In the WorldSkills competitions 2019, held in Kazan, Russia, the Indian team performed extremely well and made the country proud. The 48-member Indian contingent won one Gold, one Silver and two Bronze medals along with 15 Medallion of Excellence. Behind every participant there lies an interesting and hardworking journey. Here we present you the journeys of 3 WorldSkills participants – Shweta Ratanpura, Nidhin Prem and Shrenik J Gugale.
My journey with Worldskills started more than a year ago. Back then, this was just something I thought I should try my hand at. Never had I imagined, that I would leave everything just to train for the competition and be worthy of the jersey given to me with ‘India’ written on it.
It is a feeling like no other, to be selected to represent a country of 1.4 billion for your skill, to proudly carry the Indian flag on your shoulders while receiving a medal, it’s pretty surreal!
While going through the various selection rounds – from college, the regionals, the nationals; with each passing round, I started taking the competition more seriously. I had no idea about the scale or the importance of the global platform that WorldSkills was providing until the Nationals.
I was really lucky to be selected in the top two chosen candidates after the national round. It was after this that I really picked up the pace and gave everything to the training and mentoring sessions.
We were training under the WorldSkills India appointed coach and expert Mr. Sathish Narayanan. Our classes would go on for 8-10 hours each day for 6 days a week. But that was not all, to be able to perform at our peak at the final WorldSkills competition, we needed to be physically and mentally fit as well. I was exercising daily, attending yoga sessions, monitoring and regulating my diet so that I’ll be comfortable in the foreign environment in Russia later. This really helped me later during the actual competition because a lot of other competitors were thrown off by climate change and had fallen ill during the four days of our test modules. The arena in which our workstations are set up is humongous, as it houses more than 50 different skills and it stretched over an expanse of 74.8 hectares. To even visit the nearest washroom and back is quite a walk. And on top of that, the modules are really intense and the 6 hours of the competition were really crucial and tiring. So it was really important to be fit and have high levels of energy throughout the 4 days of the competition.
As for the test projects related to Graphic Design, it’s not just about how creative you are but about how well you can use the limited time and resources, work with strict restrictions and still come up with innovative ideas for the brief given to you. It’s also about your knowledge of software and industry-specific technicalities.
While my 4 years of education at the National Institute of Design helped me think creatively and stand out with my ideas, the training provided for WorldSkills helped me use my creative strengths, understand my weaknesses, and strategically work on how to score the maximum marks at the competition. Candidates from countries like China, France, Russia, etc., had been training exclusively for WorldSkills for more than 4 years. Thus, personally, I would say it’s really important that a candidate comes from a design background because one year of training is a really short time to learn about Graphic Design as well as to channelize those learnings to perform at WorldSkills.
Lastly, I’m really happy that I learned so much over the last year, met amazingly talented people, got to visit and explore the cultures of different countries, found friends that I can call family and made some of the best memories of my life!
My journey started when I was in my second year of college and my mother called me one day to tell me about the IndiaSkills ad she saw in the newspaper. She wanted me to go home to Kerala to participate in the 3D Game Art competition. After winning at that competition, there were Regional Selection rounds held at Bangalore, and then I was able to achieve gold at the IndiaSkills Nationals. After that, I was given an opportunity to participate in AsiaSkills Abu Dhabi. Lakshya Digital, who is the Industry Partner of 3D Game Art for IndiaSkills, took me in and trained me and helped me polish my technical and artistic skills and I was trained under Mr. Pradeep Kumar, Associate Art Director of Lakshya, who was my Expert for Worldskills Kazan. He guided me and trained me to become the best I can be. Winning Silver medal at Global Skills Australia boosted my confidence because till then I thought I wasn’t good enough compared to the rest of the participants there. From then on, I practiced hard on fixing my faults and on bringing a quality output to the table. Pankaj, who won Silver at Indiaskills, with whom I was being trained, helped me improve in my work, like partners in the gym. I am very thankful for the help and guidance he has given me.
In Kazan, while I was at my workstation working on modules, I faced a lot of challenges that I couldn’t even anticipate. But I was lucky enough to work my way through them and develop a product that won me a Medallion for Excellence.
It was like a test of Endurance because there were times when I felt everything was falling apart and wanted to quit. But then I told myself that I have to fight no matter what. That attitude got me into thinking positive and I was able to finish everything on time in the way I wanted.
Message for the upcoming competitors:
My message for upcoming competitors is that while you are there, you must have control over your mind and body and you must be able to visualize the goal. There will be pressure and challenges that might bring you to your knees. But the strongest thing you could do there is to get back up and fight your way through it.
SHRENIK J GUGALE:
I started my journey when I was in second year of college. It was a pleasant day in college when an announcement struck my ears. I and my friends headed towards the direction of an announcement. It was an announcement for Indiaskills. Unaware about Indiaskills I started researching for the same. This was then I decided to participate in the “Print Media Technology” competition.
I had my training at Advance Graphics and Zawre creatives under Mr. Sameer Prabhune, who was also my expert for Worldskills Kazan. With his guidance and training, I was able to give my best. He was the one who trained me to become the best I can.
I participated in Pune for the district level. After winning at that competition I went for Regional selection round at Bangalore and after that, I won Gold at IndiaSkills Nationals.
Sahil, who won silver at IndiaSkills Nationals is with who I trained. He helped me improve my work. I had to undergo 3 selection tests with Sahil after winning Gold at Nationals. For the first selection test, Sahil was in lead by 0.25 points. I was tensed after this selection test when I almost lost faith in myself. It was my family and friends who stood with me and built my courage. And then after this, I was in lead for the second as well as third selection test.
After that, I was given an opportunity to participate at Finnish Nation Skills Taitaja’19, Finland as a guest competitor where I was 1st runner-up. Winning silver in Finland boosted my confidence because till then I thought I wasn’t good enough compared to the rest of the participants there. It was then I decided to never look back again.
After this, I was sent to Germany for training at Heidelberg. In this training, I was able to learn many new things that I was lacked. Digital machine Versafire and few of the offset parts were some of the things I was unaware of. I did online studies for this after my training.
In Kazan, while I was at my work station and working on my modules, I faced many challenges that I can’t even anticipate. But I work my way through them and developed a product that gave the best I can. Withstanding the times where I felt everything was falling apart and wanted to quit but, then I remembered I have to fight on no matter what, at any cost. I looked at my competitors and thought, if they could do it, I can also do it. This attitude got me into positive thinking and I was able to finish everything on time the way I expected. Though I was not one of the winners I know where I lacked and what are the things and measures that are needed to be overcome and to win a Gold for India.
Message for the upcoming competitors:
The ultimate victory in competition is derived from the inner satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best and that you have got the most out of what you had to give. All you have to do is play better than others and things will go well. If you are able to be yourself, you get closer and closer to that essence.