The Sky Beckoned Him…..

It is said that a brilliant idea can strike you anytime anywhere, you just have to keep your eyes and ears open. Know Your Sky (KYS), a unique start-up of EDII alumnus, Advait Rawal is an inspiring example. Innumerable accolades and honours for his unique and progressive thinking, are testimonies. 

Unlike his peers interested in working for big brands and ensuring a regular monthly salary, Advait Rawal, born in Mount Abu and brought up in Ahmedabad, was keen to become an entrepreneur. His natural curiosity, independent nature and delight in discovering how things work, were encouraged by his mother. On sultry summer days, while his family slept on the roof of their house, little Advait would stay awake for hours to watch the twinkling stars in the night sky. In school, his friends drew mountains, forests, and rivers in their drawing classes whereas Advait would draw sky and twinkling stars. Gradually, he got interested in planets, their characteristics and how they orbit the Sun.  Ask Advait, why astronomy and he asks back, “Why not? It has facts that can bewilder us. It is a domain that still remains unexplored.”  Advait believes that Astronomy is a fascinating subject that abounds in secrets which interest everyone. “It is one of the oldest sciences concerned with the study of planets, stars, galaxies, other celestial objects and their phenomena,” he explains. 

 Advait had imbibed a strong interest in studying Physics during his school days. “As with many sky enthusiasts, my interest originated in childhood. I don’t remember a particular moment that sparked this interest in me but I do remember being particularly interested in space in my fifth grade and the interest only grew with time.” He pursued Bachelors in Science from St. Xavier’s College in Ahmedabad and Masters in Science from Gujarat University. 

After completing his studies, he joined Venus International College of Technology, Gandhinagar as an Assistant professor. Even though he liked to teach, he was constantly haunted by a sense of dissatisfaction. He realised he wasn’t happy despite all the efforts that he was putting in and one fine day just decided to quit. Entrepreneurship was his inner calling and he directed all his energies into fructifying his ambition.  

While searching for a meaningful option, he realised that he needed to know more about the discipline of entrepreneurship before taking the plunge. On a friend’s advice, he applied for the Post Graduate Diploma in Management – Business Entrepreneurship at EDII, and fortunately got selected.  The learning at EDII impacted him in more than one ways: it transformed him from a dreamer to a planner to an implementer. It was during his academic grooming at EDII that Advait got complete exposure to entrepreneurship. He recalls and appreciates the support and guidance he got, both in and outside classrooms. I owe it all to EDII. Had it not been for this Institute, I would have either dropped the idea of being a business owner or would have set up but given up mid-way, given the complexities of a business and my inability to handle them.

Advait had a couple of ideas but wasn’t sure in terms of their viability and potential. After a lot of mentoring and primary & secondary research, he settled on exploring the potential in telescope manufacturing business. His interest in space science became the base here and somewhere he felt convinced that he was following his heart. While conducting his research, Advait had observed that India is lacking when it comes to promoting astronomy education at different levels. The school students could not develop a sense of curiosity in astronomy because of lack of telescopes. 

As Advait puts it, “Telescope is one such instrument which is not thought about in Indian education system. It is either considered as ‘not required’ or perceived to be very expensive for school-level education. But actually, the use of telescopes in schools would inspire the students to become more inquisitiveness and inculcate in them the desire to explore. It would help them gain a clearer picture of what they are studying theoretically, by putting their learning in practice.”

So Advait decided to take this up as his mission, and in order to ensure students’ interest in astronomy, he decided to manufacture telescopes which were not only economical but also easy to operate. He used an alt-azimuth mount in his telescope which offers a high level of precision when aiming and targeting celestial bodies. After extensive research in this field, he established his start up and named it KYS Scientific Pvt Ltd, where KYS stands for Know Your Sky. He smiles when asked about the reason for this name and mentions how it was suggested by a dear friend.  

Advait also designed Parabolic Reflector Mirrors of different sizes with high precision resolution of assured quality. The first model of KYS was named as KYS 3.0, which was a reflector telescope for amateur astronomers. He then launched a new model, named KYS 6.3 which is a DOBOSONIAN telescope. Advait claims that his telescopes are so economical that even students can purchase.  

His customers comprise industry/traders and big companies. Advait recalls how his father, who is into the business of toy manufacturing, was against his idea of getting into telescope manufacturing business as he considered the whole idea to be uneconomical and uncertain. Today Advait’s father takes pride in his son’s achievements and feels happy to see him progress.

Advait and his team also conduct regular science workshops. A recent one, ‘Astromela 2019’ was greatly appreciated by the scientists of Indian Space Research organization (ISRO) and Physical Research Laboratory.  Today Advait is a proud entrepreneur who is living hs passion and is also serving the cause of moulding young minds.  

Advait sends out message to budding entrepreneurs, “A lot of people have ideas, but only a handful decide to do something about it. So go out, grab your dream because a true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”  

EDII is proud of you Advait …..Go Ahead and Touch the Sky!!!