Plaksha Student Stories ;

Student Stories

Application for the Class of 2022 are now open


Founding class of 2020

TLF Class of 2020
Founder, StimVeda

RAMYA YELLAGAPRADA

Ramya followed her passion for technology and entrepreneurship over lucrative on-campus job offers after graduation. She chose the Plaksha Tech Leaders Fellowship (TLF) over opportunities to work in renowned tech firms like, Adobe.

“My interest in Neuroscience, AI and entrepreneurship grew through the undergraduate years. I knew that going forward, I wanted to learn, experiment and build my own start-up.

At TLF, I worked on innovative projects on tight deadlines with other highly enterprising, like-minded individuals. During my Capstone Project, I met Lakshay Sahni, who is the co-founder for my start-up, StimVeda.

Together we designed the technology behind a non-invasive brain stimulation device with encouragement and hands-on mentoring by Plaksha Founders. Being a part of Plaksha Entrepreneurship Support Program (PESP) helped us build the foundation of our entrepreneurial journey.

There’s no formula for success. It’s about constantly learning and reinventing. But, small victories often sink under self doubt and the noise of other success stories. Plaksha however, allowed me to dream big, I was constantly reminded that successful people are just like us. They too started from scratch. Encouragement like being featured as one of the top seven mental health start-ups of 2021, pushed us to learn and innovate even through tough times.”

TLF 2020
Data Scientist, BCG

PRAVEEN SRIDHAR

A techie at heart, Praveen started his own venture, Tinker Hub, after completing B.Tech from Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT). He also worked as a Machine Learning engineer before joining TLF.

He bagged a campus placement the Boston Consulting Group, Japan. Praveen is the first internationally-recruited data scientist by BCG, Japan.

“Through a balanced curriculum focusing on both, core technology and leadership, Plaksha Tech Leaders Fellowship has helped me be a confident and conscious Data Scientist, capable of critical thinking and building tech solutions with empathy.”

Praveen won the Plaksha Founders Award for All Round Excellence and a Gold Medal for the highest overall CGPA.

TLF Class of 2020
Intern, Silicon Valley Internship Program

RASHMI NAGPAL

Rashmi believes that computer science offers unending potential. In her words it is analogous to arts with a glittering expanse for imagination. Besides computer science she is a strong voice in the women in tech community. She believes that women should be the unique voice in STEM domain. She has already built a tech-community for women. She was a speaker at Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) 2020 and was the only woman selected to speak at GopherCon Russia 2021.

“My journey at Plaksha TLF has been an endless learning replete with opportunities. Be it learning professionalism, developing work ethics, or forming lifelong bonds. I am grateful to Plaksha TLF for the experience. With love and support from couple of my friends-cum-Fellows, mentors and professors at Plaksha TLF, I was able to secure a place in the Silicon Valley Internship Program 2020."

TLF Class of 2020
Product Manager, Microsoft

SHUBHAM GOEL

Shubham’s story is inspiring. After eight years of industry experience, he joined TLF determined to change his career path. His determination made him achieve his goal and he moved into product management.

“It is a dream come true. It wouldn't have been possible without the support and learning at Plaksha TLF. Interdisciplinary courses taught by an international faculty enhanced my skillset especially in building scalable products. This helped me get into product management. I had the never-ending support of the entire Plaksha community all through. Discussions and mentee sessions with Founders and Fellows gave me the direction, strength and motivation to stay focused.”

TLF Class of 2020
Co-founder, Synth

URVIN SONETA

Urvin found an intersection between social sciences and engineering at TLF. A liberal arts graduate, he built his AI-based startup here with three other co-founders.

“The depth of the TLF curriculum led to a path of self-discovery and helped me carve a successful future."

Synth took shape when three co Fellows, Suneel, Urvin and Vaibhav from TLF reconnected at the Plaksha Entrepreneurs Support Program. They developed their product under the mentorship of Plaksha Founders.

Synth's vision is to support professionals with a personal AI assistant that automates monotonous tasks and augments ideation processes.

Synth, their multilingual AI assistant augments meetings and takes live personalized notes thus saving precious time.

TLF Class of 2020
Business Analyst at Tamil Nadu eGovernance Agency

BHAIREVI GANESH IYER

A green crusader, Bhairevi has worked in sustainable development and climate change projects from high school.

Committed to data science and design development, Bhairevi has taken up diverse professional roles in, waste management, regional planning using GIS tools and food sectors in the US and India.

“I now understand practical data challenges and troubleshooting needs during live projects and can empathize with other stakeholders. Data science concepts like, data cleaning and analysis taught at TLF have helped me in my current role at TNeGA.”

She plays the bass guitar, something she explored as a part of the South Asian Fusion music ensemble at UPenn. She was awarded the Spirit of Plaksha award at the Class of 2020 Convocation.

CLASS OF 2021

TLF Class of 2021
Capstone at Boston Consulting Group

PIYUSH SHARMA

Struggling through life for lack of inclusive infrastructure, Piyush dreamt to make India accessible by promoting the cause of the differently-abled community. This passion to make an impact using technology made him apply for TLF at Plaksha.

