw how the interns grew phenomenally over these 3 months and also found out and developed their unique writing styles. We had weekly brainstorming and review sessions, in which, I myself learned a lot! We had interns from India, the USA, Bahrain, Oman, Australia, Dubai, and Brazil in our first-ever cohort.
This year’s Independence Day was extremely special for our country as India completed 75 years of being an independent and free country. This was marked by grandiose celebrations in all parts of the country.
Similarly, in our society, we planned a civilian parade and everybody carried a 2 KM long flag around the society. It was indeed a glorious year for the entire country.
Completed Robotic Arm Project
In September 2022, I finally completed a project I had been working on for a very long time– a robotic arm that learns! This is a 3D-printed robotic arm that is powered by an Arduino MEGA microcontroller board and can be taught how to perform certain tasks autonomously.
Throughout most of October, I was completely into writing essays and filling out application forms for my college applications. I completed my applications and submitted them to a few universities in the USA.
Follow along to get to know more about my college journey!
Launched the Tech Nuttiez Innovator Access Fellowship
In November, we launched the Innovator Access Fellowship, a program that enables the transformation of disruptive solutions to global challenges by maverick young innovators into reality.
This crowdfunded fellowship program identifies and awards fellowship grants to young innovators globally. The program supports Tech Nuttiez’s mission of bringing young innovators to the forefront of this century’s growth story.
We had our 12th-grade high school farewell party this year. It was a fun experience as most of us, including me, did not attend any 10th-grade farewell party as there was none hosted–all thanks to COVID.
Argentina Wins FIFA WC 2022
What can I probably even say about this one? The best moment so far in the game this year, the entire decade, or forever! A great addition to December and the entire year. Honored to be a part of this ERA.
Fellowship Award Ceremony
From launch to the first felicitation event in 2 weeks!
We awarded grants worth ₹50,000 to 5 maverick young innovators working on groundbreaking innovations yesterday under the Innovator Access Fellowship, a new initiative by our startup that I discussed earlier.
The event was graced by Mr. Jayesh Ranjan IAS (IT Secretary, Government of Telangana); Mr. Srinivas Rao (CEO, T-Hub); Ms. Shanta Thoutam, Ph.D. (Chief Innovation Officer, Government of Telangana) and Mrs. Lalitha Kumari (Principal, Sister Nivedita School).
The entire team and I learned tons while hosting our first-ever physical event as a team and as an organization. It was indeed a memorable, valuable, and insightful experience.
I tried to heavily increase my productivity this year simply by realizing that I have enough time; I just need to use it effectively without wasting any. I tried to be more efficient while also trying to have fun and enjoy the journey. I picked up snooker this year which I love now. I also started hitting the gym because I realized that staying healthy is an essential element in boosting productivity.
I think I was fortunate enough to come across so many wonderful opportunities this year; and on my end, I tried to make the best out of them. This year was easily one of the best years so far and I wish I repeat this in every single one of these annual reviews. In terms of personal growth, learning and development, I think this year was a blessing.
Networking is Key
I believe humans are meant to interact with each other all the time. This fosters innovation, education, growth, and development altogether. When we network, we share ideas, learn from others, and find ways to collaborate with people from various domains and in the process, everyone grows as an individual.
Networking also opens doors and exposes you to a million new opportunities. A very simple, yet insanely useful opportunity could be sitting around the corner without you knowing about it. Networking shines a light on such untapped opportunities.
Consuming the Right Content
Towards the end of this year, I picked up two forms of content that I am very proud of– podcasts and books. I picked up reading towards the end of this year and will try to continue to read. I love reading books on startups, philosophy, psychology, and technology, and am also planning to start reading more books on economics.
I also absolutely love watching/listening to podcasts. Podcasts are mostly intellectual conversations between two or more people based on very interesting topics. Good podcasts carry with them the feeling of being a part of an actual conversation with a bunch of people in a room.
Communication is Essential
Over time, I have started to grasp the growing importance of communication. Meeting with a huge number of new people this year, both offline and online has shown me the true importance of not only being a creator of massive value and impact but also being a fantastic spokesperson for your brand and being able to advocate for your work. I also think documenting your work and skills is crucial.
Reaching the moon is as good as a fairytale without an effective communicator telling that to you!