Interview by Derek Grosso
Name: Suraj Hinduja
Profession: Managing Director at RTRX
Neighborhood: Short North
Education: The Ohio State University, 2014
Community Involvement: My Special Word (Board Member), Untapped Good (Board Member), Young Professional’s Council of Nationwide Children’s Hospital (Vice Chair), Delta Sigma Phi – Alpha Iota at The Ohio State University (Chapter Advisor)
Quote: “We did not inherit our community from our ancestors, we are simply borrowing it from our children. We need to make sure we are building a just and thriving world for them.”
Connect: LinkedIn | Instagram | Twitter
Born and raised in Columbus and a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, with a degree in Special Education and minors in Leadership Studies and Philosophy, Suraj started his professional career at the Columbus Partnership and has been with RTRX since March 2018.
What gets you up in the morning?
Initially, the alarm clock for an early workout at System of Strength or Lagree House motivates me to get out of bed. Secondly, the idea of a strong cup of espresso. And then, working with some of the smartest, caring, and passionate individuals I know to build something that is worthy of our community and will put our city on the map in a global way. Finally, I am motivated to build a better world for our children. We did not inherit our community from our ancestors, we are simply borrowing it from our children. We need to make sure we are building a just and thriving world for them.
What advice or mentors have helped guide you along the way?
The grace of my village has been my salvation. I am very lucky to have mentors that play such incredible roles in my life, both personally and professionally. There are many for me to recognize: Alex Fischer, Felix Alonso, Steve Lyons, Bruce Soll, Steve Allen, MD, Doug Ulman, Joe Apgar, Jim Merkel, Dwight Smith, Jordan Hansell, Brett Alexander, Opal Brown, Jill Londino, Mallory Donaldson, Kesha Garrett, Sean Grant, Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston, Libby Germain, Amy Wittmann, Eddie Pauline and Megan Hurley.
What do you do or where do you go to unwind?
I enjoy spending time with friends and family exploring restaurants/coffee shops across the city and riding my bike around the State. I also enjoy a weekend catching up on some reading and binge watching a handful of shows. The fall is dedicated to Ohio State Football and all the fun that comes with that.
What are a few of your favorite local spots in Columbus/central Ohio?
Staufs, La Tavola, The Pearl, Lindey’s, DK Diner, and Northstar.
When you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
Ha! I really wanted to run for public office.
What books or podcasts are you reading/listening to right now?
Rereading When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalinithi; reading A Promised Land by President Barack Obama.
What does it mean to you to be chosen for the Next Up Columbus award?
It’s an honor, certainly. It is a reflection on the individuals and institutions who have pushed me to believe in myself, especially on days when I don’t believe in me.
If someone were to ask you what the “pulse” of Columbus is, what would you tell them?
I like to compare Columbus to the salty caramel flavor at Jeni’s. Initially, you might walk by it because its “odd” but then, your curiosity gets the better of you, and you give it a shot. Once you’ve realized how great it is, you always want to come back for more. To me, Columbus is just that – driven by an insatiable curiosity to know and do more.
The Next Up Columbus Awards highlight emerging leaders who are connectors and ambassadors in central Ohio and who are making a positive impact on the future of Columbus. The Columbus Young Professionals Club would like to offer special thanks to our 2021 co-presenters, Discover Financial, Future Possibilities and Zipline Logistics for their support of this awards program. Meet the entire “Class of 2021” »