“I’ve become a natural communicator with a problem-solving mind.”

InnoEnergy PhD School Graduate Mahendra Singh has taken full advantage of his time spent in the programme. He feels that his business skillset has been finely sharpened, and he has not only grown the necessary network to succeed in a consultancy role in the future but now can communicate effectively with each and every stakeholder involved.

How did your time in the programme prepare you for your current work?

Currently, I am working as a postdoc at Maersk Mc Kinney Moller Institute, Denmark. The key objective of my research is to improve the overall performance of a building system. To minimise energy waste in buildings, there is a need for an innovative solution that can guarantee the performance of a fully functional building. Coming from a purely technical background, it was difficult for me to understand terms such as user experience development and voice of customers, etc. The InnoEnergy PhD programme has given me the skill of critical thinking in terms of mixing research with business model innovation. Now, I always look for the value proposition of my research and how it will benefit end-users.

How does the programme help attain the qualities needed to launch a business project?

In my opinion, every entrepreneur must initially follow the problem statement and think about how a proposed solution will impact the end-users. Also, I believe in networking, team-work, project management and planning are vital to for success of a business project – all things that I have picked up during my time there. I absolutely feel that the skills and knowledge gained in the programme – in regards to business co-creation and business model development – will be especially fruitful for me to pursue a successful consulting or business venture.

What’s your next challenge?

Well, my next challenge is to prepare myself for high-level research consulting services. I am always passionate to work in collaboration with different stakeholders; such as researchers, business contacts, and policymakers. Undeniably, setting up a consulting firm is at one corner of my mind. Moreover, I am keen to explore more about technology and knowledge transfer between industry and research.

How did you manage the InnoEnergy PhD School activities with your PhD research?

Honestly speaking, doing a PhD itself a challenging job. However, participating in InnoEnergy programmes also offered me several specialised trainings that really rounded out my education. I always followed strict time management to achieve both objectives. The best strategy to handle multiple tasks to prioritise and then act upon the most important one. I would also like to thank my supervisors for helping me to manage PhD School activities and research in parallel.

What has been the main benefit of the InnoEnergy PhD School?

Indeed, InnoEnergy had offered me countless benefits. However, networking and recognition from The European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) are the great assets to me. I feel proud to be the part of a community that provides me with an extensive network across Europe. Moreover, working with people from different nationalities and cultures has given me great cross-cultural communication skills and work ethics.

Where will the skills you have gained take you in the future?

I am quite optimistic about answering this question and believe that all the hard and soft skills that I have gained from this programme will help me to achieve my long-term goals. Now, I feel like I’ve become a natural communicator with a problem-solving mind. These qualities will help me to flourish my dedicated career path!