People of OST: Sunil Khedar, Chief Technology Officer
Sunil Khedar is the Chief Technology Officer at OST. Sunil joined forces with Nishith and Jason right out of college. Co-founder of the companies they built together including Hem.com, Fab.com, Fabulis, Social Median, True Sparrow and Montred. In 2016 Sunil founded Pepo with Jason and leads a world-class engineering team based in Pune.
Tell us about yourself
I natively belonged to a small village in India, located about five hours from New Delhi. My father was in the Indian air force and because of it we had to travel and live in different parts of the country during my childhood. I completed my post graduation in mathematics from BITS, Pilani. In 2006, I joined Nishith to build Montred, an online jewelry store. After this I worked with Jason and Nishith on different products, like Social Median, Fabulis, Fab, Hem, Pepo, and now OST.
Tell us about your past ventures with Jason Goldberg
In late 2006, when I was working with Nishith on Montred, we were thinking of unique ideas to increase our reach and user engagement by gamifying the user experience. We came up with a concept that included a virtual thief who declared that he/she is going to hack into our jewelry store on a certain date and time and challenged us to stop them us if we can. This whole concept on the execution caught Jason’s attention. Facebook applications were very new at the time as we developed an app called Friends Graph, which was quite unique at that point of time. After seeing these two applications, Jason met with us and then the journey began. We have worked on various projects to this day.
What led your interest in blockchain technology?
During the Fab days we were organizing one of our hackathons and one of the team members in a hackathon came up with the idea to create a payment gateway on top of blockchain. At that point of time, blockchain was very new and our research didn’t go very deep. We were constantly observing the development happening in the blockchain community.
Last year, while working on Pepo, we wanted to incentivize our users in a way that they’re valued. We dug deeper into this technology and found that it evolved a lot. However, there were still some hard problems to solve, like user experience and scalability. We started thinking how we can solve these problems for mainstream adoption and that’s how we started OST. We wanted to create a solution which was not just for Pepo, but also for mainstream adoption.
What does your role as Chief Technology Officer at OST entail?
As a leader, in all honesty, I believe in leading by example. A lot of my time goes into designing concepts, architectures, and when the time allows me I go hands on. A strong technology team is driven by a compelling vision. The team wants to work on something which is meaningful as well as something that keeps them challenged. I make sure that I empower my team by providing them a healthy and challenging environment to work in.
What projects are you currently working on at OST?
At OST we are trying to scale blockchain for billions off users. We are making sure that we provide the best user experience around this technology. Great user experiences help us achieve our goal of allowing for mainstream adoption of this technology. A lot of our time goes into research, creating POC’s, and building prototypes.
We’re working on building the next version of the OpenST Protocol which will have new features and enhancements. We are also working on features for OST KYC. This was the product that we built for our own ICO and have now we turned it into a service where people can manage their own ICO or KYC.
What’s something interesting about yourself
I have done my integrated post graduation in mathematics. Interestingly, when I enrolled in the school, I had absolutely no experience with computers, computer science, or any programming languages. It was to an extent that my instructor had to tell me what caps lock was for. I took this as a challenge for myself. I opted in for a lot of computer science related elective courses. I did some freelancing projects in php while I was studying and thus mastered some of the concepts. I believe that learning and growing is a continuous process, you have to keep doing it.
THANK YOU, SUNIL!
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OST blockchain infrastructure empowers new economies for mainstream businesses and emerging DApps. OST leads development of the OpenST Protocol, a framework for tokenizing businesses. In September 2018 OST introduced the OpenST Mosaic Protocol for running meta-blockchains to scale Ethereum applications to billions of users. OST KIT is a full-stack suite of developer tools, APIs and SDKs for managing blockchain economies. OST Partners reach more than 200 million end-users. OST has offices in Berlin, New York, Hong Kong, and Pune. OST is backed by leading institutional equity investors including Tencent, Greycroft, Vectr Ventures, 500 Startups.