Q. Could you provide us with a brief overview of your professional background and areas of expertise?

My journey as an educationist and entrepreneur began at the tender age of 21, right after completing my engineering degree. This was not just the start of a career but the beginning of a lifelong commitment to empowerment and social well-being. Starting with the management of a single school, my role has since expanded to overseeing a variety of educational institutions under the National Education Foundation umbrella. These include engineering, MTech, MBA, and nursing institutions, along with 4 prestigious schools. Together, we serve over 10,000 students, including more than 4,500 in K-12 education and over 5,000 in higher education, fostering a vibrant community of learners and leaders.

My responsibilities extend beyond the traditional roles of an educationist. I also embrace entrepreneurship and investment, with a keen focus on initiatives that empower individuals through education. This approach has not only enriched my professional life but also allowed me to contribute to society in meaningful ways. My involvement in social activism is a testament to my dedication to inclusivity and creating a better world for all.

Through this journey, I've been fortunate to inspire many by embodying strength, fierceness, and dynamism. At heart, I consider myself an EMPOWERER, committed to making a difference in the lives of others through education and beyond.

Q. Could you highlight some of your key accomplishments in the field of education?

My journey in education began with a deep-seated commitment to enhancing the quality of learning. Leading multiple educational institutions, I focussed on cultivating an environment where every learner could become the best version of themselves. This commitment to quality education has been the cornerstone of my approach, guiding each decision and initiative I've undertaken.

One such initiative, Catalyst Lab, reflects my dedication to preparing K-12 students for future challenges within the framework of Education 4.0. This forward-looking approach aligns student values with industry expectations, ensuring they possess the skills necessary to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape of the real world.

In a pursuit to address social challenges within educational settings, I introduced "Buddy Bench Conversations." This initiative is dedicated to celebrating friendships and working towards ending loneliness through meaningful interactions. The Buddy Bench serves as a profound symbol, fostering socialisation among children by encouraging them to engage in conversations and form connections with their peers and eminent personalities. Promoting inclusivity and empathy, the Buddy Bench builds a stronger, more connected community where students feel valued and supported in social interactions.

I also spearheaded innovative educational initiatives such as Penumbra, a shadow play kit serving as an academic curriculum to foster creativity beyond traditional classrooms. These initiatives are my explorations of unconventional teaching methods to enhance student's learning experience.

My efforts have been recognised and honoured, notably with the "Best SMX Youth CSR Champion" award at the CSR Leadership Summit and Awards 2024, and being named in "Entrepreneurs Today, India's 30 under 30." 

Q. What impactful changes or innovations have you implemented in the education segment, and what further advancements would you like to see or implement in the field of education?

I've had the privilege of leading the Youth Leadership Summit under the Ideathon initiative Ideathon to support the Karnataka government's Brand Bengaluru initiative, which is an inter-school competition aimed at fostering solution-centric thinking among students. By providing a platform for young minds to present their ideas to improve their city, this initiative has sparked creativity and problem-solving skills, leading to impactful changes in how students perceive and address local challenges.

My role in driving the cervical cancer awareness programme through the Gulab Seva Foundation stands as a significant innovation in empowering women's health. By spreading awareness and educating women about cervical cancer prevention and early detection, this programme has brought about tangible improvements in healthcare outcomes within the community, highlighting her commitment to driving impactful changes in women's health and well-being through awareness. 

Looking ahead, I'm committed to further advancements in the educational field. This includes upgrading technological resources to meet the demands of the ever-evolving educational landscape, fostering global collaboration and cultural exchange programmes to expand student perspectives, and emphasising the development of essential soft skills such as critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. These steps are crucial in preparing students for a successful future in the workforce.

My aim is to empower students to take charge of their learning journeys. By advocating for a learner-centric approach, I strive to create an environment where students can actively tailor their educational experiences to their interests, strengths, and aspirations. This strategy not only boosts student motivation and autonomy but also facilitates deeper learning and the cultivation of critical thinking skills.

Q. What advice can you give emerging education professionals/fellow educators regarding essential leadership qualities in this field?

To my fellow educators and those embarking on their journey within the education sector, my guidance spans several pivotal leadership qualities that I deem essential in our field.

Firstly, embrace the significance of having a clear vision that enables setting meaningful goals aligned with evolving needs and driving positive change. Collaboration is the key. Working together harnesses diverse perspectives, promoting creativity, innovation, and shared ownership. Being more adaptable and resilient navigates uncertainties, embracing change, and learning from setbacks. Also, committing to ongoing learning ensures staying updated, refining skills, and innovating approaches. Lastly, leading with integrity builds trust, upholds high moral standards, and fosters honesty and accountability.