A Year 10 student at Dubai College, Saanvi Rastogi lists three subjects as her favourites: economics, computer science, and design and technology. ‘‘I am passionate about these because I feel they are the stepping stones to becoming the entrepreneur I aspire to be,’’ says the young lady who enjoys playing tennis and the guitar in her free time.
For Saanvi, being an entrepreneur is more than just starting a company; it is a way for her to explore her passion and solve a problem. “I hope to incorporate Artificial Intelligence in my solutions, which is a branch of technology that I dipped my toes into last summer after doing an online MIT course,’’ says the student, who since young has been enamoured by astronomy and space. ‘‘In the future, I’d love to explore space.’’
Excerpts from an interview:
How are you working towards realizing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur?
I am very passionate about entrepreneurship. Hence, I plan to make the most while attending UPenn Wharton’s Summer Program for Essentials of Entrepreneurship. I also intend to start an Entrepreneurship club at school for like-minded people to come together.
I am also developing an online solution to bridge the gap in the renovation market. I saw this to be a problem that my parents very recently faced.
Why entrepreneur? How do you plan to be a disrupter?
I started a fun slime business when I was nine years old and from that moment I knew entrepreneurship was the path I wanted to follow. I plan to be a disrupter by finding a solution to problems that havent been solved as yet.
Who are your mentors?
My dad and mum have been my mentors and biggest supporters from day one. If it weren’t for my dad making us watch space movies as often as we could, and if it weren’t for my mum encouraging me to open stalls at my local community fairs, I would have never been able to explore this passion of mine and wouldn’t be where I am today. My whole entrepreneurship journey started when I opened a local slime business on my own and sold slime to my friends at school and at local fairs. It was a very frightening and daunting experience for a 9-year-old.
What are the best pieces of advice you received from your mentors?
However big the challenge, if you want it bad enough, you will make it happen: This phrase seemed confusing to me as a 9-year-old, but it has aided to morph me into the young aspiring entrepreneur I am today. I have also learnt that a little bit of hard work goes a long way.
Long-term gain, short-term pain: This phrase has truly been etched into my brain after the countless times my parents remind me of this. It reminds me that the hard work I put in now may not show results instantly. However, one day in the future I will reap results.
This reverberates the common message of never giving up and keep fighting for what you want.
What do you know about the UPenn Wharton Essentials of Entrepreneurship Summer Program?
This amazing opportunity I got, thanks to Hale Education, is a way for me to engage with like-minded peers from around the world. I am looking forward to using innovative thinking and learning the basics of what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
You also want to be a philanthropist. What changes do you hope to see in the community and the world?
I realised at a very early age that we are so lucky to live such amazing lives in Dubai. I love to share this experience in as many ways I can. Be it visiting and donating to slums in India every time we travel back home or taking part in a charity project to send back preloved books to less fortunate children in Africa, philanthropy has always been an important part of my life. The memory of seeing a kid opening bags of my preloved clothes is a sight that I will never forget. It is my fuel for exploring philanthropy as much as I can in the future.
To learn more, visit haleeducation.com.