Engineer & Entrepreneur: Ria Rustagi, Co-Founder, PankhTech

A family tragedy turned Ria Rustagi into an entrepreneur. Pankhuri, Ms Rustagi’s sister, suffered from a rare brain infection in 2016 at the age of 25. She was hospitalised for six months and could not communicate with her family. Her passing away deeply affected Ms Rustagi. In 2018, Ms Rustagi teamed up with her fiance, Bhavya Madan, and co-founded PankhTech, a Noida-based company which manufactures Neuphony, a wearable that helps bedridden patients to communicate. An alumna of the NTU, Singapore, and TUM, Germany, Ms Rustagi is also a BTech graduate from JIIT, Noida. Sharmila Chand meets up with Ms Rustagi and is impressed with what she finds about the engineer-turned-entrepreneur.


What is your philosophy of life?

If we are comfortable and happy in who we truly are, we can be better at our performance and also towards the world.


What is your passion in life?

I am an engineer by degree but an entrepreneur by passion.


What is your management mantra? 

My mantra is to make sure that our team feels very comfortable with us.


A business leader you admire the most...

I actually don’t follow anyone. The only thing I admire is hard work and the passion to do something!


Your source of inspiration...

My source of inspiration comes from within and my sister, Pankhuri. I have dedicated my company to her, and it’s even named after her –



You are a tough, serious boss or…

I feel that I am actually a mix. I like to call myself the mother in the office.


What do you enjoy the most in life generally?

I actually enjoy working a lot! Work apart, I really enjoy travelling.


How do you de-stress?

I de-stress by cooking. Good food can actually change my stress levels! And for the past one year, meditation has become my go to whenever the uncertainty of life impacts me.


Your fitness regime...

My fitness regime is to stay happy! I don’t pressurise myself to do anything which I don’t feel comfortable.


Your mantra for success

To be true to yourself and work for something you really believe in


Ten years from now, where do we see you?

I see myself heading an NGO which would be a vertical of PankhTech where we help people with mental health and neurological disorders.

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