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Star of UK: Ruben is riding the digital wave

Star of UK: Ruben is riding the digital wave

Ruben de Noronha, who has roots in Goa, was recently shortlisted among thousands as a finalist for UK’s #DL100 Young Digital Leader of the Year 2018, following which he secured the runner-up position. Thereafter, Ruben was invited to meet UK Prime Minister Theresa May, to talk about business and young people. Ruben chats with Café about this achievement and more
It’s always a proud moment for any parent when their child does well. More so when their child’s passion and efforts are recognised and rewarded. Now, imagine, when someone’s child has been invited by the prime minister of the country! That was the case with Tania Da Veiga (originally from Curtorim), and Ivo de Noronha (originally from Panjim), who are currently living in London, United Kingdom (UK).

“We are proud to announce that our son, Ruben de Noronha, was invited to meet our Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street, to talk about business and young people,” read Tania’s Facebook update recently, which was cheered by a large number of Goans here in Goa.
In the weeks prior, Tania had informed her friends and family via social media about Ruben’s selection among thousands of nominations as a finalist for UK’s #DL100 Young Digital Leader of the Year. From that moment on, there was a lot of cheer, good wishes and anticipation in Goa about young Ruben’s progress.
So when it was announced that Ruben had secured the runner-up position for the Young Digital Leader of the Year for 2018, there were celebrations in Goa.
“I didn’t expect to be among the top three as the others on the list are working on some really big problems that affect us all. I am earnestly grateful for the recognition I have received for my work, because I am very sure that every other nominee for this award was as capable if not more, of winning this award,” says Ruben, speaking to Café from the UK.
Ruben got to know that he had finished second, at a breakfast meeting leading digital thinkers including Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; Jacqueline de Rojas, President of techUK and chair of the Digital Leaders; Nominet’s CEO Russell Haworth; London CDO Theo Blackwell and four of the 2018 Young Digital Leaders.
The meeting was held to launch the Digital Leaders Week 2018 by the UK Secretary of State Matt Hancock MP that was in line with their objective to raise awareness of the opportunities in place to support leadership and to support transformation by leveraging innovation, skills and experience from across the tech sector and the country.
During the breakfast discussion, Ruben spoke alongside the Secretary of State, and impressed upon the government to be prepared to harness the full potential of Industry 4.0 and suggested that businesses should step in to fill the gap and attract talent. Ruben also indicated that the UK government must ensure that the inclusive power of digital technology does not leave anyone behind.
After his speech, the Secretary of State, added on to what Ruben had said and agreed with Ruben’s statement. The CEOs of major tech companies around the roundtable also strongly appreciated the fact that Ruben had suggested investing more in training young people for the future of work.
“I emphasised the need of making sure that the opportunities that are available and being showcased correctly in particular to young people in the UK. Only 36 per cent of millennials believe they have the skills required for industry 4.0 and I believe businesses can help solve this and attract talent. Millennials think businesses should be most responsible for preparing them to work with technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence and this is how businesses can attract and retain millennial talent in an uncertain future,” says Ruben, who is the co founder of TechSource.
His work at TechSource was a big factor at Ruben being recognised and being featured as part of the DL100 list for 2018.
“TechSource is the media company I built along with my dad (Ivo de Noronha) and together we have grown the brand to reach close to 10 million people a month through our YouTube channel (TechSource) and website, which we continue building along with a team of writers and others. I was the runner-up for Young Digital Leader of the Year 2018, by building TechSource, “explains Ruben.
TechSource is a privately owned rapidly growing digital media publication based in the United Kingdom.
He explains that their platform on YouTube and their news publication exhaustively cover breaking news across the technology landscape that encompasses the mobile industry, computing, life styles and all things tech. Their digital channels have a subscriber base of over 1.7 million and have attracted a combined audience of over 300 million globally.
While Ruben now works on various campaigns through his second business TechSource working with brands like Google, Logitech and various other start-ups, his journey is quite incredible and began at a young age.
Ruben finished secondary school at St Bonaventure’s RC School in 2016 and finished college a few months ago and studied Media & Technology.
But as early as 13 years old, Ruben had an interest in mobile apps and developed four apps by 15. Having had no experience in business or creating apps, Ruben set out to learn how to develop apps for Android, by watching video tutorials on YouTube. The apps started reaching people internationally and eventually reached thousands of people across 15 different countries. At this point, Ruben was moving into secondary school and began juggling school work and business. Following this, aged 16, Ruben discovered he was running a business and created his first business RDNHD Ltd a UK based digital agency.
RDNHD Ltd started growing rapidly and started finding strategic partners while building a team of designers, programmers and social media team working with numerous start-ups and online influencers with large followings on social media.
Ruben began to outsource some of the work to the team he built over the years, who could deliver the projects on time. Over time, Ruben began to get national and international press coverage for being so young and running a business.
Ruben was asked to appear on a number of TV shows to share his journey and knowledge whilst also speak at conferences including TED Talks and Google Campus London, about his story. Ruben is now focussing a lot more on his businesses, public speaking and working with the Government.
Commenting about his latest honour, he says, “This award has allowed me to voice my opinion on Industry 4.0 and how it will disrupt work as we see it today and I am happy that being nominated for this award has given me the platform to talk about these important issues. I think the Prime Minister and senior government officials have a really tough job being in the public eye and I don’t think they are given the credit they deserve. Personally, I don’t think politics would be something that appeals to me. However, I believe to some extent, you can have a far greater impact in private sector where I definitely want to grow professionally.”
On a concluding note, Ruben spoke fondly about his memories about Goa and also offered his opinion when asked what Goa can do in the digital space given its status as a tourism hub amongst others.
“I love Goa; at the end of the day I am ethnically Goan and I have a lot of memories in Goa, especially because most of our cousins are there! The best holidays so far have been in Goa and I can’t wait to go back. Goa is a really attractive destination for tourists from abroad who want to visit the beautiful beaches and other attractions. I hope Goa stays at the forefront of technological advancement and I am sure they are already working on this. I am looking forward to see the transformation in the near future,” says Ruben.
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Young Digital Leader of the Year
Digital Leaders, the global initiative to promote digital transformation, is the nationwide initiative for promoting effective, long-term digital transformation across government, industry and charities. It had recently announced the finalists who make up the DL100 list for 2018 and opened the public vote.
The independent list recognises 100 people and organisations across the UK who are leading the way in digital transformation in all sectors. Previously, the list has featured industry names such as: Martha Lane-Fox, Mike Bracken and Eileen Burbidge.
The 100 finalists that made up the list, then had to compete for the public vote in one of 10 categories. This year’s list was made up of individuals and organisations with 44 private sector, 32 from the public sector and 24 from the nonprofit sector.
Each year’s list is created from nominations submitted by members of the 1,27,000 strong Digital Leaders Community before being shortlisted by the DL100 judges who are taken from the Advisory Board members. This year’s list the 5th cohort to join the alumni of previous winners that now numbers over 400 leaders from government, enterprise, startups and charities. These former members stay in touch, network and learn from each other through participation in the DL100 Club.

This article was first published on Herald Cafe on 22nd July 2018

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