Greetings. Your time looks delicious.
Me at Duke Gardens in Durham, NC.
Infrequently Asked Questions
What’s the purpose of this long page?
If you read this one page about me, you would know me better than you know your neighbors. It can be hard to learn about a person from their social media profiles. You meet so many people in different situations, that most of them only know one aspect of your personality.
Okay, who are you?
Formally, I’m the Founder of SANPRAM Transnational, an umbrella company that does various types of projects in tech, media, research, etc.
Honestly, I’m just an engineer, teacher, and business problem solver. I have worked on projects like self-driving trucks, brain-computer interfaces, humanoid robot assistants, AI data systems, online education, etc.
I have a Masters in Systems Engineering from Cornell University. For my undergrad, I studied everything from semiconductors to public health, and from visual design to financial history — in India and China.
What have been your most rewarding projects so far?
- Coaching dozens of students to land their dream jobs, and helping out driven, hard-working people in general.
- Working on and writing about cutting-edge technology and business.
- Writing a thesis predicting that the price of crude oil would stay low for 3 years (in 2015). My prediction came 100% true. Pity I didn’t short some oil stocks.
- Learning foreign languages: I currently speak 5 (with varying fluency) and am on a quest to speak 8.
Do you know why diarrhea is hereditary?
Because it runs in the jeans. (*Shows self out*)
What are you currently working on?
As of 2022, a few things:
- Building my company
- Promoting my book, Tech Fluent CEO. I’m super excited!
- My podcasts, where I sit down with CEOs of companies from diverse industries, from modeling agencies to leading AI startups — trying to build an intricate understanding of how their businesses really work.
- My blog, where I explain complex advanced technology and business topics in simple language. (I have a low tolerance for unnecessarily sophisticated talk, so I’m trying to help the millions of very smart people who don’t have an engineering education or don’t use English as their first language.)
Where can I learn more about your work, or send you a business inquiry?
I’m flattered. You can message me on LinkedIn. Or, to find my email address, you must go on a journey of heroic, swashbuckling adventure to the bottom of… this page.
What is ‘Systems Engineering’ all about?
Systems Engineering (SYSEN) is an extremely powerful engineering approach that is generally used for the most complex, large-scale, revolutionary projects – think spacecraft, autonomous vehicles, robotic surgery, etc.
It helps you to build the best solution, at the best cost, in the most efficient and flexible manner. Especially when there are a lot of system requirements, many stakeholders, very diverse teams of experts working together, and high-stakes.
Are you fundraising? How do I get a place on the table?
Despite being a tech guy, I’m actually not that bullish on VC money etc. Equity money is expensive (in terms of how much you give up in return) and I believe it should only be used to fund the highest risk/reward parts of your business (developing new technology, hiring world-class engineers, etc). For operational stuff, I prefer using debt / lines of credit.
With this caveat out of the way, the answer to your question is YES – send me an email and we can chat. I’m also a huge believer in growing via acquisitions and am always looking at undervalued businesses to buy (whether it’s a hotel or a laundromat or an e-commerce store), so I can probably suggest an opportunity.
You studied in China?! How was your experience there?
It’s a big beautiful country, with a rich culture. And yet it seemed so mysterious. I found lifelong friends and lifelong lessons. Now I can use chopsticks in the traditional way, and I also know how NOT to use the word 小姐.
Politics aside, I do have long-term business interests in the East Asian region and occasionally write about it on my blog.
Are you a nerd?
If there was a worldwide competition to find the biggest nerd ever, I wouldn’t even hear about the competition. So the answer is yes.
What do you do outside of work?
I practice mainly one martial art, Judo, and can’t shut up about it. My favorite throws, if you’d like to know, are the Uchi Mata, Osoto Gari, and Hiza Guruma, and while submission wrestling on the ground I tend to try to choke people, and I have no idea why. I think I’m inherently not an armbar person.
Apart from that, I love art and cinema from all corners of the world, though I’m biased towards Japan. I read a lot of history. I love cooking. I love traveling and meeting new people. I like working out and taking care of my body – handstand pushups, I’m coming!
How did you come up with that opening line at the top?
I spent 15 minutes generating as many title lines on paper as I could. This one popped out of my brain towards the end. Maybe you can call it a forced fart of creativity? I don’t know.
Your page made me laugh. Is there anything small that I can do for you?
Let’s play a game. Choose any of the three:
- Leave a “thank you for being a good neighbour” note for the person who lives next door to you (even if they’re NOT a good neighbour)
- Smile and greet “have a lovely day!” to a random stranger you walk by
- Find a judo dojo near you and show up to join or observe a class next week
Then tell me how it went! I go by @mngrwl on most social platforms.