This is a post by Raghuchandra, part of Rang De’s tech team, who completes one year with Rang De on June 4th. Raghu firmly believes that technological advancements should be coupled with social good. Support Raghu’s campaign now

We all know that often dating can feel like a lot of work, but occasionally work can seem just like dating.  Hold your horses before you start to outrage, and let me explain what I mean by that. First jobs are usually like your first serious crush, there is a lot of anticipation, some anxiety and sighing involved before she or he agrees to date you. And then you find out that, well, maybe you were more in love with the idea of them. Now I know that lots of people marry their school/ college sweethearts and similarly there are people who spend their entire working years with a particular organization. But the rest of us stumble through multiple crushes, awkward dates before finding someone who feels like home. And in the process we discover our own self.

2 X PUNNETS OF STRAWBERRIES1 CUP OF SOY(1)

 

When I graduated from my engineering college in 2011 I had my career path laid out for me. It consisted of the following: a job with a start up for a few months (long hours, solid work, on the job learning) followed by a jump to a tech giant for better pay, shorter working hours and annual trips to the US/ Europe.  I spent the first 18 months after graduation with two start ups trying to convince myself that they were exactly what I had dreamt of.  Einstein once described relativity thus “When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.” Those months seemed more like 3 years, and it had absolutely nothing to do with the merit of these organizations. I was dissatisfied because the work that I did had nothing to do with the things that I cared about.

When I came across Rang De I was taken by the work that they were doing. I have to admit I had negligible understanding of microfinance but the simplicity of the idea appealed to me. Anyone could pitch in and help with a minimum investment of Rs 100 and support someone in a transparent manner, but best of all it lend dignity to the borrowers who were all hardworking, proud people born on the wrong side of a town or village perhaps. Rang De introduced me to the idea of “technology for good”, but since then I have seen many examples wherein people are innovating and using technology to improve lives and find solutions to age old problems be it eradication of diseases like TB or polio, improving the quality of education imparted in rural schools or providing affordable microcredit to entrepreneurs in remote locations.

This week, I celebrate my first anniversary at Rang De.  Joining Rang De was a tough decision to make.  Friends and family weren’t too supportive, well wishers told me to think about the future, my own career trajectory. Even today when I see batchmates and juniors earn twice as much as me it gives rise to a fleeting amount of regret. But the belief in what Rang De does, the purpose that it lends to my work and career, the satisfaction that I feel at the end of a long day are well worth the tiny sacrifices along the way.

Coming back to my dating analogy, it may take a little while but if you are lucky your life and love will intersect. But if you are really, really lucky, your work will reflect your life and love.