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.
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.
Master Craftsman 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
In this case, Mary always has a little tea