The IIT entrepreneur with an Idea Bank!

T he implementation of a potentially   innovative idea inevitably involves  risk. Broadly speaking, the more  innovative an idea is, the greater the risk. That’s because highly innovative ideas are by definition very different to the current situation (be it a product, service or process). Thus its success cannot easily be measured against existing cases. As a result, the more innovative an idea is, the harder it is to determine the result of its implementation. Ankit Mehta stood tall and erect on the ‘Baumgartner’s Axiom of Innovative Risk’.
As a kid, he dreamt of the impossible. When he saw Superman, he wanted to be like him and do whatever he did. At school, his teacher told him his ideas were good, but there is still a lot more to learn. He started thinking about the mechanics of engines very early in life, wondering how they worked and how processes could be changed to make things work better. His father used to have long chats with him everyday on the achievements of great inventors like Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison. This made a profound impact on him and fuelled his imagination further. ‘Why can’t I be an Einstein?’ he wondered. The ability to question and probe everything was his motivation to keep moving forward.
This deep interest in engineering brought Ankit Mehta to the Indian Institute of Technology. Ankit, a top ranked student at IIT Bombay, did not attend a single placement interview when his friends got the greatest offers from the best of companies. For him, it was a pursuit of ideas, a journey to achieve what he had always dreamt of. “The journey was tough as it took him a year to actually give shape to the start-up a company. The lack of experience, opposition from parents, and financial problems made it tougher and proved a great hindrance in shaping his dream company.
Strong belief in the idea and support from friends, Rahul Singh and Ashish Bhat, and a grant from the government led to the birth of Ideaforge in 2007 when Ankit Mehta was just 24 years old. Ideaforge got started with its pioneering work at the Technology Business Incubator, SINE at IIT Bombay.
“I have been very fortunate to get like-minded people like Ashish, who has been innovative and designing electronic gadgets ever since he was a schoolkid, and Rahul who gave up a plum post to be a part of this start-up,” Ankit says.
Today, Ideaforge develops human powered cell phone chargers and fully automated Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs). With these chargers, you can charge your phone while in a car, bike, etc. The Fully automated Micro Air Vehicles can be trained to even go inside buildings and take photos. In the age of increased surveillance, these products come in handy. Ankit has also been able to establish a good distribution network. Ankit lives with an idea bank and that’s why he calls his company Ideaforge. Money has never been an incentive for this true innovator.
“The joy of creating a product gives you the satisfaction which no high-paying job can,” he says happily.
Risks bring with them challenges but people like Ankit find pleasure in fighting challenges and turning them opportunities. Ankit has never been scared of challenges and risks. According to him one cannot be fickle when one decides to become an entrepreneur. One has to be very tough, strong and confident about everything one does. Risks are the part of any start-up.
An individual either fails or succeeds. If one fails, one has to accept it, but if one succeeds, there is no limit to where one can reach. It is important to see the viability of the new idea, probe deep into the idea and understand how important it is for the technocratic civilization.
Ankit admits that in order to be a part of technocratic world, generation of new ideas and their valiant and intelligent implementation can only bring India at par with the upcoming ‘techie’ civilization and for him IIT played a huge role in overall development. It boosted the confidence level high up, to become better than the best.
We have an amazing faculty, great atmosphere, you have 24 hours to do what you want to do. Sometimes you get intimidated seeing some dedicated people. The environment is very competitive, yet friendly.
According to him the atmosphere at IIT broadened his mental horizon and he learnt to dream and consequently generated ideas. He realized his true potential in the vicissitudes of the Indian Institute of technology. He and his team represented India at the China robotics meet called Robocon and won an award during his stay at IIT and this gave him immense exposure to the topical world.
Ankit re-educated his values, mastered the outer world and is no more tossed about by the fluctuating environments. He followed religiously what he wanted to achieve and today he with his team is able to establish many mile stones for the benefit of our nation.
Ankit’s company has initiated a pilot project with the Tatas and as such his company products will also be available at Tata stores.
Ankit followed his ideas ceaselessly in the pursuit of excellence to bring to the nation the desired revolution and transformation which indeed is the foundation for posterity to come. People with firm determination and with inbuilt conviction can only achieve the desired output so let the subtleties of mind go unbridled to let in innovation of dreams flow.

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