Interview with Ratneshwaran Maheswaran
Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Q1. Please share your educational and professional journey?
My Educational journey started in a public school, Where I developed a more significant interest in science and mathematics. There was a lot that motivated me and also demotivated me during my middle and secondary school. However, they led me to take a greater interest in computer science and apply my knowledge. Currently, I’m in 12th grade, studying, prominently, Computer Science, Psychology, and Mathematics. My experience keeps growing every day, not only through my schooling but through my exploration. My interest and curiosity for computer science, psychology led me to take up various research projects. Some of the inventions that I have filed a patent on. On the side, I developed a purpose within me. That was to give back to society.
I figured that there were two ways I could do that: one through activism and the second through entrepreneurship. So, I did both. The Lead Council, my youth organization, focuses on advocacy, sharing ideas and information for free, and bringing the youth’s voice forward. We are a youth network with over 70 like-minded diverse, empathetic members worldwide who believe in calculated change.
Amelia Computing Private Limited is my Artificial Intelligence startup that is focused on three fields: Healthcare, Energy, and Education Technology. I started my professional journey in 2020, intending to bring AI power in all fields and people’s hands. I’m leading the company. However, there is no title as I’m under 18.
Currently, we are developing our AI that would help in the diagnosis of diseases. Our primary goal in the healthcare sector is to make it affordable. We are growing every day towards our objective, and it is only possible because of our talented and motivated employees.
I firmly believe that age is just a number and it shouldn’t be a barrier to knowledge.
Q2. What did attract you towards entrepreneurship instead of job?
Entrepreneurship is a way to give back to society. To help people, I had many experiences that motivated me towards entrepreneurship and starting my company. However, the main goal is to serve the people. Artificial Intelligence is an immense field that needs greater importance in the world. With its ability to aid different areas such as healthcare, I wanted to make that a reality.
Furthermore, my thinking and decision making isn’t constrained. I feel free. Hence, I was attracted to entrepreneurship.
Q3. How do you handle stress in this fast and competitive life?
Stress is always there. Being a high school student in one of the rigorous courses (IB diploma), leading an activist youth organization, and entrepreneurship does have a high toll on me. Although I am not perfect at handling stress, I got few things I do.
Being a psychology student as well has shown me few solutions. First, I read many books that relax me; second, I’m an artist: I do digital art, and the usual things such as exercising, movies, etc. In short, I do the things I love and enjoy that relaxes me.
Q4. How are you curbing problems of mankind using technology?
I strongly believe in tech entrepreneurship. Amelia is currently focused on Artificial Intelligence in healthcare to diagnose better and make healthcare affordable to all. Healthcare is a universal right, and everyone deserves this. However, in Low- and middle-income countries like India, many people don’t have access to healthcare, and even if they do, the quality isn’t excellent as the west. Hence, we believe that by using AI, we can solve that. This is one way I’m trying to curb the problem of humankind.
Secondly, we are working on EdTech, where we aim to spread technology knowledge such as programming to students. We are teamed up with many schools in India, and we are growing.
I have authored a book, ‘Python Simplified,’ and have distributed over 1100 copies of it. I firmly believe that technology is the solution to problems.
My life purpose of curbing teenage depression has led me to research and develop other solutions. One of them is my app Safe Spaces that I developed. It is an app that helps psychiatric counselors connect with students/teenagers anonymously. The application is currently being used in several schools and serves over 650 students.
I also have several other types of research in using AI in psychology. You can find all my research materials on my website or directly mail me for information.
Q5. You have done many online courses on AI and Deep Neural Network. How do you see this new online education approach comparing to traditional offline approach?
Online education does provide a great new advantage over the traditional method. It has both advantages and disadvantages. For example, online education can be accessed anywhere with less infrastructure. This can help in the LMIC areas. However, keeping the engagement of the students may be a little tricky.
We also at Amelia provide online courses. Hence, we think it’s a great area to look forward to for education and business.
Yes, online education is evolving, and soon it might be a supplement to the traditional classes.
Q6. What kind of problems have you faced in your entrepreneurship Industry and how did you remove it?
Entrepreneurship is an industry that is always at a high risk. There may be several challenges. However, I always remember to keep going. Never to stop. Because everything I experience, Failure or success is something that would teach me. Hence, I believe it’s your perseverance that matters the most. Furthermore, organization of all the risks and solutions can help you increase your success.
Q7. Tell us about one of the moments which changed your perspective towards life?
Several experiences had a more significant effect on me. But the. The most prominent ones were when I witnessed something close. It was 9th grade when I witnessed my friend succumb to depression. Seeing this and emotions made me take curbing depression as a life purpose. This changed my perception of the world. I became more empathetic. Feeling the pain of other people drives me every day to work to help the people.
Q8. Which one skill do you like most about yourself?
Well, it’s more of a quality than a skill. I strongly believe in empathy, love, and kindness. Being kind to someone is something that the world needs. All the people are connected in the world, so if you are kind to one person, the whole world will change. Changing injustice to justice, apathy to empathy, hate to love is something I do. I like this quality and strive to be the same. I believe compassion and kindness is the best leadership quality that a person should have.