Yashwant, 29, son of a marginal farmer, had always been a class topper. But living in a cluster of some ten houses with no proper roads meant he had to chart a different course. In class 5, propped by his teachers, Yashwant wrote the test for admission to Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV). JNVs, under the HRD ministry, attract bright students from rural areas. “I got into the school in Khairthal, Alwar. It was a residential facility, with all expenses paid. But it was 40km from my village in Harsora,” says Yashwant, reminiscing the many bouts of home-sickness he suffered in those years.
Yashwant’s farming family was often at nature’s mercy, and money was scarce. Engineering was an alien word in his village and he had no example to follow. Still, after 10th, he enrolled for a coaching class in Alwar, cushioned by a scholarship he got because of his good grades. He’d often live on government-sponsored meals, at Rs 5 a plate. “But despite everything, I couldn’t manage enough money to travel to the test centre at Kota to write JEE,” says Yashwant. So in 2010, he enrolled for BE in computer science at MNIT Jaipur.
Next began the journey with Samsung, an organisation he had set his mind on as it was an innovative company. The day he got the offer letter remains the most memorable milestone of his life. Back home, when the news of him joining the company spread, many thought he was working for a Samsung repair shop, Yashwant laughs. Today, he has not only turned around his family’s fortunes, but he is also a paragon of perseverance for his village.
Do what you love, but try to be exceptional in that
Yashwant Saini, chief engineer, Samsung R&D Institute, Bangalore
In his six years with SRI-B, Yashwant has contributed to research and development of many features of the Samsung keyboard and text intelligence. He has worked on transliteration and emoji prediction and also contributed to three global patents. “I had end-to-end ownership of the emoji prediction engine project. This solution is commercialised in Samsung’s flagship device, Galaxy S20,” Yashwant says.