When Sagar Patidar of Madhya Pradesh took the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) in 2011, his family’s happiness knew no bounds. Patidar, who would become the first engineer in his village, was pleased with his success and knew that at least he would land a well-paid corporate job in order to live a respectable life.
Born in the Mandsaur village of Madhya Pradesh, Patidar belongs to a family of farmers. He was a bright student from childhood and studied until grade 5 at a government school in his village. For grade 6, Sagar took the entrance examination for admission to Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) and attended the central school intended for talented students from rural areas.
This is where his academic life took a turn, Patidar claimed.
“Joining JNV was a turning point in my life as the peers, seniors and teachers guided and helped me in every area of life. My teachers understood my talent and encouraged me to pursue a career in engineering. They trusted in my abilities and suggested that I go to Kota after grade 10 to prepare for the JEE,” he told biharengineering.in
“However, it was not easy. From financial constraints to lack of confidence and very little knowledge about engineering…I faced all kinds of problems at Kota. However, my only goal was to pass the exam and get into IIT anyway. The goal was to get a well-paying job to support my family and that kept me going during those two years,” he added.
But even after qualifying for the JEE, Sagar was unsure of which stream to choose. “In the battle to clear the JEE, it never occurred to me which stream I was interested in. It was only after the results that I realized this real question. After a lot of research, I decided to choose Computer Science because of my interest in the subjects’ , he says.
Sagar Patidar joined IIT-Delhi in 2011 for a BTech in Computer Science. To support himself financially, he started working as an intern at various start-ups during his summer and winter breaks. This is where his interest in software development developed.
“My roommate and I did an internship at various startups and were also working on our first payment app – Cibola. While working on the software, we both realized our passion for technology entrepreneurship and decided to quit BTech and pursue our dream full-time,” said Patidar.
He decided to drop out of IIT in the fourth year of his graduate degree. Much to his surprise, his family supported his decision, but refused to invest financially in his planned start-up.
Although Patidar dropped out of college to launch a payment app, the application failed due to various Reserve Bank of India (RBI) standards. “It was a setback, but also a lesson in understanding the product market before jumping into entrepreneurship. So I decided to work with a software development company for two years to understand the market structure,” he said.
Patidar worked in his corporate job for over two years and later quit to launch his own custom software development service, Primathon, in 2018.
“I believe in the ‘10,000 hour rule’. If a person works hard for 10,000 hours in his life, he can reach every milestone. I followed this rule while preparing for JEE, then during work to understand my interest and even after starting my own startup. Hard work always pays off and it is the only way to achieve success,” emphasizes Patidar.