A committed group of individuals have come together in perfect unity to present you with this
Founder and CEO
"Pavan 'I just want to make stuff' Kumar Workbench Projects began as an idea that plagued Founder and Director Pavan Kumar for two years. His first question every time he meets people who introduce themselves as engineers is "what have you engineered?" The blank looks that invariably followed convinced him of the need to build an institution that could rekindle the spark of creative productivity in what he calls an inert society. He's got a Bachelor's and Master's in Mechanical Engineering. He was head of products and communication at Brains for Science and Technology Aided Reforms in Society (BrainSTARS). Before that, he was an Associate Process Engineer with 3D Systems Inc in South Carolina, USA, where he worked on optimising 3D printers. His energy levels are off the scale and the only way to calm him down is to grab him and shout out a new idea.".
Co-founder and CCO
Anupama Gowda, Workbench Projects other founder director, is the hand that runs Workbench Projects. She is a master of ceremonies, operations and logistics, making sure that everything is right where it needs to be. Her passion is to create creativity: developing the right conditions to spark and set off a thousand creative pursuits. She led Kali-Kalisu, a joint initiative of the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan and India Foundation for the Arts staying grounded to grassroots work. As Founder Director of Open Minds Education Initiatives initiated an alternate pre-school in Shivamogga. As former Director of Brains for Science and Technology Aided Reforms in Society (BrainSTARS) spearheaded thier pioneering maths activity centre called NumberNagar. She is the Managing Trustee of a not-for-profit organisation called Yuva Chintana Foundation and is on the Board of Nrityagram, an Odissi Dance Gurukul. In all her busy schedule buy her a watermelon juice and tell her all about your plans, she'll sort you out.
Head of Marketing
Now here’s the funny thing, we’re still trying to wrangle out a treat from Madhav for he’s recently sold his start-up (we’ll let you know when we succeed). As we all know, working in a start-up lands you with a hat-collection of various skills, the one area that this CS Engineer (yes, at WP he’s the only software fella for now, but hey we’re all dabblers here!) wants to explore a bit more is the Marketing and Operations aspect of a Start Up. And that’s exactly what’s he’s working on at WP, so if business wisdom is what you seek, come on over for a chai or coffee wala heart-to-heart.
You know what makes Madhav such an ideal fit? Nope his calm and soft-spoken manner is just an added plus, but it’s the insights into streamlining a project to help it take shape that much faster and just that much smoother that make him such a great add to our maker-gang!
Primary Space Man
You know stuff is gonna get done, (and done right by Jove!) when Colonel Vinod is in the space. Let’s just say, the first time we heard an actual Colonel (Retd. now but still!!) would be managing our space with us, the team was curious as a cat. And while myths around makers always seem to bring images of chaos and untidy little sheds, our team at Workbench revealed when Colonel’s order and discipline helped bring our ship in Tip-Top shape (we mean, more tip-top shape than before!). The gentleman, deeply intuitive about the needs of an organization both structure-wise and people-wise is just the kind of influence our maker-army needed. Funnily enough, Coln. has always been a man of new ideas, with an army background of over 36 years of experience he’s been a paratrooper ,a resilient state/national hockey player and in charge of logistics and administration up until the last year, upon being asked why us? He mentioned a wish to prove himself in a civil organisation(no one’s telling him we’re not the most civil organisation in town, shh!) While at the same time build his ideas out, some of which have been haunting him over a decade.
Master Crafstaman and Shopfloor Manager
40 years ago, Balu had a dream. He wanted to create a space where people without access to workshops could come in and exercise their creativity. Today, he has found a place doing exactly that, and intends to build on this old dream of his to infect other people with the maker bug. Balu never allows himself an idle moment. Whether helping people with their wood or metal work, or creating his own wacky puzzles, he hates letting the mind sleep. He has a diploma in electrical engineering and has been a Senior Under officer at the NCC. Although he has the capability and experience to work with various materials, he enjoys wood for its versatility. “I am not bound by money”, he says, always preferring the intellectual and personal fulfilment of having conjured an elegant puzzle or having created a beautifully finished piece of woodwork
Richard is the resident biologist and eccentric. He prefers working on unconventional and unknown ideas over tried and tested ones. He studied Engineering Biotechnology from Manipal Institute of Technology and has worked in areas ranging from beer brewing, to the downstream processing of menthol and the production of biofuel from algae. Richard believes in the power of engineering and entrepreneurship to solve some of the biggest environmental and social challenges we face today.
You’re most likely to find Ritesh tinkering in 3D Fab St. at Workbench Projects, this mech guy’s days aren’t just spent designing 3D Models and building new 3D printers (he’s fixing them too, so if you have an old one dying a dusty death somewhere in your cupboard, bring it to WP, for the Doctor is now in!), this Mumbai Dude is busy perfecting his 3D fabricated Motors, yes you heard it right, a motor you can print! The current one hasn’t done away with the windings just yet but Ritesh has other plans, plans we’re glad to be a part of!The man’s unflappable temperament has earned his customers a great deal of peace even with super-tiny deadlines hanging over their heads, coz when Ritesh is in the house it’s gonna get done and done right by Jove!
Girish is the fella you need on your side when you’re not sure if your design can really happen. A mechanical engineer(yes we really have a lot of those) who’s a true jugaad inventor at heart, is here to give your idea the first leap into this 3D world of ours. From what we hear, his excitement is contagious and as soon as you verbalise your idea, you can see the cogs in his head turning your idea this way and that way. Until finally, the nod accompanying squinched eyes and a ‘hmm it’s possible’ tells you he’s hooked now and is going to be doing everything needed to make it happen! But handling the CNC, Laser and Vinyl Cutter are not his only ambitions in life, for this maker of ours is working on something that will possibly change the Law of Conservation as we know it. Now now, enough said already, if you’re curious, bug him about it, he’s more than happy to explain.
Our newest electronics geek (God knows we need more of them!), has a child-like curiosity for anything with silicon and germanium at it’s heart! If you need the hardware in your project to do more than look pretty, then Sharath is your guy. His love for IoT stems from his first IoT Wearable project (he’s in the stages of turning into a commercially available product) which helps Miners stay safe and helps the supervisors keep track to prevent casualties.
The project led Sharath to the finals of a Malaysia-based IoT competition by Hilti Corporation, which in turn finalised his resolve of taking the Smart Jacket forward, cue Workbench Projects coming into the picture.
As Sharath tells us, for anyone who sees themselves at the helm of a Start-Up in the near future, being a part of a system that not only caters to the Start-Up ecosystem (among others) but is also an active part helps you hit the ground running, Workbench is a no-brainer.
Imagine a cross between Tigger (Hyperactive Tiger from ‘Pooh and friends’) and Merlin (Arthur’s Magician Sensei in ‘The Sword in the Stone’) that’s what Aadithya Kota or simply Kota is for Workbench Projects and the world at large.
A recent product of Shrishti School of Art and Design, this product designer with a multi-disciplinary interests (you look at the kickass Rubens Tube installation he’s building you’ll know what we’re on about!).
What made him come back after his internship stint at Workbench a couple of years back, was the simple fact that if you’re a maker, a makerspace like WP is your Haven (#tinyAdvertisement) , your place to bunker-down and focus on nothing but your project, okay maybe not completely...you’ll find Aadithya’s handiwork on our Youtube channel testimony to the ‘let’s-learn-something-new’ philosophy, which works perfectly for someone like Kota who intends to be the Adam Savage of his generation.