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Featured By Stay Featured: Saurabh Tiwari , CEO ThinkerPlace

From childhood, I’ve always made different gadgets and innovations from what was available to me. My interest was particularly sparked when introduced to the mechanics of robotics and new innovative ideas during my school life. With a keen interest in making new inventions that are practical and unique, I wished to study in-depth the possibilities that innovation and technology hold and to make a full-time career out of it.

By the time I was in my early college years, my ideas and interest in embedded machine learning had earned me the reputation of being the most knowledgeable person in the field. My journey as an educator for innovation and technology started here where I would host classes to teach seniors the complex yet intriguing world of robotics and engineering. It was also during college when I had an epiphany moment to work on an idea of a product that can enhance the mileage of an engine by four times which earned me my first National Patent in 2013.

Earning the first patent was only the starting point to a successful career in innovation and discovery. During the next 1.5 years after college, I was the proud owner of 10 more International and National patents. I didn’t wish to follow the traditional path of joining multinational companies, instead, I focused all my attention on working with different Research& Development Institutes. I had the privilege to work with scientists, innovators, masters of their fields, politicians, Government officials, and more as a Business Innovation Consultant for many years.

It was not until the year 2019 that I finally met like-minded people who understood the endless positive potential that innovation and technology hold. My interaction with Mr Neeraj Sharma and Mrs Deepti Sharma was the spark that ignited new purpose-driven ideas within me. With the support and assistance of Mr & Mrs Sharma who highlighted the need to provide goal-oriented learning and innovation solutions to 21st-century children by incorporating the S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) learning methodology through smart DIY educational toys, ThinkerPlace was born.

ThinkerPlace was an idea to create next-generation job givers instead of job seekers through nurturing the children of India today. We aim to increase our rank of India on the Global Innovation Index to number one. Reaching this goal is a long-term process that has to be set in motion today. The children of today require the tools and support to be able to become innovative geniuses and entrepreneurs in the future, and through ThinkerPlace we hope to be the support they seek.

ThinkerPlace’s products follow all the guidelines that are set by the Ministry of Education of India. The Government of India, especially MHRD is taking drastic measures to ensure that innovation and technology are at the forefront of priorities. They are coming up with innovation-based policies for students like NIEPP, Atal Tinker Labs, NEP 2020, and much more to make this dream a reality.

We’ve chosen S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) as the primary focus to be incorporated into all of ThinkerPlace’s toys. The reason why Mr. & Mrs Sharma and I chose this learning methodology is because of the scope and capability that it provides to children. Through STEM, children get hands-on experience with all the concepts that they learn at school, it is easier for them to retain information through practical learning, and they are also free to be innovative and creative. STEM is at the forefront and the pinnacle of education that schools worldwide are incorporating. At ThinkerPlace, we wanted to present the possibilities and the endless potential that STEM has to offer by introducing this concept in the form of simple DIY educational smart toys.

Looking back on my journey from the inception of ThinkerPlace till today, I appreciate all the milestones that the company as a whole and the team have crossed. My team includes a variety of people, all driven by the same goal - to make ThinkerPlace better every day. I believe that anyone can understand what to do in a job, but not everyone can understand innovation as the job. I’m grateful to the entire team of ThinkerPlace for assisting me to make several dreams a reality.

In the years 2013-14 startup culture was frowned upon due to the uncertainty linked to it. At that time there was not enough awareness about innovation and entrepreneurship, making it difficult for me to establish myself career-wise. ThinkerPlace was a groundbreaking opportunity for me to settle into my comfort zone and finally do what I’ve always wanted - to make products that are based on innovation.

I have advised many start-ups and matured them in varying aspects earning myself the title of infopreneur.ThinkerPlace is the first start-up that I am heading independently. The ideation for ThinkerPlace was never a problem, it was the execution where we saw several hiccups. Coming up with different products, all with their separate product journeys and timelines, setting the team and working towards the launch of all these products, were some of the initial challenges. At ThinkerPlace, the individual roles of team members are critical for the launching of our products right from ideation to the marketing and sales part. Getting everyone on board to work towards several common goals is always a challenge. In my experience, the lifecycle of a product till we reach the target is always something that's a happy challenge every time.

I think it was the notion of never stopping believing in myself that pushed me and ThinkerPlace to where it is now. It was the devotion to the company and the principle to provide something that will take our audience to the next level that kept me motivated. Every individual and company have their failures, and I believe that taking failures as an experience and not pondering over them too much is the key to moving forward with a new drive. Every situation is an asset and an opportunity, they all should be encashed positively is what I've learned through my two-year CEO journey.

Through ThinkerPlace and my journey, I’ve realised that every organisation's research on anything is underrated potential to provide paths to a better execution strategy for whatever tasks. As a researcher for nearly a decade now, I’ve known that this is the ultimate method to prepare for anything.

For ThinkerPlace, the plan is expansion. Currently, we are providing end-to-end STEM-based learning solutions for children between the ages of 6-14. We are aiming to expand into providing toddlers and older children with similar experiences that are innovative. We are also moving towards the global expansion of all our verticals. The team is completely focused on research and development to come up with new varieties of products that can reach the maximum number of children. We aim for B2B national expansion and significant growth in rural schools, and B2C global growth. We want to be known as the pioneers who helped to propagate the journey of innovation in children globally and at the grassroots level of India.


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