Sneha Agarwal: Student
The #SheInnovates stories team sat down with Sneha Agarwal to discuss the role of women in innovation. Get involved at She Innovates Global.
#SheInnovates Stories: Innovation is solving the world's problems. What problem are you solving?
Sneha Agarwal: In India, people just throw their electronic equipment away in the dustbin, or sell it to unauthorized local scrap dealers—who then dispose of it in a way that harms the environment. But e-waste can prove to be very dangerous to both human health and the environment if these conditions prevail.
So our innovation, EEDO, addresses this growing problem, and provides eco-friendly and hassle-free disposal of e-waste. Our app bridges the gap between the users and the authorized recyclers, and helps the common people put their e-waste into safe hands and protect our Mother Earth. Our app supports the initiative taken by our honorable prime minister to solve this major issue.
#SheInnovates: When did you realize your innovation was a breakthrough?
SA: The problem of e-waste management is increasing day by day. We were quite sure that our app would be of great help to the people, and would make our environment cleaner. We worked constantly to make our app better and more convenient for users. We realized that our idea was a breakthrough when we were able to win the grand prize at Technovation Challenge 2018. Since then, we have been working on our app’s future plans, and trying to create awareness among people about this grave issue.
#SheInnovates: What were some unexpected obstacles you overcame in the innovation process?
SA: We faced some technical problems while building our app. It was a little difficult to manage things at first, but we learned a lot of new things in this process. It was, altogether, a fun experience. The unexpected problem that we had to overcome was that we were quite excited to present our idea to the people, but we didn’t get the response that we expected. There is very little awareness of this issue; as a result, they didn’t take our innovation seriously. But we didn’t let this disappoint us. We are constantly working to make people understand the seriousness of this issue, and also requesting that the government properly implement the steps regarding this problem.
#SheInnovates: What inspires you to love your work?
SA: I have been quite interested in technology and entrepreneurship skills from the start. This allows me to never get tired of my work. My motivation is the smile that my innovation brings to people’s faces. I aspire to bring a change in society, through my innovations and ideas. This dream of mine inspires me to love my work.
#SheInnovates: What do you hope that young women coming behind you take from your work?
SA: As I look back upon my life story, I have always been fascinated by technology—and women accomplishing something in that field—which inspired me to do the same. So, I hope that women coming behind me will take motivation and determination from my project. It will also help to increase their self-confidence and lessen their hesitation to enter the IT field. It may also encourage them to do something for nature and society; so that we can, together, make a better society to live in.
#SheInnovates: Why are women in innovation important?
SA: In this era, women are becoming on par with men. There is no job or profession that women cannot do. But, up until now, women hesitated to come forward into the IT sector. There are only a few women who break the bars of our conservative society and choose these professions. We all have our own thoughts, ideas, and opinions. It is not correct to stop someone from showcasing their thoughts in society, just because of their gender. Women are very important in innovation. They are equal to men. They can innovate just like men. They may solve an issue that men might never have considered. They are now bringing a change in society, with their innovative ideas and projects, to solve real-world problems.
Follow Sneha Agarwal on Instagram.
Interviews have been lightly edited for clarity and length.