Please tell us about yourself

Great things happen when you follow your curiosity, and Pranav Pradeep Kumar, who turns 23 in March, can vouch for it. This civil engineering graduate of Sir M Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology has won 12 gold medals, which he will be awarded during the 16th annual convocation of Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) on January 21 at Belagavi. For this topper, civil engineering started as a childhood interest, when he experimented with structures and models, and eventually became a choice of career.

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What did you study?

Pranav is currently pursuing his MS in structural engineering from Texas A&M University, US. He is the older child of Pradeep Kumar B (a GM of a popular telecom company) and Sreelatha S, a homemaker. His younger sibling, Sreelakshmi P, is a B Com student at Mount Carmel College. Pranav spoke with Bangalore Mirror from Texas, expressing his disbelief: “When I went to sleep, I had no clue about all this. It was only after my parents called me to give me the news that I realised that I had won 12 gold medals. I did expect a rank in the top three, but 12 gold medals is such a pleasant surprise.”

How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and interesting career?
Even as a young boy, Pranav says, he has had an interest in building models and crafts. But he has clearly come a long way. He did his schooling at St Joseph’s Boy’s School and was also a part of the school cricket team till class 9. “I was in class 6 when I began building models. I used to draw plans of homes. Not perfectly, but a lot better for my age. I had decided since the beginning that I will get into civil engineering and earn an MS from abroad. Once I began my engineering, the will to do it only got stronger,” said Pranav. Pranav, who has always had single-minded focus, also has a simple mantra for success: “I did not do much, just listened to the lectures attentively and did extensive revision in the form of discussing, group studies and even teaching others.”

Pranav’s mother confirms this strategy. “He had a normal study routine. He did not wake up early morning or stayed up late at night, but studied systematically. As every parent does, I used to nag him to study when he was younger, but when he got into college, he did his thing, and we did not have to keep asking him to study,” said Sreelatha.

What are your future plans?

Pranav plans to complete his MS and work for a while in the US before deciding his future course. Even as he will be working as a structural engineer in the future, he is already working as a graduate research assistant, which is a huge step for a young student.

Like the classic winner, he is quick to thank his parents and friends for their unconditional support. “Also, my professors from the department of civil engineering at Sir MVIT were very encouraging all through,” said Pranav.