Architects of the Future

Sanjiv Goyal
5 min readFeb 5, 2021

By Sanjiv Goyal Featuring Ranbir (Ron) Gupta

In this article you will learn about:

  • Tech Entrepreneurship
  • The Futurist Mindset
  • Critical thinking
  • The IIT System

Humble Beginnings

Ranbir (Ron) Gupta is an architect turned futurist and entrepreneur. He is a distinguished alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. Currently, he is serving as President of the IIT Kharagpur Foundation of USA and he was a Conference Chair for the PanIIT 2020 Global Virtual Summit.

His journey started in a village in Haryana India. The school there had two grades. His father completed both and his mother never went to school. Ron took classes under a tree. For high school he traveled to a neighboring town.

One day his father saw a newspaper announcement for IIT entrance exams. Despite having never heard of IIT, Ron passed all the rounds and made it to the interview portion in Delhi. The school representative told him, ‘Son, you only have one choice, to go to IIT Kharagpur for architecture.”

He didn’t know what architecture was, but he was eager to find out.

Architecture and Critical Thinking

Traditionally architecture is about physically building the environment around us, Gupta breaks architecture down to the elements of problem-solving.

This is the critical-thinking mindset all students who attend an IIT leave with. IITs are critical thinking incubators. No matter which major their alumni chose, the graduates all have highly developed critical thinking capacities and relish challenges.

This is what makes an IIT education so valuable. It teaches students to question, to stay with problems, and gives them problem-solving skills they then go on to use in every area of their lives. Ron’s story is a prime example.

Curious about Computers

Ron excelled at IIT Kharagpur, earning himself a President’s Silver Medal in Architecture. He went on to do his master's at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.

While studying there, he decided he needed to learn something new about…

Sanjiv Goyal

A futurist, angel investor, and Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Sanjiv Goyal, connects the dots and embraces disruptive technologies to global problems