Raghav Gurumani and Vijay Narasiman say the result of their impressive young career has been “a combination of working hard, embracing challenges, and staying humble all the while.” They insist that they couldn’t have accomplished it without the help & support of their family and friends at Zuper. And while that may be true, most people with supportive family and colleagues wouldn’t find themselves on Forbes’ 2021 list of “30 Under 30” for exceptional contributions to their chosen field.
Here’s an exclusive interview from Raghav and Vijay on everything from their journey to the pinnacle of their achievement, the Forbes award.
Us: How does it feel to make it to the list of Forbes Asia 30 under 30 for the category of enterprise technology for 2021?
[Both] It is unquestionably an honor and a remarkable moment. We are humbled and earnestly grateful to make it to the Forbes Asia 30 under 30 list of 2021. It is also a great recognition of the work that we do at Zuper every day. Being honored with this recognition.
Us: How are folks at home reacting to this achievement?
[Both] Our family and friends were excited and were happy to hear the news of this achievement. They were far happier than us and were reassuring us that we deserved this recognition and this is a testament to the impactful work we are doing at Zuper every day.
Us: If you looked back, say when you started Zuper, did you even think about getting listed on Forbes?
[Both] When we started working on Zuper, we used to go through Forbes 30 Under 30 list every single year since 2015 amazed by the young people who embraced challenges and broke the odds, just to be nominated was an incredible honor we had never expected. Getting listed this year is a dream come true.
Us: You and your best friend from college got this award together, how did it feel to grow together?
[Raghav] It is an incredible feeling to get this recognition together with Vijay. I am elated to see us grow personally & professionally together for the last 10 years and I am looking forward to learn more & grow more together in decades to come.
Us: Which year was the idea behind Zuper started and how happy are you with the progress?
[Both] We met Anand & Karthik in early 2016 and we sensed a great synergy & a blend of complimenting qualities that helped us join hands and work together on Zuper. We are thrilled and extremely proud to see the progress we have made together so far in the last 3 years. As we used to tell ourselves & our team, we are still on Day 1 of our mission and I am excited to witness our progress in the upcoming years.
Us: What’s the first thing that both of you did when you heard you made it?
[Raghav] I read the email from Forbes early in the morning as soon as I woke up and I was excited to see that I was being added to the list of 2021. I informed my mom of this achievement and she was extremely proud to hear this news. I dialed a close friend of mine who was looking forward to the list announcement for quite a while and was on cloud nine to hear that I made it.
[Both] We then started to share this news with all my friends & colleagues at Zuper who were extremely happy about this recognition.
Us: When you made it to the semi-finalist list, did you think there was a chance to win this?
[Vijay] When I received the email that I was nominated and was being a semi-finalist, I was extremely gratified to make it to the semi-finalist list. Being nominated & chosen as a semi-finalist is a great honor, and as I filled up the final form, the questions put forth gave me a lot of self-reflection on the things I did so far. Although I didn’t anticipate making it to this final list, I was hopeful given the encouragement from my friend.
Us: What is the best takeaway you got from this award?
[Raghav] I can sum it up in three key takeaways – Work Hard, Embrace Challenges, and Be Humble.
[Vijay] As I look back at these last 4 years, I realize how little I would have been able to accomplish had I been all by myself without the help & support of my family, and friends at Zuper.
Us: So, what next after getting listed?
[Both] Getting listed on Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 is definitely a huge milestone in our personal and professional life. We still have a long road ahead of us and this recognition has encouraged us to push ourselves further and make more impact in days to come.