Pregnant to a full term, virologist Minal Dakhave Bhosale was fighting two deadlines- one was her baby’s due date and the other one was to develop a working test kit for Covid-19 which could detect the coronavirus in just two and a half hours instead of the six-seven hours by imported kits. Yes, Minal, the Pune based Mylab’s research and development chief, headed the team of 10 that designed the coronavirus testing kit called Patho Detect in a record time of six weeks instead of three or four months.
“Our kit gives the diagnosis in two and a half hours while the imported testing kits take six-seven hours,” said Minal to the media. “It was an emergency, so I took this on as a challenge. I have to serve my nation”.
Minal was just out of the hospital following pregnancy complications when she started working on the test kit. She gave birth to a baby girl just one day after delivering the perfected test kit for evaluation by the National Institute of Virology.
It was just hours ahead of her Caesarean that she submitted the proposal to the Indian FDA and the drugs control authority CDSCO for commercial approval. The accuracy of the testing kits was of utmost importance because the results had to be accurate every time a test was conducted on the same sample. Hence the team had to recheck the parameters over and over again to make sure there was no scope for mistakes. If 10 tests were carried out on the same sample, all 10 results had to be the same. And their kit perfected it.
“We were running against time,” said Dr. Gautam Wankhede, Mylab’s director for medical affairs, to the media. “Our reputation was at stake, we had to get everything right on the first go, and Minal was leading our efforts from the front.”
Mylab Discovery Solutions is working through the weekends and can supply up to 100,000 Covid-19 testing kits a week and can produce up to 200,000 if needed. Each kit can test 100 samples and costs 1,200 rupees, a quarter of what India pays to import Covid-19 testing kits from abroad.
India is being criticized for its low testing rate and this may mean that testing facilities can be made affordable and readily available to more people in the country.
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Passion To Profession — Meet The CA Turned YouTuber Who Quit Her Hefty Corporate Job To Find Her True Calling!
Visha doesn’t make plans anymore! The pandemic, she says, made her a little skeptical about planning too much in advance, so she sticks to her short term plans instead. And her current one is to stay in the mountains for the coming few months!!
I know her for almost two months now — her YouTube channel has an instant cheerful, bubbly and joyous vibe that would make you watch all her videos on a spree.
But it wasn’t like this until last year!
Visha Khandelwal, a Chartered Accountant turned YouTuber, Traveller & Vlogger, always found herself a misfit in her domain, and decided not to settle until finding her true calling — something which she could love with all her heart and could also provide value while doing it.
“With this in mind, I explored every single interest of mine after completing CA — right from hand lettering, event management, to studying for MBA and travelling. I even did a part-time internship in the field of marketing only to realise that it wasn’t for me. During that series of experiments, I gained immense interest in the field of video making, travelling and documenting my journey in the form of films, and hence started running a YouTube channel along with organising various treks and trips. After running it for seven months along with my job, I took the leap of faith and quit my CA job and the journey from that day has been truly enriching,” the 24YO vlogger shares.
Born and brought up in New Delhi, she did her schooling from Apeejay School Noida and started pursuing the Chartered Accountancy course immediately after that. She never went to college, finished her course and became a qualified Chartered Accountant in January 2018. “Even though I am really proud of being a Chartered Accountant, I knew this wasn’t for me,” says Visha who worked with KPMG for five years (3 years of articleship/ internship & 2 years of full-time job) before calling it a quit in September 2019 to pursue YouTube and Travel Video Making full time.
It wasn’t easy to leave a financially secured corporate job behind, but the Delhi girl was determined.
Visha also believes that following your passion is appreciable but turning it into a mission/ calling to serve/ help others in any possible way is even more commendable. Keeping that in mind, she always tries to spread some sort of positive message or value through her YouTube videos — be it informative, entertaining or educational.
On asking about the investments required, she shares that content creation generally requires zero or very little investment. Travel vlogging, if planned strategically, doesn’t demand much investment. “I think the biggest lesson I have learnt in the last six years is that ‘Money Saved is Money Earned’. If today, I am at a place where I have the liberty of following my passion, it is because of the money I saved while I was working for five years. I feel like every penny counts and that saving a portion of your salary could be one of the most beneficial habits one can form for a long term,” she continues.
Like every other industry, the travel industry has also been hit severely due to the pandemic, but that is not stopping the travellers/ video content creators from getting used to the new normal. People are stepping out again and seeing the world in a new way — with several changes and realisations — and getting the best out of YouTube. Contrary to the popular belief which says that YouTube is a saturated industry, Visha believes that there it has gained popularity in India only in the last few years and there’s still a long way to go.
Visha has done it all — have worked in the almost creative domain you can think of and finds joy and content in only travelling and documenting it in the form of videos. “Well, it might seem unbelievable, but I used to think that travelling is overrated until I actually experienced it myself,” she shares. “And now I have my entire career revolving around it. What I learnt from this was the importance of experiencing things by yourself before forming an opinion about it. Because experiments and experiences lead to self-awareness and self-awareness further leads to your passion, mission or true calling.”
And when one sets out to find his/ her passion, it also demands not to settle until figuring that out completely — even if that means making mistakes, failing, or taking a detour for a short period of time to bounce back only stronger. And this is what Visha is trying to convey through her story as well.
With an amazing set of 12k subscribers in such a short time, she is making people awe with her wonderful videos, beautiful voice and a vibrant set on the background.
On asking about the lesson she learnt during her #PassionToProfession journey, she shares: Be yourself that is the biggest niche on YouTube Try always to add value via your YouTube videos, and Do not aim for perfection; let you be raw and authentic!
When Visha picked up her camera setup, travel itinerary and embarked on this alien journey, her parents, friends and several other people were apprehensive about it — because a solo female traveller in India is still not considered safe. But as the young lady says, “we all have ONE LIFE and to limit ourselves and our beliefs because of some external and uncontrollable factors won’t do justice to this rare blessing of having a human life!”
And as I publish this story, she is there on the Himalayas, probably finishing the third iteration of her online workshop and planning for another video for her YouTube channel!
A 'non-9-5 desk job' ambivert geek who chooses her own audience, Sonali loves sharing stories and finding the corners where humanity still exists! She believes that every individual's story is unique and special. She loves writing about the untouched and unspoken segments of society. When not writing, you can find her listening to someone's stories or playing with dogs. Sonali values mental health and encourages people to speak their heart out!