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Success stories of IIT toppers

Krishnamurthy Rengarajan, IIT-B gold medallist.

Knowledge is indeed wealth. Who better exemplifies it than Krishnamurthy Rengarajan, IIT-B gold medallist (B Tech dual-degree course). Krishnamurthy's story is that of hard work, sheer grit and determination.

His undying passion for learning and excellence has paid off. Coming from a lower middle class background , Krishnamurthy has made his parents proud when he passed with flying colours.

His father, who works as a typist at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan is overwhelmed by his son's achievement. Rengarajan, who hails from Tamil Nadu, came to Mumbai 28 years ago and settled down in a distant Mumbai suburb of Dombivli. Though the family went through a lot of hardships initially, he made sure that his children were well educated.

"My son always wanted to join the IIT. When people asked him what if you don't get through the entrance examinations, he used to say, `there is no question of me not clearing the test,'" says his proud father.

And, of course, he did top all the five years at IIT, a result of sheer hard work and brilliance, says his mother, barely able to control her excitement. "I am very happy for him," says Radha Rengarajan. Krishnamurthy did his schooling at the Kidland School in Dombivli and pre-degree from V G Vaze College at Mulund. His favourite subject being mathematics it was obvious that he would pursue a degree in engineering.

He won the Rakesh Mathur award of Rs 1 lakh (Rs 100,000) during his third year and other scholarships throughout the four years.

Here's what Krishnamurthy had to say on his IIT experience.

My IIT experience

The five years I spent at IIT were the best in my life. I will cherish each and every moment here. I loved everything here: the professors are the best one can ever get, the facilities to study and the extra-curricular activities are excellent. I made best of friends and thoroughly enjoyed my college life.

I don't think I will ever get this experience anywhere else.

On studies

Before joining IIT, I used to study for 7 to 8 hours daily. After joining IIT, I used to spend about a couple of hours. I did not go for anything coaching classes. I learnt through Brilliant Tutorial correspondence course and my preparation began after I finished my 10th standard.

Why IIT

IIT is one of the premier institutes in India. I always wanted to get good higher education, so I opted for IIT.

My mantra for success

There is no short cut to success. One has to work very hard, put in a lot of effort, should have a problem-solving mentality and a right approach to every problem.

My parents always stood by me, their support has been invaluable and am overwhelmed.

Advice to IIT aspirants

Work hard. You have to spend a lot of time preparing as exams are getting more and more competitive. You must also have problem-solving skills.

Interests

Solving math puzzles, reading books. I used to play cricket, but now I don't get the time.

Next move

Money is the least important thing for Krishnamurthy. So no jobs for the time being. "I have been selected for the scholarship programme at Stanford University for a PhD in operations research. I would like to research on optimising computer networks and operation systems. Quality research is available abroad. After the PhD programme I would like to join any academia of good repute and continue my research activities. Among corporates, I admire Google. It is the one company that reflects perfection, hard work and efficiency."

Will you come back to India?

Of course, I will. The brain drain phenomenon is dying out. It's the time for reverse brain drain!

Photograph: Krishnamurthy (right) with a friend. (Inset) Krishnamurthy's parents, Rengarajan and Radha.

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