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“What do you want to be when you grow up?” A question we’ve been asked all our lives. For some of us, the answer has evolved or changed comp...

Entrepreneurs’ stories to start-up your ambition: Richa Kar

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

A question we’ve been asked all our lives. For some of us, the answer has evolved or changed completely over the years. For some others, the answer has been determined from the start. Either way, the one thing we all have in common is inspiration. We have all come across people who have motivated us to work towards our dream. We decided to look beyond college life and engineering and take a look at those who are making it in the real world. In this blog series, AVCOE rounds up renowned names in business who, as the youth says, started from the bottom.

This month, we shine the spotlight on Richa Kar, better known as the Founder of Zivame. She started this online women’s lingerie store as a possible solution to the lingerie shopping issue, many women feel in India, to this day. Although we have come a long way in the way we think, there is still a little prevailing taboo left to banish from our society.

By launching an online platform where women can shop for lingerie without feeling uncomfortable, Richa Kar took a step towards countering this issue. But as one can guess, her start wasn’t an easy one. Ashamed and afraid of the stigma mentioned earlier, both her parents refused to have any part in helping her launch her business. So, the engineering graduate (like many of our readers aspire to be!), took matters into her own hands and pooled in all her savings and borrowed money from friends and started Zivame. She had a strong professional background in retail after working in Spencers’ and SAP and had conducted a thorough case study of Victoria’s Secret’s online sales. She quickly realised that there wasn’t a platform like that for women in India and decided to start her own.

Today, she may have stepped down as CEO, but her company is up and running. She stays on the board of directors and her dream continues to have the potential to reach new bounds. From having to mask her profession to proudly owning it, Richa Kar has come a long way and stays on top of our inspiration list. As Steve Harvey once said, “Failure is a great teacher.” This month’s entrepreneur story teaches us a little about failure and a lot about successfully overcoming societal stigma.

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Sea and ocean water levels are depleting. Global temperature is on a rapid rise. We have 11 years left to save our planet. Glaciers are melt...

The future looks environment-friendly

Sea and ocean water levels are depleting.
Global temperature is on a rapid rise.
We have 11 years left to save our planet.
Glaciers are melting!

Sound familiar? By now, we have all heard about the limited window left for us to reverse the ill-effects of climate change before it’s too late and global warming becomes irreversible. Turns out, a lot of budding inventors have begun research on developing technology that makes not only our lives easier but also keeps mother nature safe and sound. This month, AVCOE dives deep into research to find astonishing eco-friendly inventions that are being developed as we speak!

Apart from the infamous and highly anticipated hyperloop or the 3D printer, the future holds a promise of inventions that are sure to work. Just look at the recent success in technology by 18-year-old Fion Ferreria who discovered a way to extract microplastics from ocean water. Plastic, being semi or non biodegradable, simply breaks down into microscopic particles called microplastic which ends up in bloodstreams of fish, animals and humans too! Speaking of plastic, let’s look at future technology some, rather most of which include substitutes for this environmentally-harmful material, making our world a better place to live in.

Do you drink enough water? If yes, what is your approach? Do you have a collection of used plastic water bottles in your room? Or do you carry a reusable sipper/bottle everywhere you go? We sure hope its the latter! But it looks like we don’t have to worry about that any longer because the future will bring us, edible water blobs called ‘Ooho!’ A group of brilliant minds from RCA and Imperial College London discovered an edible covering made out of seaweed extract that could be used to store water. This covering, if not consumed in 4 to 6 weeks, automatically decomposes!

So once we have our hydration needs in check, we can move on to edible packaging for everything! A team of researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture are in the process of developing edible food packaging that will be made out of casein, i.e. a protein found in milk.

Why stop there? A young man still finishing schooling has invented a solution to eliminating plastic bottles for product packaging by introducing the concept of shampoo balls. It’s just as simple as it sounds and a great step in favor of our planet.

Moving away from plastic, another major pollutant of our environment are petrol and gas emissions from cars. Air pollution is extremely toxic to not only our planet but also the life on it and although we have started moving towards electric cars, we still have a long way to go.

One such invention is said to take place in Gurgaon and it is called a pod taxi. This concept would reap numerous benefits, the most obvious being it will drastically cut down air pollution as it will run electrically. It will also be driverless and reduce road traffic congestion, which is a major issue in most places in India. People will soon be able to go to and from work with ease, and get to work on time!

But that’s just Gurgaon. What about the rest of our country? And eventually, the world? If we must continue driving cars that run on gas and petrol, we could make the carbon emissions that they give off to good use instead of bad. Experts from the MIT Lab have introduced Air-ink. This simple invention uses a filter called ‘Kaalink’ which turns carbon soot into usable ink!

Someone once said something along the lines of engineers picking up God’s creations where he left off. After looking into what’s next for us, thanks to highly-skilled inventors, you’d have to agree with that saying! These are a select few of the many technological inventions that are being conceptualised in this very moment! It looks like we are striving towards a better tomorrow. Our future looks promising. Our future will be environment-friendly.

For more informative blogs about the world of engineering and college life, visit www.avcoe.og