Born with a locomotive disability (Spina Bifida), Piyush, grew up in a financially challenged environment. He was carried back and forth to school by his parents. Undeterred, he joined NIT, Hamirpur and graduated in 2016 with a B. Tech in Computer Science and Engineering.

As the main earning member, the financial burden of further studies left him conflicted. His application for scholarship at Plaksha was accepted and that gave wings to his dreams.

He honed himself at the Fellowship with 26 diverse courses including, Data Science, Machine Learning, Product Management, Entrepreneurship and Leadership. His Capstone project at BCG as a Product Engineering intern, converted into a pre-placement offer.

We are proud to share that he represented his home state of Himachal Pradesh at the National Para-Table Tennis Championship 2020, Indore and won a bronze medal. He aspires to represent India in the 2024 Paralympics.

TLF Class of 2021
Capstone at Purdue University

BHAVIKA JAIN

No one in Bhavika’s family had ever opted for science. Her inspiration was her Math teacher in school.

“He changed the lives of so many students in a remote corner of Patna, with rudimentary resources. I was one such student. My love for mathematics has guided many of my life’s decisions."

Bhavika has authored an IGI Global Publication documenting her statistical research on zero dormitory food waste in educational institutions.

"This research sparked my interest in the theoretical foundation of decision-making methods. TLF offers a fine balance of AI, ML and leadership with mentorship. It is a perfect program to help me choose a long-term direction to come out better for a world sitting at the cusp of disruptive innovation.” Her Capstone Project is a research with Purdue University, where under the guidance of Dr. Jitesh Panchal, she developed a Machine Learning-based computational model of human decision making in design teams.

TLF Class of 2021
Capstone Project – Jamboree Education

RAHUL PARIYANI

“While pursuing undergraduation in Italy, I founded a startup aimed to democratize higher education for Indian students. It didn’t take long for us to realize that for the startup to be successful, the data submitted by students needs to be processed and analyzed. As founders, we wanted control and understand the technology on which the product was built.

For sure, building a data-driven company is easier when you understand Analytics and Machine Learning practically.

I remember looking at Plaksha’s course list which focused on Data Science as well as Entrepreneurship and thinking, “I can’t go wrong with this one.” I was correct.

At TLF, I have jumped at every opportunity to understand the tech implementation side of business and I enjoyed the experiential learning approach, especially for intense courses on ML.

Getting familiar with Data Science through TLF helped me in hiring resources for my company and I found some really good collaborators from my Fellows. My major learning as a Plaksha Fellow has been to grasp team management of Data Scientists and Technologists. This comes in really handy as an entrepreneur. I strongly believe that the leaders of tomorrow will be very different from the leaders of yesterday and today. The skillset for tomorrow’s leaders will look very different and Plaksha is doing cultivating the Fellows into becoming leaders that stay relevant despite changing times.

TLF Class of 2021
Capstone Project – HRS Group

ANTARA KOUL

For an economics major like Antara, the Fellowship has opened the doors to understanding cutting-edge technology while honing leadership skills and building an entrepreneurial mindset.

“I wager that my learning graph has been the steepest in this cohort.”

“As an Economics Honors graduate with very little exposure to programming, I started my journey in ML and Data Science from scratch. I discovered the scope and demand for fields like, Data Science at Ernst and Young working as a risk consultant. Still, it took a lot of courage to take up a challenge like TLF.

Understandably, the TLF experience has been deeply enriching, not just in terms of gaining technical skills but also, personally. It has been a holistic growth for me. Every day at TLF I learn a new concept, a new school of thought and a way of implementing ideas. Risk appetite and the ability to adapt consistently has shot up in the last eight months. To the community’s credit, I’ve never felt like an outsider or lesser than my peers. The diversity and inclusivity are a result of the collaborative approach of the projects and the courses have made me venture out of my comfort zone quite a few times.”

TLF Class of 2021
Capstone Project – Apptio

RENISH SUNDARNI

Renish joined Plaksha fresh out of engineering college where he had interned for a data science project and founded a small scale non-profit startup to give youth a hands-on exposure on robotics. He was also a part of a nationwide mentorship program, Reach for the Stars. He was among the top 60 students chosen from across the country.

“Having worked on various projects that used different technology, I found myself drawn to Data Science. I started picking up more and more projects in that domain. Gradually, I started wondering how to apply Data Analysis skills to my business. At the end of my fourth year, I had an offer from one of the reputed companies.

I then crossed paths with an alumnus of Tech Leaders Fellowship and learned about Plaksha. After a lot of research, I found that only Plaksha could give me a blend of both business and Data Science skills. I was eager to get mentored by famous entrepreneurs and be surrounded by the best minds in the country who shared similar interests.

I let go of my role as a software engineer as I wanted to expand my horizons. Plaksha provided the best mentors, collaborators and business heads. It has helped me become an entrepreneur. Lastly, I would like to say, it can be overwhelming sometimes, but as someone said, ‘opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them’. To grab the opportunities, you need to hustle as there is no substitute for hard work.”