Manu Khandelwal, an Engineering Management graduate student at Cornell University, is a technologist with 3+ years of work experience in product management, business strategy, and analytics. He has designed and led 10+ technology products to empower customers and organizations. At his last workplace, a local taxicab business, he used technology to reinvent operations, and also developed an interest in autonomous transportation. At Cornell University, he took up projects in autonomous vehicles related to decision analysis, safety, and commercialization strategy. Manu is an enterprising professional who thrives in a collaborative, creative, and challenging work environment, where innovation is celebrated. In his spare time, he enjoys dancing, photography, drawing, soccer, gardening, traveling, running, swimming, and exploring anything new. He is outgoing and likes talking about entrepreneurship, design, business, strategy, and technology.
Dream in Progress (DIP)
My DIP is to use the power of technology to create products and services that make the lives and work of individuals and organizations convenient by empowering them. I would achieve this by first figuring out the field where I have the expertise, exists great potentials, and the solution is highly scalable.
Curiosity has always been my greatest challenger, motivator, and teacher. I spent childhood in a town in India, where resources were scarce; but my curiosity saw no limits. By questioning mundane observations and seeking to reconcile them with knowledge, I learned despite limited resources. In my home lab, I performed various science-based experiments well before I understood the theory. Often, I shared these observations with my classmates and helped them understand new concepts using the various approaches that I had utilized to understand the theory. Although I enjoyed school days, I also eagerly anticipated summer break to work on pet projects. Since I have been a creative, adroit, and scientific kid, I chose to study Mechanical Engineering in undergrad to develop core engineering skills yet keep exploring my interests.
In addition to academic excellence, I dedicated my first two years to exploration. To name a few, I won in technical competitions, interned in a motorbike company, conducted microcontrollers classes, organized photography workshops, participated in swimming, and won dance competitions. But, my junior year was significant because I honed my engineering leadership skills.
I led ten sophomores as the collegiate team captain of EffiCycle – an SAE India competition to build a human-cum-electricity powered trike. I focused on not only creating a marvelous trike but also establishing healthy team dynamics. Later in my junior year, I founded the Aerospace Club and became the General Secretary of the Mechanical Engineering Association. While leading various groups, I learned how the happiness of the team is important to the success of any project. Empowering people inspires me.
As a senior, I became the Google Student Ambassador, a liaison between Google and NIT Warangal. I started the first Google community, and we organized 11 events covering android, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship. While influencing the lives of 800+ students, I realized how this is a turning point in my life itself. Through Google and various collaborations, I was introduced to the ‘design thinking’ methodology, entrepreneurship culture, and the world of technology that is rapidly changing. I learned that if I wish to create scalable solutions, the way to reach the greatest number of people is through technology. Since then, technology has become an inseparable part of everything I create.
My school days clearly indicates how my interests always indicated entrepreneurial passions. After undergrad, I worked with a startup till 2015, revamped technological infrastructures till 2018, and learned product management. Currently, I am studying about Product, Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Business as a graduate student in Engineering Management at Cornell University. I am also an Entrepreneurship Teaching Assistant.
I always desired to pursue entrepreneurship, but I have always been trying to find the one thing that I am really passionate about solving. In the Startup Series Seminars at Cornell, I learned that the following are important for before even starting the entrepreneurial journey: finding a work-life balance, knowing when to start-up, finding the right people, find partners not customers, start building connections now for future.
With the above learning and more from the HADM 6135 class guest speakers, I realized that it is important to always keep an eye towards what you want to achieve. Hence, here are some of my entrepreneurial goals: I want to create solutions that make the lives of people easier and convenient. I want to empower them to boost their productivity. I want to use the best technology to contribute to the development of humankind globally. Lastly, I want to use my time and energy to balance my wheel of life mentioned below.
Three Entrepreneurial Suitcase Items
To be able to note down my thoughts, write points from conversations, and draw ideas.
To be able to draw many ideas, create to-do lists, and note down thoughts during interesting conversations.
To be able to stay productive with the right software tools, connected via LinkedIn and emails, and up-to-date with the latest news and happenings.
"At some point, all of us find ourselves at a place in a situation where we don't know anybody but would love to talk to like-minded individuals in our vicinity. I present you beautiful Digibots. These little devices can be configured using your app and would know what you like and where you are. If it finds people around you with similar interests, it'll blink and vibrate. You found a company! Sometimes, the beautiful design of these tiny little Digibots would itself be an icebreaker to begin conversations. It costs $12.99 and is solar powered. It uses the most secure technology and you have full privacy controls on your phone."
Dancing, photography, drawing, soccer, gardening, traveling, cooking, running, swimming, and exploring anything new
Design thinking, product management, business model canvas, analytics
Wheel of Life
mk2535 [at] cornell [dot] edu
I am committed to using my top BP10 Talents in the following ways:
Understand my strengths better so that I can continuously use them to my advantage. Understand my sty;e of work so that I know what I am good at and where I need help to improve.
The first action I will take to use my top BP Talents in my life is to:
Use it to improve my resume and in the interviews to talk about my strengths and relevant experiences.