MIT-WPU Grad from Bulhana Explores Entrepreneurship Through Research and Participation

2nd February 2023

Born to a business family in Buldhana, Rohan Sarode had the opportunity to often demand things of his father, as a child. This enriched him with a slew of experiences through his adolescence, where he was able to participate widely and wilfully, in extra curricular activities he enjoyed. But with the advent of college life, when he chose to pursue a B. Tech degree in Civil Engineering from MIT WPU. The insurgence of higher education, and a move into adulthood, and beyond his father’s immediate patronage, his world became confined to studies.


But he was interested in exploring the world beyond academics, and would seek out personality and language development courses. The search was long, as it was difficult for him to ascertain what he needed. He took English coaching to develop his hold over the language in preparation for the eventual future, but it did not satisfy his thirst to learn and grow. It was around this time when he discovered Enterprise India Fellowship.


Learning of the institute through a social media story of one of his classmates, Jay Shah, Rohan was immediately hooked, and spent an active class scrolling through their website. He was crestfallen to discover that the application process had ended, but was persuaded by his friend into contacting them nonetheless. This pro-activeness earned him an interview with the Enterprise.


The first ever interview he went to, Rohan vividly remembers grooming himself and wearing a suit to the occasion only to be greeted an atmosphere of chill professionalism. He was struck by the confidence and momentum of the people at the institute, and when Yusuf Hakim, Co-founder of the Enterprise India fellowship, asked him to quantify his desire to be a part of the institute with a number from 1 to 10, he had immediately responded with 10!


So Rohan joined Enterprise at the beginning of 2020 with a lot of hope and excitement. Following a long journey with them through four different projects, and  several ups and downs, he is graduating this year, and waiting to become a fellow. Looking back at his journey with them he urges more youngsters to join in. as ‘it helps in self realization‘.

So what is it that he has realised about himself?

The question, like all Enterprise India Fellows know, is not rhetorical. The terminal interview of the partners, right before graduation, involves a broad and detailed reflection on this very premise. And Rohan has a suitably pensive response to that.

A naturally curious and thoughtful soul, he was often drawn into a spiral of inferiority complex due to his awareness of his limitations. In that vein, Enterprise helped him overcome his hesitance of engagement with different people, and clear and concise communications about his projects. As he aptly states, the theoretical world of academia didn’t facilitate the development of soft skills as much, which he was able to polish up through the projects in Enterprise. It was, once again, brought on by the need for continuous self reflection, as each project brought about new challenges that could only be solved through the messy process of thinking on it, and meeting it on its own terms, in a malleable way. As someone who did not endorse mediocrity in his work, Rohan really had his work cut out for him.

Out of the different projects he was part of, ‘Dharohar’, his client project with an NGO, impacted him the most. It involved creating an automated social media post filtration system that could correctly target them to the right audience. It saw him in a leadership position, managing his own team as well as client communications. This dual responsibility was new to Rohan, who admits to have been uneasy with responsibility. But in working with an external client, he was accountable to them, and needed to show daily progress towards the eventual goal.


The successful conclusion of that project remains a memorable moment for Rohan, as he says; ‘I can still feel the moment of that day, of handing over the completed project to clients and them being happy with our results… Here is the part where I felt confident about myself.


This confidence was a hard earned trophy for him, as he had begun his journey with self esteem issues. With his rise in confidence, came the ability to be accountable and responsible for others as well as himself, and the strength to overcome depression and listlessness.


This development of confidence and communication also helped Rohan become a more disciplined and driven soul, with the capacity to fulfil commitment regardless of his personal temperament towards it. It essentially fostered a professional mindset that he was able to employ in everyday life, and eke out better results.


A surprising discovery he made through his time at Enterprise was the love for writing. As someone who was averse to reading and books, preferring audio visual methods of obtaining entertainment and information, he was surprised at how well he was able to articulate himself through the recurring ‘Conflexion’ posts. So much so that he embarked on a journey to discover ‘how (do) entrepreneurs achieve so much?‘ Through the help of his peers and mentors, Rohan was able to interview multiple entrepreneurs in pursuit of this query, and as a result, created a pool of eight blog posts exploring their behaviours and practices, with his own reflections as addendum.


As he approaches his graduation into a fellow, Rohan Sarode has come a long way. From being unsure of leadership and initiative, he has co-founded a small software start up, ‘Fever_of_Treasure, developing knowledge in a relatively unknown field. From being an unsure academic in an engineering course, he has become an active participant in his father’s construction business, currently heading two bridge construction projects. Perhaps it is fitting to say that Enterprise has acted as a bridge between his ambitions and their realization.

