A Chat With Srikant of Red Matter Tech

By Anupum Pant


Experiences are precious, and learning from the experiences of others is, I think, a very efficient way of avoiding mistakes and identifying the patterns to success. I treasure them. I view it like, collecting XP (experience points) in a Pokémon game – where the game is your life and the greater XP you manage to collect, the better you do in the game.

A great man’s biography no doubt is one good source of this precious experience. A better way to go about collecting XP is by simply asking the successful person himself – by doing an interview maybe. That is what I did… (an interview once again!)

Red Matter Tech and Dabblr

I had a chat with one of the four masterminds, Srikant Rajasekharuni of, Red Matter Tech. They are the ones who chose themselves (not the traditional office cubicles) and brought in this one of its kind student companion smartphone app, Dabblr. It is creating waves in the student community. If you are a student and you have a smartphone that does not have Dabblr installed in it, you are seriously missing out on something.

It is an app which lets you carry the updates on most important college events, current affairs, open courseware, student deals, campus news,  your time-table, and more, in your pocket all the time. The interface is slick and the app is neatly polished. You’ll get addicted.

[Get it here]

The Chat

Listen to what Srikant shares with us. Pay attention because “Learn and Discover” is what we do at AweSci too.

Me: Tell us about the company.

SR: We are Red Matter Tech, a relatively young product development and marketing firm started by four friends! It’s been almost 9 months all of us quit our jobs, we work out of our own office space and plugged in most of the time.

Me: Dabblr is your first product. It seems to be more than just an app. Can you tell us more about it?

SR: Dabblr prima facie, is a student companion app. If you are a student who’s looking for an application that will provide necessary information about your curricular, co & extra curricular life! Course and aptitude related gyaan. Aggregation of content from various news feeds and event information! You can even check out your college timetable on the application!

Me: Who is the team behind your first product – Dabblr?

SR: The team consists of us, the co-founders. Bhagat handles tech. Shirish product. Rohit handles operations and sales and I handle content and marketing. All of us have prior decent experience in marketing. Shirish and I studied together in MICA, Shirish & Rohit have studied from the same engineering college. 80 % of the current team have experience in the gaming industry too. Avani, Bhagat’s much better half is the coder!

Me: Why did you feel the need for this app?

SR: As we graduated from engineering and moved out of Hyderabad for further studies, we noticed a stark difference in approach towards life from students of different states. It made us realise that education is not the same across the country and we decided to create a platform of equal opportunities and information. And completely free.

Me: What is that one big lesson you learnt while developing your first product? Something which you’d have not learnt, had you not endeavored to create this.

SR: Biggest learning would be the unconditional support that your family and friends extend when you are completely focussed on creating something on your own.

Me: Where on the web and print have you been featured?

SR: We have been on Inc42, The Hindu and Deccan Chronicle so far. All of them have been real kind to us.

Me: People who inspire you, the books you love, websites and blogs you read and your favorite pastimes. Favorite music, specific songs.

SR: Inspirations:  B R Ambedkar, Rajnikanth.
Books I Love: The Foundation Series, Sandman (Graphic Novels)
Websites: Reddit, of course. Business insider. Awesci.

Me: Before you go, share with us an interesting piece of science trivia for the day

SR: Total Eclipses are possible only because the sun and moon appear the same size from earth. That’s possible only because the sun’s diameter is about 400 times larger than that of the moon – Amazingly, if you think coincidences don’t happen, the sun is also about 400 times farther away. Mind blowing!

[Dabblr Website] [Facebook Page]

Talk by Arvind Gupta Will Make You Salute Him

By Anupum Pant


We are all born scientists. Young kids have an inborn talent of thinking and learning by interacting with their environment – just like scientists do. Their everyday play is a type of experimentation and the toys they use, are their scientific equipment.

But unlike the children of developed countries, in India, a major chunk of little kids are not fortunate enough to cross ways with these fancy toys. In a place like India where 70% of the nation’s population still resides in backward villages, a man like Arvind Gupta is doing some really incredible work that deserves a salute. He’s popularizing science among kids by showing them quirky ways to convert trash into useful toys.

The Story of Mr. Gupta

He is the Indian Bill Nye – the Indian science guy – Arvind Gupta.
Arvind Gupta calls himself a toy maker (I think that is a very humble name he gives himself) and he has been doing it for the last 30 years! During the 70s when Mr Gupta was studying in IIT – Kanpur, he lived through a period which came with a revolution that aimed at revitalizing primary science in the village schools. Later, he went to the US, studied at Caltech, came back, worked at the top research laboratories in the country, and yet he wasn’t satisfied.

He somehow felt that the cutting-edge research he was doing, its effect on the major part of the Indian people wasn’t directly visible to him. This was when he started a village sized program to popularize science among the rural kids. He continues to do this even today. His way of doing it – Teach them to convert trash into toys. It was a beautiful idea.

I still remember watching Arvind Gupta on Doordarshan, teaching us science. We never noticed we were learning –  by touching, feeling, cutting, sticking – pulling things apart and putting things together.

His toys

He can turn anything into a toy that explains a basic science principle in a very interesting way to children. For instance, his way of sticking match sticks together to make objects as simple as 2 dimensional angles to objects as complex as bucky balls, is just amazing. But that’s not all.

Go to his YouTube channel you’ll find a number of tutorials to create amazing little devices from trash, which even adults will enjoy. Besides that, to cater to the linguistically diverse population of India, his videos come in languages like Hindi, English, Tamil, Bengali etc…

Watch his talk below. In a 15 minute breathless talk you’ll watch him demonstrate everything from simple mathematical, biological, chemical and physical principles with match sticks and rubber tube parts, to at least twenty other plain yet ingenious toys. Watch him make it all, right there at the talk! You can’t miss it.

The one I like the best is the slate he makes, using wool and velcro, for blind people. The second best toy in my opinion is the incredibly simple whistle made by cutting a straw. The crank generator made of trash is impressive too! What do you like to most? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

Every kid would love science this way.

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