My Pursuit of Mount Everest Begins

Editor’s note: Druva is proud to support employee Sauraj Jhingan’s quest to climb Mt. Everest in 2015. His determination and passion are a reflection of our Druva culture. Follow his epic year-long journey in this 10-part blog series.

It’s been four years since I joined Druva as the lone soldier in the HR team based out of Pune, India. Never had I thought that uphill battles (and journeys) could be so fulfilling and rewarding. The reasons are obvious; when you look back at all the things you’ve done and achieved, the feeling is, in one word, awesome. All questions of “Why am I here?” are answered, even all those countless hours of hard work and struggle seem worthwhile. For me personally, one such moment was when we celebrated our 200th employee at Druva. Going from 25 people to a team of 200 was no easy feat, but looking back I realized I played an instrumental part in fostering the growth of this company.  The HR function, now 7 people strong, has become the heart of the organization; not to mention that we are at 260 folks and still counting. I’m extremely happy and satisfied with the way we have grown.

My life has been no different. All of my adventures have given me a similar experience. Little did I know when I took a grueling life-saving course that it would one day prepare me to save someone from drowning at my college swimming pool or lead me to become a part-time lifeguard and swim coach. This same excitement and motivation also carried on to the thrill of a 10,000-ft freefall skydive jump. My past experiences (and the rewards that came from them) push me to achieve more.

The first thing I discovered about myself was my love for the outdoors and adventure sports. My father, who served the Indian Army for about 35 years, was a big reason behind this. Just like him, I wanted to follow my passion to the core and live every moment fully. I pursued my MBA in HR from Symbiosis, Pune with the same seriousness and continued to pursue my other passions: mountaineering, skydiving, deep-sea diving, and life-saving (just to name a few). I was credited as the youngest and one of the few Indians to climb Mera Peak in Nepal in 2009, and since then, I have climbed several other mountains and peaks over 20,000 feet in both the India and Nepal Himalayas. My next goal is to take on one of the biggest mental and physical challenges of mountaineering: climb Mount Everest — the highest mountain in the world.

Over the next few months, I will chronicle this journey with respect to the preparation as well as the actual climb. With each progressive month, I will attempt to narrate my experience while climbing various mountains across the Himalayas as part of my training, sharing the triumphs as well as the failures that I may come across. Follow along in my subsequent blog posts about my Everest Expedition!