Starting young

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Saidutt Kamat Redkar was recently shortlisted for the Global Student Entrepreneur Award (GSEA) instituted by the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (EO). As he prepares to represent the state in the next round, the Panaji-based student-entrepreneur makes time to chat with NT KURIOCITY

NT KURIOCITY

At 25, Saidutt Kamat Redkar is striking a fine balance between being a second-year graduate student in Computer Science (MS) at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and successfully running Sygence, a startup that he founded to predict and bridge the demand-supply gap.

Recognising this feat, the Goa chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (EO) recently announced Redkar as the winner of the Goa finals of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA). The Panaji-based student-entrepreneur will now represent EO – Goa Chapter and his startup Sygence Private Limited at the South Asia Regional Finals scheduled this week.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q. Tell us about your educational and professional background before founding Sygence Private Limited.

I completed my schooling at Sharada Mandir School, higher secondary at Mushtifund Aaryan Higher Secondary School and then my undergraduate programme (Bachelor of Engineering) in Computer Engineering at the Goa College of Engineering in the year 2017. Post completion, I interned with Rosenberger (India) Private Limited where I designed and developed software solutions for their operations, quality, HR, administration and after sales service teams. I then joined Ceralabs for four months where I worked on applications involving Deep Learning and Natural Language Processing.

I enrolled for my graduate programme in Computer Science (MS) at the University of Massachusetts, Boston in the fall of 2019 and am currently in the second (final) year of the programme which I will complete in May 2021 specialising in Database Application Development, Computer Vision and Cybersecurity in IoT. I have also represented my school and university in athletics
and basketball.

Q. Give us a brief overview of your startup.

I founded my startup Sygence Private Limited in May 2020 amidst the lockdown in India. Sygence is in the business of developing digital technology platforms that support all economic sectors with the convenience to register, access, transact, predict and track demand-supply for products and services seamlessly on a single platform thereby eliminating the distortions, disconnect, inefficiencies, wasteful costs and delays embedded in the current practices of siloed demand-supply management resulting from the use of fragmented technology databases prevalent across most sectors. We achieve these functionalities on our platforms using the best in class of Data Science, IOT, Cloud, Web and Mobile technologies.

Q. How do you balance being a student and an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurship has always excited me, the intricate challenges of which I have experienced firsthand during the course of the last six months since I founded the company. During this short period I have developed a good appreciation of the legal aspects involved in starting and running a company, regulatory compliances and filings, human resource recruitment and management, sales and marketing, operations management, finance management, all of which are extremely important to understand and improve alongside the technology work that we are involved with for the success of the company.

2020 will go down as a ubiquitous year for me both personally and professionally. Managing work while studying had its own challenges compounded by the time zone difference which practically meant that I had to work during the day in India while attending online classes in the early hours of the morning three days a week during the fall semester (September to December). The incredible support from my colleagues at work as well as the strong determination to succeed with my venture is what has allowed me to deal with the challenges.

Q. With Sygence being shortlisted for the Global Student Entrepreneur Award (GSEA) at the local level, how do you feel about this win?

I am thrilled at Sygence being recognised and being awarded the first place by EO for the GSEA award at the Goa finals. The challenge and motivation with this award is now to take Sygence past the South Asia regional final scheduled this week into the global finals and make a mark on the
global startup stage.

Q. What is your message to young entrepreneurs like yourself?

You can only become an entrepreneur by getting your skin in the game and not by remaining on the periphery. There will always be situations that are going to be different from what you expect despite your best efforts. The key is not to get upset, overwhelmed or frustrated, to always try and maintain a state of mind from which you can think clearly about the choices to deal with situations as they unfold, take the required action, have the perceptual acuity to monitor the progress of actions, make course correction if necessary but in the end take ownership for the decision whether the outcome is good or bad. There is no failure for a committed entrepreneur… you fall down 100 times, you rise again… you have learned 100 lessons.