Name: Pranav Kale
Social Media Handle/Username: @PD2091
Introduce Yourself/Tell About Yourself: My name is Pranav. I am 30 years old. I am born and brought up in Pune, Maharashtra, India. In 2019 because of work, I shifted to Hyderabad, Telangana State, India. It was the first time, that I had stayed away from my family for a prolonged time! It took me 28 years to be able to move out from my parents house. Although it may come as a surprise especially to people from western countries, it is normal in India to stay with your parents until death does you apart!
I work as a German language expert at Amazon. I am mechanical engineer by education and completed my post graduation in mechanical engineering in 2015. I could not get a suitable job in core engineering domain, as the job market in core mechanical engineering is pretty saturated in India, especially for someone who does not have strong contacts/references. I learned German language, as I wanted to go to Germany for further studies. By the time I was near the end of my German language course, I was diagnosed with retina detachment in my left eye which compromised my ability to read. Doctors could not find out the cause, and I was told that I should learn to live with it. That’s exactly what I did! I completed my German level C1 certification majorly by relying on audio tapes recorded by myself, decided to be financially strong before persueing my dream of higher studies and research in the field of engineering in Germany. My dream is to leave behind a legacy in the field of research to remember me by.
What Inspires You Every day? : I believe the lifetime is really short! There is so much to explore in the world in the limited time that we get on the earth. By ‘so much to explore’, I don’t mean places on earth, rather the knowledge on earth. If someone were to sponsor my education/learning (not that I am expecting someone to do it, but just hypothetically), I would love to jump into learning and research. Unfortunately we all start our life with limited resources (time and money). I want to make sure that I make the optimum use of them and leave a mark!
What is some words of wisdom you live by?: People will believe, what they want to believe. You may be telling the truth, but if it is not in alignment with popular beliefs, people will not believe you. You may try to prove your point with data, but that comes with another set of challenges. Not everything can be proved with data. One of the biggest myth in corporate/business world is the ‘data driven decision making’. I prefer to rely on my personal experiences more than what I see in the data analysis, simply because I am the sole owners of my experiences and I can control the variables in the event (the experience). The moment you rely on someone else for data analysis, there exists an uncertainty to some extent, due to individual biases & the impact of variables that the analyst may not have taken into consideration. I understand that at bigger scale, one person is unable to do everything and has to delegate things/rely on data analysis, but I would still rate my personal experiences higher, especially in the current day and age where data is easily manipulated to force a narrative.
What is your ultimate goal in life? : My ultimate goal in life is to leave a positive impact in the world,possibly in the field of engineering research. Many people will frown on this goal because it is not measurable, and that’s okay. I do not want to set a figure and be unsatisfied on my deathbed, because I realised that it should have been ‘higher’ or realised that it was all for nothing!
If I am not able to do it in the field of engineering research, because of my eye condition, I would continue to influence people’s life in a positive way in whatever field I work in.
How have you been during the pandemic and how has it affected you? : When the pandemic struck India big time, I believe it was in March, I was around 600 km away from my family (mom, dads elder sister) and was staying alone. First thing that the pandemic made me realise, is that you can’t eat money! As the lockdown was in place, outside food was not available, and me being a single guy working in a company as big as Amazons had always relied on company cafeteria for breakfast, lunch I dinner. It’s not like I couldn’t cook at all, I used to cook on weekends and holidays. But taking care of cooking daily, while working from home was a whole new ball game! To make things worse, I had a medicine overdose and my gastrointestinal tract was irritated/swollen. I somehow requested my superiors at office, that I would be able to better if I stayed with my family in Pune. Finding a train ride home was another challenge, as government had shut down almost all train routes. I somehow managed to get on a train and land safely in Pune. I was too weak to even carry my luggage!
Once in Pune, I focussed on getting healthy and it ultimately lead to better performance at work. In December 2020, I was awarded ‘star of the year’. My salary was almost doubled and I received tons of appreciation from my colleagues and superiors. In 2021, I started working in a slightly different role than what I did in 2020. I hope I’d be able to replicate the success in 2020 in 2021.
What is a message you would like to give others? : Express yourself more. If you do not express yourselves, you would not be able to bring about a change. The change not necessarily in others but in yourself as well!
You can express yourself regarding your likes, dislikes, your work, your relationships or anything under the sun. Expressing yourself doesn’t necessarily mean complaining/whining. Expression can be positive, negative, neutral. Be sure to be constructive while expressing yourself.
I also believe that if everyone makes sure . that he/she will be true to himself/herself and does the assigned task perfectly, we would have a better world to live in. Don’t waste your time in being disappointed in others or in whining that people don’t do their jobs correctly, especially if those are uncontrollable variables. Just make sure you don’t give others the chance to say the same about you and you would make the world a better place.
What else would you like to tell others about you or your life?: I am someone that does’t measure success in terms of numbers, rather in terms of the feeling of satisfaction after I achieve something. I would not say that it is the only correct way!
At the end of the day, money is essential to survive whereas peace of mind and the feeling of satisfaction is the key to live a happy life. If your satisfaction is associated with material achievements, chances are more, that you would never be really satisfied, as there will always be a bigger house, a better car, a higher position at work and your feelings will be swayed by something that you can’t really control.
Going forward,I would earn enough money to fall back if my body doesn’t hold up, especially given my eye condition which makes it challenging for me to read content on distant screens such as PC, tv. I invested in iPad because it is more convenient to adjust the distance between iPad and any eyes. I don’t know if I’ll be able to control all the variables in a favorable way, but I know that I have the talent and the temperament to contribute to scientific research. I don’t know when I would be able to persue a career in engineering research but if you ever read my name in a research paper/ news article, you would know that I fulfilled my dream bigtime!