This segment with Mr. Avii Ahuja—a class XII student of DPS Faridabad and an NTSE Scholar—is an inspiring one. At the mere age of 16 years, Avii is a tech-entrepreneur with three companies to his name—foodsamurAI, Senior Saathi, and Ploutos Money.
foodsamurAI is an AI based food recommendation app available on Google play store. Senior Saathi is an award-winning health-tracking smartwatch for the elderly, and Ploutos Money is a chrome extension available on the Chrome store to help curb impulse buying in millennials.
Who Am I?
I remember at the age of 12 getting frustrated sharing the television in the family room and asking my parents for a Raspberry Pi. I quickly learnt some working Python and had soon configured it into my personal media player with every channel on my fingertips.
That’s me, a 17 year old artificial intelligence enthusiast, a motivated self-learner and problem solver. My projects are a culmination of my endeavors to solve everyday problems faced by the average person. I'm an NTSE scholar and an ace scholar badge student who loves to learn beyond the class curriculum. I thrive on experiencing new things. In fact, the challenge of entering an unknown sphere, learning on the go, and coming up with solutions is what drives me the most.
This is what led me to the world of entrepreneurship.
This Is How My Typical Day Looks Like
As any school going student, my day starts really early and I'm at school by 7 am. And yes, school is exactly like what you would have experienced in your time—the classes and the grind. After getting back at lunchtime, I like to unwind with binge-watching on Netflix. Then, it’s time for the omnipresent extra classes. The evenings are what I like the most as after getting the school grind of my chest, I can truly indulge in what I like, whether it’s a game of badminton with my friends, or a foodie session of kachoris or momos with my grandfather, or a dive into the world of company balance sheets nitty-gritties with my father (who secretly hopes I would join the family business one day). And the nights are for zoning into the world of programming and pursuing my passion project of the day.
Entrepreneurship v/s Academics
Balancing the roles of an entrepreneur and a student simultaneously does not come easy. Being an entrepreneur, there are times that some tasks take precedence over my studies. For example, there could be a critical bug in the app that needs immediate attention or there is an app update schedule to adhere to. At those times, my studies do take a back seat. Or I could have school examinations and then I have to switch off the entrepreneur mode and give my schoolwork full attention. Being a scholar badge recipient, my schoolwork is of utmost importance too. Because of this balancing act, many a times I have had to decide on achievable goals as an entrepreneur.
My Startup Struggle
Every entrepreneur goes through innumerable hurdles and struggles. One of the most important and foremost lessons learnt from my maiden project was sub tasking. Having visualized a concept product, I did flounder a bit with how to go about achieving it. But then I applied the basics of computational thinking to that too and understood that the way to go would be sub divide the project into sub tasks with their own milestones and timelines. Achieving the final product then became easy.
Another big challenge that I face constantly is my age or shall I say lack of legal age. People don’t take you seriously at face value. One has to go above and beyond to sell ones’ product or skills. The basic tasks of creating a company, bank accounts, applying for copyrights, etc. become herculean.
I am a self-learner and I like to evolve my skill set with different projects. That is the real skill. In today’s world of changing dynamics, that is what will be most handy. I truly believe that there is nothing we can’t teach ourselves if we put our mind to it. With that mindset there is nothing one can’t achieve.
Tools I Can't Live Without
Don’t know whether it makes me feel invincible, but it sure is a handy tool to manage my myriad tasks. And that’s Trello.
People Who Touched My Life
My grandfather gives the best lessons on life. Being an entrepreneur for the last 40 years, his insights into the various aspects of entrepreneurship are unparalleled. Having seen disruptions in industry norms, technology updates, and changing dynamics over decades, he has seen it all. His wisdom can be applied to any industry and has become one my go to mantras while developing a product.
Let Me Share A Hack With You
I use a three S principle to juggle my school studies and my entrepreneurial projects – Set Priorities, Sub-task and Schedule. Step one is to prioritize the tasks on a daily basis. Step two is to divide the task into smaller achievable sub-tasks. Step three is to schedule and plan the timeline for these sub-tasks. These three principles have steered me through this journey.
My go to recharge is food. Isn’t that obvious? I’m a foodsamurAI! I love food – gourmet, desi, street, multi cuisine – you name it and I want to try it. The other guilty pleasure is Netflix binge watching. I can watch hours on end and feel relaxed.
My Workspace Setup
My workspace is unglamorous. Being a one-man company, my room is my workspace and vice versa. One the other hand its very comforting too as it’s my personal zone.
My Favorite Quote
“Use the power of compounding in your daily life.” - was the advice by a keynote speaker at a ceremony. And I believe it holds true. We all know about the power of compounding in finance but what if it was put to use in our daily regime? A little effort every day becomes a mammoth over a period of time. This principle came handy while juggling between schoolwork and developing projects. A couple of hours put in everyday over a course of time brought my projects to fruition.
Current Reading List
My current read is Life’s Amazing Secrets by Gaur Gopal Das. I have seen some of his talks and they are so insightful yet light-hearted. The book also talks about interesting concepts to incorporate in life.
My Future Plans
I would like to take my projects to the next level and put in a suite of features that I couldn’t due to my hectic school schedule. The added features would make the user experience more wholesome. Actively monetizing the products is also on the agenda. In my opinion, this is just the brink of the iceberg. There is just so much to learn, discover, and incorporate. On the education front, I want to broaden my horizon. To that end, I would like to get into a university and pursue my passion for technology and artificial intelligence.