Winners of the annual #GirlsInvent competition, Aditi and her friend Xialene came up with a genius “Roll-on Bandage” and have since then been thrown into an entrepreneurial journey. They’ve created the prototype (which we cannot show as their patent is pending), and have contacted a manufacturer for productions. While we wait for roll-on bandages to hit our pharmacies, Aditi is here to share her inspirational, passionate, and witty story!
To start, do you mind sharing an interesting story?
Ok just this morning, on my way to a meeting, I saw a man sitting outside the train station with a sign that said “No alcohol or drugs. Please spare some change so I can start my own business”. It was heartwarming seeing someone that wanted to make a change in their lives and willing to try hard despite their situation. I loved that people were actually going up to him not only to donate money but also to have a chat. It shocked me however that he had to specify it wasn’t for ‘alcohol or drugs’ due to stereotypes alive in today’s society. I wish I had the time to stop and have a chat too. Maybe next time! It was honestly one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever seen.
That must've been a touching sight! Can you also share with me the experience of being 'stayan?
Living in Australia and specifically Melbourne, the “World’s Most Liveable City” is amazing. I love the multiculturalism, the coffee culture and the love for fashion. To most foreigners when they hear ‘Australia’ they think Kangaroos, Vegemite and “throwing a shrimp on the barbie”, (even though we call them prawns). To me, when I hear ‘Australia’, I think of an accepting egalitarian society with the best beaches and kindest people. I’ve only visited two countries outside Australia; India and USA. Even though they drive on the wrong side of the road, use Fahrenheit and the imperial system; America is very similar to Australia. I do however wish that the Australian innovative scene is as big as it is in North America, especially amongst young people. As part of my entrepreneurship journey I aspire to encourage innovation so that one day in the near future Australia too is a hub for entrepreneurship.
How did your idea for a roll-on bandage come about?
When our teachers first approached us (Xialene and I) with the opportunity to take part in this competition we both thought it sounded different and interesting hence decided to give it a go. Since winning first place we have been interviewed on national radio twice, met with the CEO of a multinational company, represented Australia at the Yale Young Global Scholars program and have begun the process of creating a prototype and patenting the product. We couldn’t have done it on our own though! We’ve been fortunate enough to have an alumna of our school mentoring us throughout the entire process and are grateful for her insight and guidance.
Currently all information is strictly confidential – but keep a lookout on supermarket shelves in the near future!
Sounds exciting! When you say you work with Xialene, what's your team dynamics like?
I have loved working with Xialene over the past year and a bit. I’ve not only gained a new friend but also learnt so much from her. Personally, I prefer working in a team to working individually as it gives me the opportunity to learn from many different people with different ideas and different skills. This allows me as well as those in my team to develop a well-rounded set of skills. For example, Xialene is awesome when it comes to physics and specifications of the product whilst I focus on the business side of things. Throughout the time I’ve spend working with her, she’s taught me so much about mechanics and I’ve shared my knowledge about marketing and the financials with her.
What's a challenge that you've felt?
Something I’ve felt constantly throughout this journey is the preconceived notion that young people are inexperienced and incapable of achieving great things.
Very true. How have you overcome that?
By winning the Girls Invent Competition and commercializing our product, Xialene and I hope to show everyone that we as the youth of Australia aren’t any less capable and have the ability to make a difference.
What year of high school are you in?
My last :)
So how do you prioritize and balance between your commitments?
Spending quality time with my friends and family is number 1. I think it’s important to connect with your loved ones whether that be around the dining table, an evening walk or a day out together. Also, without at least 8 hours of sleep I can’t function properly so sleep is quite high up on my list of priorities! Next year I’ll be in my final year of high school which means a huge study load. It can be hard to balance school with extra-curriculars (e.g. school clubs, volunteering and of course managing the commercialisation of ‘The Roll-On Bandage’) whilst also maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I like to create to-do lists and am a massive fan of task managers which allow me to see exactly what needs to be done and thus organise my day accordingly.
Some advice to young girls wanting to innovate?
If you see a problem; solve it! Because chances are you’re not the only one. This could be by inventing a product, organising an event or by simply starting conversations in your local community (perhaps with the principal of your school or local MP).
Imagine yourself 15 years from now, where would you like to be?
Wow! 15 years from now is a long time away and honestly I have no idea but that excites me. Ideally I’d like to be a leading figure in the corporate arena mentoring young girls who aspire to study commerce – just like my mentor.