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Bittersweet experiences of Karkhana founder


Kathmandu, August 10, 2017: The first edition of Thames Speaker Series featured Pavitra Gautam, CEO of Karkhana- an education company and maker space with a unique approach to learning. Introducing himself as an engineer, entrepreneur, and educator, he shared his bittersweet experience of being an entrepreneur.

He started off with the field of programming and robotics and co-founded Robotics Association Nepal (RAN). But, he wasn’t actually satisfied with what he was doing. He wanted to do something different, something that would excite him every morning he woke up. That’s when he thought of switching to entrepreneurship.

“At a time when going abroad seemed like the only viable solution, I realized that it was not actually the only option I could opt for. We decided to start Karkhana as a product designing company. We did some mistakes in between and realized there was no ecosystem for product designing in Nepal then. That was kind of de-motivating, but that didn’t stop us. We all followed our passion and continued our work trying to make it better and more impactful,” shared Gautam.

Some Life Hacks Learned

He did have a lot of ups and downs in his life, but he came to a deep realization that if we have a real passion for something, everything else becomes secondary and nothing can stop us. “We all are so much focused on output and underestimate the power of efforts. But, actually, it’s all about the efforts we make rather than the results we get. Meanwhile, we can never avoid mistakes and failures in life. The idea of failure in our society is very limited. Rather than taking it as a mistake, we all should take it as learning and try to work on our flaws,” added Gautam.

He believes that education is about learning how to think and not what to think. He also stressed on the unavoidable importance of unlearning. Sometimes, it is necessary to question our beliefs and things we have learned in the past. We need to relearn things as learning is a never-ending process; it has no boundary. He opined, “The traditional process of learning is in the hierarchy of knowledge, skill, and attitude. But, here at Karkhana, we believe that attitude should be built first, then skills and lastly knowledge.”

Another key formula of success would be to criticize oneself and appreciate others, according to Gautam. He explained why positive feedback works better than negative feedback, pointing out the need of coupling every criticism with an appreciation as motivation is a driving factor of success.

On a concluding note, he shared that happiness is a better factor of judgment than failure. “As long as we are happy about our work, we are successful. That is why, if anyone asks me what I would want to be in life, I would simply say ‘Humble and Happy’,” he mentioned.

Photo Courtesy: Pavitra Gautam/Facebook

By Drishti Maharjan