Nimesh Thakrar worked in Formula 1 racing before moving into e-commerce and an award winning start-up venture Banneya London 3D printing luxury jewellery.
What did you learn during your time at Imperial?
“I learnt how to solve problems and built up my experience and skills in team working.”
How have your studies at Imperial impacted on your career?
“I have found in my career that studying mechanical engineering has been highly useful - it's much more varied than other engineering courses and gives you a good technical and hands-on/practical balance. It also led me to apply a rigorous approach to everything I do and is a fantastic name so it gives credibility.”
What’s your fondest memory of Imperial?
“My fondest memory of Imperial was working on the Formula Student project that was part of the mechanical engineering course. That was to do with designing and building a racing car. I was deputy team leader and the team leader was my flat mate, my other flat mate was working on the project. It was a very collaborative, fun time and we were working day and night.”
What jobs have you done since graduating?
“I started off working for Super-Aguri Honda Formula 1 team. It was an exciting environment and a great way to exercise some of the mentalities and processes I’d picked up during my degree on something that’s so visible to the whole world with the races every weekend. Then I gained an MBA from the London Business School and changed my career to work in e-commerce at Amazon.com.”
Tell us a bit about the work you're doing now
“I’m currently working on a new venture, Banneya London, which is a marketplace for fine jewellery using the latest additive manufacturing technology. It’s a start-up venture that I formulated whilst working at Amazon. We are a curated marketplace for designers, so we provide a platform where the customers can come and see a luxury looking website, discover design works online and customise them to create their own. You can now 3D print in precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, and women more and more nowadays are looking for something bespoke that no one else has, so it’s a perfect application of 3D printing as the whole point is to make customised products. All the pieces are made to order so there’s no inventory and we 3D print on demand. I was awarded the Founder's award by the Deloitte Institute of Innovation & Entrepreneurship in 2013. And last month my start-up was nominated as Finalist in the British Fashion Council sponsored Fashion Futures Awards (in the 'Big Idea' category).”
What are your career highlights?
“The best highlight was successfully transitioning from engineering to another career. It’s nowhere near as easy as it may seem – and I’m still proud of my engineering background.”
What are your future ambitions regarding your career?
“My ambition is to become a successful entrepreneur.”
What advice would you give to current students?
“Follow your passions and realise that the course gives you potential to do lots of diverse things, use that to your advantage.”
What's the most difficult decision you've ever had to make?
“Deciding to change career after realising my time in motorsport was limited (there was a recession in '08 and all the jobs dried up).”
What are you most proud of?
“I am most proud of being able to be my own boss.”
Do you have a favourite quote or saying?
“Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.”