Updated: May 7, 2021
I was sitting in a lecture, trying to pass into a peaceful sleep, while the person sitting on my side (Calvin Raj) was playing on his mobile phone. Very casually, he asked- “Hey, we are starting a new team which will be working on solar-electric hybrid vehicles. Want to join?” And that became the beginning of our two-year journey which had a huge impact on each one of us.
The first year was quite wild; new team with no prior experience in designing or manufacturing an EV, tight deadlines (we submitted our final design within 45days of team induction), even tighter budget and tons of other barriers. But we all sailed through it and ended the year on a successful note. The only thing which helped us achieve the impossible was- TEAM-WORK.
The second year, was the last year for us (members in the final year of engineering) to actively contribute in the team’s journey. Before passing out, we decided to take one giant leap towards the future- because, even if we’d fail, we’d have set a benchmark for the next leaders. We wanted to instill our members with a humongous risk-appetite. The giant leap consisted of decisions like full CF monocoque chassis, custom solar panels and battery pack, brake calipers, etc. It was an overwhelming experience. In the end, everything worked out perfectly.
During my tenure as the vice-captain and captain, what I learned was- a captain is someone who keep things real, convey it as they are to the team, but makes sure that the team is confident enough that things will work out just fine. A captain is the person who needs to take care of everything that his/her teammates need. The team can focus completely on their WHAT and WHY, only when the captain is taking care of the HOW.