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Journeying into the (Un)known – Vinayak Sharma

 

A business graduate and a gold medalist from Symbiosis International University, I am a trained Climate Reality Leader with former U.S. Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore. I co-founded ExploreiT in 2017 and led a youth team in building their research acumen via mentorship and corporate partnerships, while supporting them to be changemakers and pathbreakers. In 2020, the World Economic Forum selected me as a Global Shaper. I am from Lumbini, Nepal, the birthplace of Buddha.

Follow your passion,” “Be the change you want to see in the world ” – phrases that are more elusive than they sound have challenged me time and again in my journey. As an individual and a leader, I am able to pursue my passion, cross pollinate, pull from different skill sets to solve problems, and ask for support when hitting roadblocks.

During my time with International Citizen Service (UK) and Handicap International (US), I experienced working in situations of extreme poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. These experiences further motivated me to work alongside marginalized and vulnerable people. I started to visualize designing/building sustainable impact ventures that would assist people to improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights.

I truly believe, problems in one part of the world might already have their solutions in some other part of the world.

To fulfill my entrepreneurial dreams, I joined Symbiosis University’s Business Administration program, specializing in Accounting & Finance and Marketing Management. Pursuing inter-disciplinary courses resulted in me doing a plethora of internships, twelve to be precise. Each internship has been a unique learning experience, teaching me about strategy, sales, marketing, research, and business development.

My stint as a Business Development Manager with Radma Research was memorable because I spearheaded a team for market research projects across the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia, and even allied my employer with Economic Times RICS. Besides giving practical lessons, these industrial trainings developed my time management, innovation, crisis management, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills.

The highlight of my journey with Symbiosis was receiving multiple awards such as the Chancellor’s Gold Medal in undergraduate program awarded by the Vice-President of India, the Best National Student Award from Nepal, the Best Outgoing Student, and the Best Outgoing International Student Batch 2016-19, SCMS Pune.

As Ban Ki-moon mentioned, “Sustainable development and climate change are two sides of the same coin.”

Elaborating on ExploreiT, we proactively engage and educate youth in sustainable development and unite them for the fight against climate change. We have conducted numerous initiatives, ranging from productivity workshops, clean-up treks, sustainability fests, local arts and crafts fairs, colloquiums on pressing global affairs, mentor-connect sessions, and events such as Marathons, Cyclothon, and Plogathon open-mics.

Since the inception in 2017, we have had 5,000+ volunteers registered, worked on 50+ community projects, and have connected 100+ students to corporate internships and research programs. The venture is currently being managed by my co-founders and several projects run independently with existing structures and partners remotely.

After completing my bachelor’s, I worked with TresVista Financial Services as a Private Equity Analyst for a British Placement Agent from May 2019 to September 2020. This experience was vital for me to understand the financial dynamics of the business, investor sentiments, assessing, and building funding/investment cases. I gained proficiency in conducting macro-economic research, preparing fundraising reports, investor summary documents, conducting due diligence, and building financial models required to identify and assess investment opportunities. One of the projects that I enjoyed working on was analyzing impact investing scenarios across Europe and Asia.

Since September 2020, I have been part of the globally selected cohort of Emergent Leaders at Cooperative Impact. We were able to create prototypes for ventures targeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The one that I worked on targets mental well-being for youth, especially in a virtual world post COVID-19.

Recently, I am glad to be offered an opportunity to work as a Business Partner for the Human Venture Lab. At Human, I wish to work alongside other dreamers to weave their growth stories and connect with the specialist entrepreneurs and upcoming cohort for the Emergent Leadership.

Leadership in generation of knowledge and influence through dissemination of sustainable and actionable ideas have been central to my growth in recent years and I intend to continue doing so in the future.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to knowing and working with all of you amazing souls at Human.

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