GLOBAL WINNERS of SCHNEIDER GO GREEN 2019 is team ALOE E-CELL ! Aah! I still relive the moment when Tina Mylon, SVP of Talent & Diversity and Josu Ugarte, Iberian Zone President pronounced our team name and the whole arena full of ecstatic people cheered for us and our joy knew no bounds. Naveen (my teammate) and I(Nimisha Varma) rushed to the stage to receive our prize and then…
Wait a second! Why I am starting like this? It seems like it’s the end but actually, it is not… still I will take you all to the very initial steps of our journey where two young entrepreneurs started their novel research inspired by their society.
How it all started
So, starting with the introduction, my teammate Mr. Naveen Suman and I, Ms. Nimisha Varma are recent 2019 graduates from Rajasthan Technical University, Kota where he has completed his bachelors in Tech in Civil Engineering and me, a Computer Science Engineer.
Coming from two different backgrounds but pursuing the same thinking always proved to be a boon for us. Naveen and I have known each other for quite a long time and during this time, we have realized just how compatible we are together in terms of business.
When Naveen introduced Schneider Go Green to me, we were confident in landing a spot at the global finals in Barcelona but did not know that we would emerge as the Global Winners. We were competing with some of the best minds from 180+ countries who were well versed in their work and presentation skills.
After clearing the regional semi-finals in India, we got paired with Mr. Tushar Joshi, General Manager of Schneider Digital in India. He helped us portray what we actually wanted to and bring our idea to life. So, without him, this blog would be incomplete. Tushar worked day and night with us to make both ends meet. Be it day or night or even in the early morning, Tushar always made himself available to answer our questions and give us guidance. He helped us with our pitch deck and presentation. We worked on this for almost two months and the night before the regional finals, we made a mock presentation to Tushar and he helped us with last-minute tips and calmed our nerves for the real presentation the next day. He gave us lots of confidence in our presentation!
The presentation day of the regional finals started with a bang because we were the first to present. I started the presentation and handed the presentation to Naveen after finishing my part but due to some technical glitches he was not able to connect, so I started again because I did not want to be short of time but by God’s grace, Naveen soon joined us and it was a great presentation. Q&A round was also pretty good because judges had lots of questions. We were able to answer them easily and get through the presentation. Now was the time to wait for the final result and to our surprise, we were selected as the regional finalists from India! We were excited and ready for the global finals, but we knew that this happiness comes with great responsibility because everyone started looking up to us with a huge sense of expectation– this excited us and fueled us even more.
Global Finals in Barcelona
The month leading up to the global finals went by in a flash and before we knew it, it was 29th September, the day of our flight from New Delhi to Barcelona. Naveen and I met in New Delhi in the morning and started making batteries that we planned to distribute to the judges in Barcelona. We were so caught up in making our batteries that we almost forgot our flight was that night! Our journey to Barcelona was met with some challenges, but with the support from the Schneider Electric team, we were able to start our trip on a positive note.
After breakfast, we got the chance to meet the rest of the global finalists and spend the day exploring Barcelona! We had some exciting photoshoots and then visited La Sagrada Familia, where we also saw a cool data center of Schneider. We learned that while La Sagrada Familia was under renewal and construction, Schneider provided the perfect solution for them in modular data center. After the tour, we went for a scrumptious and traditional tapas lunch, which acted as a small get together for all. After lunch, we got to ride Go Carts through the Barcelona streets as we toured the city, it was really exciting even as a passenger because everyone waved at us we roamed the streets– it was very exhilarating! We ended the day by visiting the National Art Museum of Catalunya and attended a networking dinner. At dinner, we met with Schneider Electric leaders and also Laura Lima, Environmental Engineer Junior and Go Green participant from 2016.
The order of presentations was chosen at random, and we were to present during the last time slot. On the day of presentations, we put together last minute touches and made our way to the convention center where Innovation Summit Barcelona was taking place. The arena was filled with the vibrant green of Schneider Electric and the efforts to make the earth a green and sustainable place was evident.
After a few photographs, we went to the presentation hall and the presentations started. About halfway through, we attended the keynote session of Schneider’s CEO Jean-Pascal Tricoire, who spoke about Schneider’s appearances in various sectors and their efforts towards sustainability and discussed the importance of ensuring that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone, at every moment. After the keynote, we gathered again for the rest of the presentations. We were the last to present so it made us anxious but we nailed it when it was our time to present. The judges and our co-participants were really impressed with our pitch. Their excitement filled us with joy because their questions showed their curiosity which proved that we are successful in making people enthusiastic about our eco-friendly batteries.
The third day of the Innovation Summit was the result day so full of anxiety but we tried to be calm and enjoy the day as planned. We visited Schneider’s Innovation Hub where we witnessed the best of Schneider Electric products and solutions and also, discovered the latest innovations at Schneider. Additionally, we learned about Schneider’s story, values, and commitments of how Life is On! We networked with #SEGreatPeople, gained their insights and even showed our product to them.
The moment we were all waiting for– the global winner results! We all sat down for the session pretending to be calm, but in reality, we were very excited and nervous about the final results! came the moment of the Global Winner announcement. Waiting for the results felt like the longest minutes of my life but it ended when our team name was announced. GLOBAL WINNER… TEAM ALOE ECELL!! We were on cloud nine. We rushed towards the stage and our happiness is clearly depicted in the images. I thought I would be nervous while speaking in front of 3000+ people but it was a lot easier with all of the smiling faces of the audience. Naveen and I spoke together about our bold idea, as a slide from our pitch was running behind us. After the announcement, we were surrounded by thousands of excited people who all wanted to know how we landed onto Aloe Vera and how are we actually creating Aloe batteries.
What an exciting day! Our day ended with a community dinner where Schneider leaders like Ainoa Irurre, Europe Talent Acquisition & Mobility VP joined us and presented the certificates and trophies to all the participants. Though it was the end of the day, it was not the end of the celebration. All the participants then went out for a late-night party and karaoke session. It was all really fun to spend time with everyone and celebrate!
Schneider Go Green Winners 2019
The next day was our flight. We landed in India and were really amazed to see the grand surprise welcome our family and relatives had prepared for us. We were literally welcomed with open hearts and Garlands and it seemed like we could fight elections! Haha!
I would really like to thank the Go Green team including Yeonjoo Lee, Isabelle Kahakura Batista, Tina Mylon, Jen Au and all our co-participants for making this trip so memorable. Also a big thanks to Tushar Jushi for mentoring and preparing us to represent India and emerge as the global winners. Thank you to Schneider India, Nilesh Rebello, Devanshu Mehta, and Rekha Daniel for trusting us so that we could bring laurels for our country.
The time is now to sign up for the 2020 edition of Schneider Go Green! To get more information and sign up, visit our website at www.gogreen.se.com
The winner of the global finals will win an all-inclusive trip to Boston, MA to visit and tour MIT and Greentown labs!
About the author
Nimisha Varma is 2019 Schneider Go Green winner. She is a 2019 Btech Graduate and is pursuing her post-graduation from IIIT Bengaluru. She is the co-founder of Aloe E-cell Pvt Ltd where she along with her team strive to create 1.5V batteries using aloe vera. She has a vision of bringing an eco-friendly change in the world by commercializing aloe vera batteries. Apart from work, Nimisha likes talking, networking and spending time with her family.