August 24, 2023

Life at EMURGO: Unlocking Students’ Potential as Academy CTO

Albert Kim


Our “Life at EMURGO” series discusses what it is like to work in blockchain and Web3 at EMURGO, one of the founding entities of the Cardano blockchain. Headquartered in Singapore, EMURGO offers many work perks and benefits to its global employees including remote work and career development opportunities.

In this blog, we have a Q&A with Bharat Mallapur, CTO at EMURGO Academy, the blockchain education unit of EMURGO.

Q&A with EMURGO Academy CTO Bharat

Hi Bharat. Tell us a little about yourself and your personal background.

Bharat: Hi everyone. I’m Bharat Mallapur, CTO at EMURGO Academy, and based in Bengaluru, India. 

What is your career background?

Bharat: I’ve been working in the tech field for more than 19 years. My previous full-time job was in a leading German Lab equipment firm named IKA. I was Project Lead in the R&D wing for a team of 3 developers in the Pharmaceutical / Lab Equipment domain and reported directly to the Vice President of the firm. Our team was engaged in building a manufacturer-agnostic lab automation system which was designed and developed in-house completely. I see a lot of similarities between the simple features of Cardano’s Marlowe language and the work I used to do in visual programming in building highly flexible, powerful, and visually intuitive automation sequences.  

How did you start your career in blockchain and Web3, and how did you come to EMURGO?

Bharat: I quit IKA to start a tech idea in the education space, involving AI/Voice recognition and the use of animation to help children learn to love reading books. This is because I am really passionate about education being the doorstep to unlocking our true potential. As Aristotle said, “The ultimate purpose of knowledge is action.” I truly believe that education should give us the knowledge to empower us towards actions that can help solve problems and bring value to others.

I started to realize that a product is not just about technical implementation, but it requires finance, marketing, sales and so many other aspects, which I was clueless about. As my savings dwindled, I realized that I had no choice but to rejoin a job to support my family. However, I was adamant that I would not rejoin my old job description. I wanted to get into something exciting and cutting-edge! 

I shortlisted AI and Blockchain as two fields that looked really interesting and a good base as a career for the next 20 years. Blockchain felt much more intuitive, and I could see that this is a connective technology that emphasizes the human, social, and community elements. So I decided to dive in and become a blockchain developer. I spent at least a year just rooting about, trying to make sense of the technology before I could understand it a bit more deeply. Since this was in 2016, when information, resources, and communities were not very available, it was a roller coaster both emotionally and technically. 

I had days where I had an “Aha!” moment, followed by weeks of toil, failures, and feeling lost. But finally, I found a good network of people through meetups, hackathons, and conferences which helped me find my feet. I even got to the point where I hosted some highly appreciated deep technical workshops and started getting consultant gigs from startup founders who were attending these meetups and my workshops. 

This then led to me doing some POCs for overseas clients in the US, and Vietnam. Before I knew it, I was a co-founder of a startup in the wireless EDGE Networks space where I was working on a “blockchain-as-a-trust-layer” component for the Oil & Natural Gas space along with some veterans from the telecom space. 

I have always been an avid learner and I always loved to explain stuff to others and share my wonder of whatever I was learning. At some point, I realized that this was my calling, which led me to organize meetups, etc. I always made it a point to keep attending meetups and blockchain events, and when I was invited to the launch event for EMURGO Academy in Bangalore, that led me to the next step in my life. EMURGO Academy was a godsend that nudged me into a fulfilling career doing the thing I love!

What makes life at EMURGO different compared to other companies?

Bharat: Honestly speaking, I came to know about Cardano and EMURGO at the launch event itself. Prior to this, I was entirely into the Ethereum / Hyperledger space. However, I read quite a bit about Cardano after I came to know about it. I was very happy to join EMURGO and be a part of a founding entity in the blockchain space. 

Being a part of EMURGO comes with a mixed bag of responsibilities and empowerment. Being a part of a founding entity means that you need to be very good at what you do and represent the organization in the best way at the Academy. This has often meant sitting up late, reading research papers, struggling with deep concepts, and trying to find the best way to build technical training programs in consultation with industry experts. 

On the other hand, being part of EMURGO has helped me in connecting with some amazing people in the Cardano space, ranging from Dr. Lars Brünjes of IOG to Ben at MLabs. People have a lot of respect for EMURGO and we at Academy have always been conscious of the need to represent EMURGO in the best way possible. 

Academy has also helped me find almost my entire team from within our own learners! 75-90% of our team is sourced from the best, most passionate, and most talented of our learners. This has also allowed me to first examine their passion, clarity, and dedication to our ultimate goal of educating and empowering the Cardano community. It has also been a great way for them to with our blessings!

Is working in blockchain and Web3 more beneficial to your career?

Bharat: Blockchain is a technology that will redefine the way we interact, do business, and find each other. This is a technology that has grown entirely from the individual adoption of this amazing technology. It is not a technology that has been adopted by big industries first and then pushed down to the masses. Being a part of this grassroots revolution and seeing the enormous potential for bringing all of us together is very uplifting. Also, I feel that people who join this revolution now will have very fulfilling careers and be among the prominent personalities of the near future.


Read more in the Life at EMURGO series


Describe your best work moment at EMURGO.

Bharat: There are too many awesome moments at EMURGO Academy! Though there has been enormous striving to build excellent products, every time that a learner truly “gets” a deep concept, makes it really worthwhile for me. When they graduate and get into a job with the skills they’ve learned here, is a fulfilling moment for us. 

Notably, the satisfaction of creating and delivering the Cardano Solutions Architect program in coordination with some awesome experts was a memorable moment for all of us at Academy (though it is a continuously ongoing effort!). Each and every awesome person that we meet with through our Community events is another marvel for us. The list goes on and on.

What’s the best EMURGO work perk or benefit?

Bharat: The visibility and recognition that one gets from being a part of EMURGO is a nice perk! But it also comes with its own responsibilities and expectations which one has to live up to!

What advice would you give to those interested in working at EMURGO?

Bharat: Maybe some general advice only! I came into EMURGO with a decent amount of technical capabilities and a love for teaching, but I was not great at most other things like leading a team, delivering projects on time, etc. 

However, I found other earnest people who were dedicated to the Academy’s cause, and over time, I have learned a lot of skills from these awesome people. I feel that whichever organization you work for, the most important qualification is being earnest in your work. Trust and trustworthiness truly pips all other qualifications. If you work earnestly on anything, you WILL become a capable, dependable person who is always welcome by everyone, in any walk of life. 

Tell us three fun facts about yourself!

  • I’m left-handed and a Gemini by birth sign.
  • I truly love being an explorer of new stuff all the time and nerding out on it. Give me a year or so of learning, and I want to move on to the next juicy idea! 😄
  • I’m also the only person in my family who’s very passionate about crypto, though I’m slowly convincing my brothers about its amazing value. I can tell, because their arguments are getting weaker! 😊
Want to start a career in blockchain and Web3?

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Web3 and blockchain technology are fast emerging technologies with an increasing number of businesses and individuals learning about the values of digital assets, decentralized applications, and more.

If you are interested in starting a career in Web3 and blockchain, with numerous work perks and benefits including remote working opportunities, visit here and apply now.


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