Author, entrepreneur, business analyst, and government strategy consultant—Prateek Pathak has worn many hats in his career so far. The string of successes in the past six years could have turned out very differently. It all hinged on one decision. As a computer engineer with a ticket to the big league, Prateek could have been well on his way towards a promising tech career. The job offer from Morgan was indeed great news, but for him, there was more to be learned, discovered and experienced.
It was the quest for a versatile career profile that led Prateek to a programme that offered flexibility and the promise of lateral growth. The M.A. in Public Policy at O.P Jindal Global University (JGU) was the perfect platform to explore his diverse interests.
The interdisciplinary programme at Jindal School of Government & Public Policy (JSGP) covers a wide spectrum of subjects. For Prateek, it was here that he found his passion for social media, internet governance and the arts. He became particularly drawn to working with people for the betterment of society. During his Master’s, he realised a passion to pursue a career in Internet Governance and the digital sector.
“My time at JGU imbibed in me a concern for dealing with people’s real-life situations by showing boldness and zeal in addressing urgent societal issues,” says Prateek.
As a prolific student on campus, Prateek notched up one exciting achievement after another:
- First in Dean’s List for 2013 and 2014, and recipient of the Gold Medal for overall academic excellence
- Organised the first International Conference on ‘Information Society: Challenges for India’ with the United Nations Information Centre and Thomson Reuters as a knowledge partner
- Editor of an International Student Newsletter based on Asia Pacific Dialogue on National Implementation of Business and Human Rights
- Organised a workshop on Aadhaar (UID) based financial inclusion – ‘Banking the Unbanked’ – at Bright Scholar Senior Secondary School
JGU helped develop Prateek’s perspectives through different platforms. The Savitri Jindal Scholarship winner worked in the Centre for Development and Finance, the Centre for Study of Democracy and Markets, and the Centre for Victimology and Psychological Studies to make the most of the opportunity. Encouraged by the growth graph he saw then, Prateek decided to prolong his association with the University by taking up the position of Research Associate in the Vice Chancellor’s Office. It was an interesting time as JGU was gearing up for an accreditation exercise for the National Assessment and Accreditation Council. He took on the challenge of developing its IT solutions in addition to handling a wide range of responsibilities. He also taught courses on Internet Society and Governance and Cyber Law.
Prateek also found time to pursue his passion for research. He wrote a paper on social media governance titled ‘A Quantitative Framework to Evaluate Use of Social Network Sites for Anti-Corruption Advocacy’ which looked at how social networking sites can be used to spread misleading political propaganda and fake news. Its relevance in today’s global climate was not missed. In fact, it caught the attention of the prestigious Wharton Business School, where he was invited by the American Society of International Law to present the paper. Almost at the end of his stint at JGU, he even co-authored a book titled ‘The Education President’, produced by the University. Prateek is also an Institutional Scholar of the Ronald Coase Institute.
A project that remains close to his heart is working with the Haryana Government as a part of the JGU team on a consultancy contract. He handled the ‘State Higher Education Plan’ that involved carrying out extensive surveys on state universities in India. He calls it an “eye-opening experience” that brought him face-to-face with ground realities at the grassroots level.
An enterprising spirit with a penchant for creativity, Prateek also co-founded a start-up called ‘Artociate’. It is a networking system for performers and creative artists. His company connects artists with event organisers, making the process of hiring artists to perform at events seamless and hassle-free.
Today, he works as a Business Analyst at the Office of the Chairman of the multimedia company, Percept Ltd. In his new role, he has looked after three special projects, five government tenders, and intellectual properties like Sunburn.
He also founded the Mumbai chapter of ISOC (Internet Society) and is responsible for the Indian presence of this global organisation dealing with Internet-related standards, education, access, and policy.
In tune with his interest and expertise in the field of Internet Governance, Prateek also plays an active role at inSIG (India School on Internet Governance), as a member of the Steering Committee for the inSIG 2020 event. The organisation aims to impart formal training on Internet Governance and build a strong community of IG professionals in India who can participate in global IG processes. Prateek proudly shares that a number of JGU students and alumni have received fellowships from inSIG.
Meanwhile, he continues to nurture a bond with his alma mater, having volunteered to be a governing body member of the JGU Alumni Association. The young man with many interests keeps following them in all directions and succeeds wherever he goes!