Travel, Travail & Trivia

When nights blur into days, and sleep to wakefulness, the fuel blend that keeps us going, is the mix of passion and purpose. I just returned from the US, where Bala had packed a very tight schedule – filled with customer meetings, project reviews, industry seminar, advisory meetings, board meetings and catching up with ex-colleagues and friends. The body may have been tired and complaining hard, but the heart is pumped up and wants more.(yes Bala!)

It started with travel to Texas (bringing back some awesome memories) for couple of project reviews with customers, followed by a wonderful seminar at the MAPI’s Sales & Marketing Council Meeting at The Adolphus in Dallas, Texas. It was a very inspiring experience, presenting to the experts of the Manufacturing space. The highlight – apart from the 100-year-old historic hotel, glorious weather, and sunshine on our faces – was the animated interest from the attendees and applicability of our solution in other industrial and manufacturing verticals beyond Chemicals & Materials. Thanks MAPI, for the opportunity!

The seminar was followed by other customer reviews, in a bunch of states, taking me towards mid-west first, and then the east coast. The whole travel was a blur, but the reviews – awesome!

Each time I sit in these reviews, I gain such fresh perspective on the customer needs. I come out of the reviews and meetings, encouraged by how much we have accomplished and how much value we are adding, yet humbled by how much more is possible on the industrial domain. I become more and more convinced that the decision to mine data for strategies on industrial side of things was the right one with an impeccable timing. Thanks Chemical Industry, for the opportunity!

Next, it was time for some invigorating discussions!. Meeting with Keith Smith, our advisor, is always something Bala and I look forward to. Keith, most recently, was the Executive Vice President of Innovative Plastics Business Unit of SABIC. Prior to that, he had been with DuPont since 1980, holding many senior positions.

Apart from being a personal inspiration with his fitness, focus and how active he is in his retired life, his questions and suggestions further inspire us about our business and future possibilities. Thanks Keith, for the support! and so proud of your amazing work with your non-profit!

The schedule then meandered towards Wharton for other business meetings. What’s it about great academic institutions that gives me goosebumps? Is it the name and the fame, or the intellectual air? I could lose myself in the lobbies of any of these campus buildings and spend hours poring over the books and the displays. Thanks Wharton, for the inspiration, and thanks Bala for the pic!

Leaving Wharton, we met with Prof. Ravi Radhakrishnan, who also is our close pal from college days. His work left me spellbound.

Ravi's work and research interests lie at the interface of chemical physics and molecular biology. It was humbling to know that he employs several computational algorithms ranging from techniques to treat electronic structure, molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo simulations, stochastic kinetic equations, and complex systems analyses in conjunction with the theoretical formalisms of statistical and quantum mechanics, and high performance computing in massively parallel architectures. Apart from working at the intersection of all three fundamental sciences, he has the ambitious goal of transforming clinical trials for cancer cure. What a high impact life!

We also chatted non stop, as we walked through the pathways of Penn, recollecting our Chennai memories that go beyond the scope of this blog. And of course, the mandatory Penn picture with Benji, who is yet another amazing inspiration. Thanks Ravi, for the wonderful time, and of course, the Vegas insights!

That brings me back to home base in Bangalore. The team is coming together really well. Prasana and Manas have assimilated well into the team and we have expanded our office space for accommodating our growth needs. And, so glad to welcome Vaishali, who joined us this week! Vaishali has close to five years of deep Chemical Industry work experience prior to joining GadflyZone.

Vaishali's Bachelors degree is in Polymer Engineering from Pune University, and her Master's is in Polymer Science & Technology from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai (UDCT), where she stood 2nd in the University. Most recently she was a Scientist-Chemist at Haliburton Technology, where she designed and developed low density cements and resin composite for plug and abandonment applications - helping them attain better mechanical properties as compared to existing market solutions.

It’s time to wrap up this long post. There are so many more things to write about. Will save them up for a future blog. Until then, back to focus on customers, chemistries and code!

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