Rohan Sarode

Hometown: Silvassa, Diu & Daman

College: SSR College of Arts, Commerce and Science, Silvassa
Subject: Bachelor of Business Administration – Human Resources

Interests/Cares About: helping businesses solve problems
Fellowship Span: Apr 2020- Aug 2021

Fellowship Activities Sneak Peak:


-Worked on 5+ projects including Enterprise projects like #start & #karo, and Chandrayaan 0.0  (with the Client – Area Sabha Association of Pune)

-Wrote 2 blogs, hosted a Green Room community story-sharing evening, 3 #karo workshops, co-designed and co-hosted a session for peers on ‘Decluttering the mind’

-Co-led a team of 7 new Enterprise Partners to organize #karo, and help them kickstart their fellowship experience by activating the “doing”  mindset 

 

Plan after Graduation:

– Working with the MD of KlugAvlon, the first Indian company to indigenously develop safety systems for cranes all the way back in the year 2000

 

 

“As a mature organization, we were finding it difficult to incorporate today’s technological tools in our business. Under our internship programme, we hired Shiv, a student at the Enterprise India Fellowship. Shiv has been working for the last 6 months and has already successfully implemented CRM for the sales department. He is currently working on integrating cloud telephony with CRM and automating the communication through email and Whatsapp. He is hand-holding our sales team to help them get more productive using CRM. Shiv is focused, hard-working and doesn’t shy in taking the plunge to learn anything new. The organisation has greatly benefited from Shiv. With his approach and attitude, he is onto building a great success story.”

Rupesh Gupta
Managing Director, Klug Avalon

In the end Rohan himself can sum up the impact of his Enterprise India Fellowship journey the best:

‘… Getting things done worked for me, which started after doing projects, leading a team, and starting my own company… Giving the best is like trying the best even if you fail. And when you complete it feels like a WIN. It has a long lasting effect on me…’

Here is hoping Rohan continues his winning streak into the future, as a fellow and as a professional.

Interviewer: Akash Bhalerao

Author: Jagruti Jethwani
Video Editor: Rahul Devkar
Story Editors:  Aditya Jhunjhunwala, Akash Bhalerao, Ankita Parashar, Lubaina Cementwala, Yusuf Hakim
Webpage Designer: Dnyanesh Chandewar

Through this project, Shiv learned how to fundraise, create leads and close sales as well as create a unique user experience for the participants. Shiv contributed to the project with action-orientedness, discipline and punctuality. Ankita Parashar, Business Partner and Marketing Lead at Enterprise recalls, “When we interviewed Shiv for the Fellowship, he had a white board in his background and he carefully wrote notes from our conversation. We knew then, this guy won’t have to be hand held for anything, rather he will be leading!” And through this project, his peers and mentors were amazed to see his time management and “doer-ship” in action.

From experiencing day to day operations of his family business, he had learned that it was quite different from the theories learned in college which made him realise that applied knowledge is power. 

Before joining the fellowship Shiv had shared, “The primary reason I want to join the Enterprise India Fellowship is to gain practical knowledge by working on projects which will also help me build my career, skills, relationships, and self growth.”

And through the fellowship, that’s what he ended up doing. 



Throughout his fellowship journey, he worked on over five projects including in-house projects like #karo & #start and a client project called Chandrayaan0.0 with the Area Sabha Association of Pune. . 


Shiv considers #karo as the most meaningful part of his fellowship journey. Shiv says, “I won’t be able to explain how much it has impacted me. That word #karo is going to be stuck in my head, heart and life forever.”

In September 2020, all the Partners came together to co-create #karo 3.0 – a seven weekend-long online festival to celebrate the “art of doing”. The idea was to help people understand that just watching, learning, and hearing something is not enough. We need to DO it, #karo it!

Shiv worked in the sales and outreach team and also hosted one of the workshops . Public speaking did not come naturally for him, so he was stepping out of his comfort zone and asked for help when he needed it. On the day of the workshop, he  gracefully hosted the 150 participants, and courageously stepped out of his comfort zone. 


Following that, Shiv, along with Enterprise Partners Apeksha Rathod and Jagruti Jethwani, took up every opportunity to learn and do, stuck with the project through a couple iterations and became a part of the #karo leadership team. Recently they co-led a team of 7 new Enterprise Partners to organize #karo workshops, and helped them kickstart their respective fellowship journeys by activating the “doing” mindset.

Rohan Sarode

Hometown: Silvassa, Diu & Daman

College: SSR College of Arts, Commerce and Science, Silvassa
Subject: Bachelor of Business Administration – Human Resources

Interests/Cares About: helping businesses solve problems
Fellowship Span: Apr 2020- Aug 2021

Fellowship Activities Sneak Peak:


-Worked on 5+ projects including Enterprise projects like #start & #karo, and Chandrayaan 0.0  (with the Client – Area Sabha Association of Pune)

-Wrote 2 blogs, hosted a Green Room community story-sharing evening, 3 #karo workshops, co-designed and co-hosted a session for peers on ‘Decluttering the mind’

-Co-led a team of 7 new Enterprise Partners to organize #karo, and help them kickstart their fellowship experience by activating the “doing”  mindset 

 

Plan after Graduation:

– Working with the MD of KlugAvlon, the first Indian company to indigenously develop safety systems for cranes all the way back in the year 2000

 

 

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