It was a promising day for a then five-year-old Adithya, who was sitting beside his father Sree Ram Prasad and staring intently at the progress bar for the video game they’re trying to download on his computer. Adithya was looking forward to finally getting to play the game after seeing it on TV the other day. But to his disappointment, the computer kept hanging after downloading the app. His father then gently told him that he wouldn’t be able to play the game because it had ‘malware’. Seeing the quizzical look on the boy’s face, his mother Surya Prabha explained that ‘malware’ is like a disease for the computer. "Then who is the doctor?" he asked her. "A software programmer," she replied.
A year later and Adithya would be the proud developer of his very own mobile game ‘Fly’. "It’s sort of like Flappy Bird... an obstacle course pixel game. It is currently unavailable though," says the now 14-year-old student.
His initial experience with malware and programming sparked an interest in young Adithya which was immediately noticed by his parents who are also software developers. They enrolled him in a programming institute in Malaysia where they were based at the time. "I learnt basic programming skills from there," he says.
When Adithya was 11 years old, the family moved to Dubai where he got the opportunity to compete in several Global Innovation Challenges while at school. Global Innovation Challenges are held annually to provide a platform for young innovators to create solutions to progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.
"For one challenge I developed a security device that records a person’s identification data through retina scanning," he says. He bagged third place for this project which was recognised by a major bank as a top shortlist for security. Another project of his was selected as one of the top 5 projects in the Indian Adobe competition. "Taking part in these Challenges taught me how to solve problems effectively. I also became more comfortable connecting with other innovators and programmers and learnt how to lead a team."
Keen to take the skills he developed to the next level, Adithya decided to set up his own company Macrobot in 2018. He intended it to be a tech blogging website where other young entrepreneurs can engage with each other. "Through the company, I wanted to become an efficient problem solver and be able to formalize solutions in an effective manner," he says. Today the platform provides innovative web design and development services for a plethora of clients including a publishing house in India.
"I head a team of six developers most of whom I met in school." Over the past few years, he has worked with over 100 clients, he says. "Through Macrobot, my aim is to strategise and develop products and ideas that are not only unique, but in line with the UAE and UN Sustainable Goals that fulfil community needs for a sustainable future."
Adithya is currently in the final stages of developing a healthcare device that can "predict" life-threatening diseases like heart attacks and epilepsy in people. "It’s not a device for doctors but a personal doctor for people. I can’t go into too much detail about the product as I am working with potential investors," he explains. "The device could help by giving people warning signs well in advance thus potentially helping save lives."
The teenager is all praise for his parents for supporting him in programming. "When I first established Macrobot, I didn’t get many customers and I was really discouraged by that. But my mom told me that at first nobody gets the interaction that they want and it will take some time for me to establish myself properly. That really helped me become patient with my work and progress."
When not studying or working at Macrobot, Adithya enjoys gaming, skating and chess. He has also completed an advanced course on Marketing with Dubai Future Foundation.