How To Deal with Failure [Interview]


Last Updated: August 26, 2022
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How many of you remember Phunsuk Wangdu from the 2009-released movie – 3 Idiots? Here are some fun trivia. Real-life innovator, education reformist and engineer Sonam Wangchuk inspired the reel-life character.


It’s very motivating to watch movies based on real-life heroes who seem to challenge the general norms of society. Mentoria had the opportunity to catch up with one such innovative mind from Zenith Vipers – Yash Bhardwaj.

Bhardwaj was rejected by IIT but refused to take no for an answer. His love and passion for research led him and his twin brother Yuvraj to co-found Zenith Vipers. At the young age of 18, he has been bestowed with many accolades. He is the winner of the Karamveer Chakra Award (2016) and a nominee for the prestigious Padma Shri awards for 2018.

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Yash and Yuvraj accepted their rejections as a challenge and set up their company Zenith Vipers, an innovative research centre for people without degrees. The sole purpose of this move was to encourage people to research and invent new products. Realising there was a dearth of research spaces and options available to people, the Bhardwaj brothers took it upon themselves to fill the need gap.  

Twins on stage

Here are some excerpts from the interview:

Could you give us a brief idea of your educational background?

I am Yash and I have an identical twin brother, Yuvraj. We started with research and development when we were 12 years old. Currently, we are 18. I have a background in medicinal robotics, and Yuvraj’s background is in hardware and computer science engineering. Together, we founded a company called Zenith Vipers.

You wanted to pursue your education abroad. What made you change your mind and stay back in India?

Our motive was to go abroad and pursue our studies, as we could not find enough opportunities in India. But I was wrong then. We happened to meet an Indian counsellor from Canada. According to her, Indian students were not focused on their growth. They preferred concentrating on other people’s growth instead. She also said that no one in India was capable of a global startup.

We took that very personally and as a challenge. Hence we decided to stay back in India and build a successful team here. By not going to MIT, we could concentrate our energies here and begin something of our own.

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Could you give us a background about your company Zenith Vipers?

We began our company Zenith Vipers in the year 2014-15. It was formed with the sole purpose to help others pursue research in the space we provide. We also guide them on how they can patent their inventions. We soon realised that we needed to look into the sustainability aspect of our company, as this is important to keep any institute alive.

Since we maintained good relations with the corporate, we began making innovations for them and started charging them for what we invented. This is what led to the business model of our company Zenith Vipers.

We are now launching a new vertical in the same company called Workolabs – which is a unique co-working space.

How many students have enrolled with you for R&D and what kind of research are they conducting?

We currently have two centres. One is in Bhusa Road in Delhi, and the other is in Gurgaon. There are about 320 researchers who are currently with us, and they are pursuing research in the fields of hardware, electronics and mechanical. The researchers are exposed to a vibrant atmosphere. There are people as young as nine and as old as 90 who are working with us. The age group we have is unique. Also, most of the researchers who are with us are without any degrees.

Could you give us a peek into the sort of research and inventions that are being pursued at your company, starting from the youngest to the oldest?

The youngest person who is with us is a nine-year-old, who has made a 3D printer. The oldest person we have is an 88-year-old man who has built a cordless iron. He is a very interesting man and is working on many more projects and inventions as we speak.

Any message for the youth on the importance of research?

Most people are not familiar with the meaning of research as they don’t understand what it entails. They associate research with low or no pay and hence consider it not to be a good career choice for many.

For us, research means dedication and making a difference. There is a gradual change in our society when it comes to research and development.

People who are from IITs or any other elite institute, who are working for a company or are looking for jobs are losing out on their worth. Those who are into R&D are getting good work opportunities as the market has gradually shifted towards this discipline.

Hence we encourage more and more Indians to innovate. The more Indians who do this, the larger the global impact it will have. I would also encourage people to stay in India and create institutes like MIT right here.

It’s always easy to back down from a fight. Living up to a challenge can be the hardest part for anyone. The Bhardwaj brothers took failure in their stride and reinvented it as a stepping stone to their success. Need any more motivation?

At Mentoria, we know a fair bit about motivation, and we believe it comes best when you’re doing what you love. Channel your fascination and interest into a career you love. Take the Mentoria holistic career assessment test, to find the right career fit for you based on your interest, personality, and ability. Speak to our career counsellors here at Mentoria who can guide you from any point in your career journey.