Empowering Dreams: The Inspiring Journey of Dr. M. Udaia Kumar and Dr. Vidya Sravanthi

In the realms of Education and Finance, two luminaries, Dr. M. Udaia Kumar and Dr. Vidya Sravanthi, have sculpted institutions of unparalleled excellence. With a fervour that ignites the soul and a dedication that knows no bounds, they have forged a legacy that transcends the mundane and elevates the extraordinary. Their collaborative efforts have birthed a brand that stands as a beacon of exclusive standards, illuminating paths to greatness and inspiring hearts to soar beyond the ordinary.

Dr. Udaia Kumar embarked on his journey as a young entrepreneur, driven by a profound desire to catalyze transformative change in the lives he touched. Firm in his belief that within every individual resides a dream waiting to blossom, he dedicated himself to providing the right opportunities for sincere souls to flourish.

Amidst his formative years as a budding young dynamic graduate pursuing his Masters in Management, Finance and Social development studies at Selly Oak Colleges in Birmingham, UK and the University of Colorado, USA; Dr. Udaia Kumar encountered a poignant truth—the necessity for young minds to structure their aspirations and chart their courses towards realization. This insight ignited a passionate pursuit to support rural learners, where he recognized a hunger not just for education, but for empowerment.

Yet, his journey didn't end there. Witnessing the plight of livelihoods ensnared by financial illiteracy, he discerned a call to action—a call to enlighten and liberate. Thus, each endeavour he undertook was not merely an act of service, but a symphony of hope, dedication, and the unwavering belief in the power of every individual to sculpt a brighter future.

Dr. Udaia Kumar epitomizes the essence of community-driven entrepreneurship, driven by a vision to empower individuals with opportunities that unlock their latent potential. His journey began with a profound fascination for the transformative power of education, leading to the establishment of St. Peter’s Model School in 1999, a beacon of holistic learning that catered to both State and Central Board curricula.

Simultaneously, he pioneered the concept of Micro-Finance through Share Microfin Ltd., empowering rural communities to harness their potential for income generation and better entrepreneurial opportunities. Driven by a passion for skill development, he established training centres across 11 states, equipping village adults with financial literacy and vocational skills, nurturing a new generation of entrepreneurs poised for financial self-sufficiency.

Dr. Udaia Kumar stands as a colossus in the arena of development administration, his influence extending far beyond borders, shaping not only the landscape of microfinance in India but also leaving an indelible mark across Southeast Asia. His expertise, finely honed through years of collaboration with prestigious institutions such as the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank (CGAP), and the Australian Government (Aus-Aid), has been instrumental in revolutionizing the microfinance sector. As a beacon of innovation and advocacy, Dr. Kumar has provided extensive technical training and consultancy services to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and Financial Institutions (FIs) alike, imparting invaluable knowledge and expertise that has catalyzed sustainable change.

Beyond his professional endeavours, Dr. Kumar has played pivotal roles in shaping policy and governance, serving as a member of significant committees such as the CII-Banking Committee and the committee constituted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India. His contributions have not only informed critical decisions but have also fostered an environment conducive to inclusive growth and development.

In recognition of his exemplary service and dedication to fostering international relations, Dr. Kumar was bestowed with the distinct privilege of being installed as the Honorary Consul of Senegal to India in 2015. This prestigious appointment underscored not only his diplomatic acumen but also his unwavering commitment to promoting global cooperation and understanding.

Complementing his endeavours is Dr Vidya Sravanthi, an illustrious alumna of Osmania University, a luminary in her own right, with a scholarly journey steeped in academic excellence and a deep-seated passion for education. Her formative years at St. George’s Grammar School, Hyderabad, where her mother, Mrs. Vijayam, served as Principal, laid the foundation for a lifelong pursuit of knowledge and leadership.

Armed with an array of academic accolades, including an M.A., M.Phil, and Ph.D. in English Literature, Dr. Sravanthi's journey exemplifies a relentless pursuit of excellence and a steadfast commitment to intellectual growth. Her illustrious career as a Professor in the Department of English at St. Francis College for Women, affiliated to Osmania University, served as a testament to her scholarly prowess and unwavering dedication to academia.

Yet, Dr. Sravanthi's aspirations extended beyond the confines of the classroom, as evidenced by her active involvement in various extracurricular activities during her student years, including serving as a President guide, NSS worker, and Student Leader. This multifaceted engagement not only enriched her academic journey but also instilled in her a profound sense of duty and leadership.

The desire to channel her passion for education into tangible impact led Dr. Sravanthi to collaborate with her husband, Dr. Udaia Kumar, in the establishment of numerous vibrant centers for learning across the city of Hyderabad. Together, they founded UK College of Education affiliated to Osmania University, Hyderabad offering a Diploma and a Bachelor’s degree in education. The DUO in 2012 also established Reqelford International School on a sprawling lush green 10-acre campus replete with World Class facilities in Keesara, Hyderabad offering the National Curriculum CBSE and the Cambridge Curriculum. To ease travel time for toddlers, neighbourhood playschools were established in Habsiguda and Mahendra Hills. These institutions are distinguished by their unwavering pursuit of academic excellence and student- centric innovation.

Dr. Vidya's indomitable spirit extends beyond academia, manifesting in her advocacy for women's empowerment and active involvement in the slums of Hyderabad and rural parts of Telangana. In recognition of her services to the society, she was nominated as a member of the Minorities Commission and a Co opted member of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation by the Government of Telangana. As the founder of Asmitha, a Non-Banking Finance Company, she championed financial inclusion, paving the path for women to achieve economic autonomy.

Their union, characterized by mutual respect, complementarity, and shared values, serves as a shining example of the power of partnership in driving meaningful change. Specifically, their accord is a testament to synergy, where Dr. Udaia's background in microfinance harmonizes with Dr. Vidya's passion for education. Despite their divergent backgrounds and personalities, Dr. Kumar and Dr. Sravanthi have seamlessly integrated their strengths, balancing their professional endeavours with their roles as devoted parents to four daughters and a son. Their children, inspired by the exemplary leadership and values instilled by their parents, have carved out niches for themselves as successful businesswomen and scholars, each contributing to their own unique way to the tapestry of success woven by their family.

In the words of Dr. Udaia Kumar, true leadership lies in inspiring others to embrace noble causes and providing avenues for collective success. In essence, the journey of Dr. Udaia Kumar and Dr. Vidya Sravanthi is not merely a narrative of individual achievement but a testament to the transformative power of partnership, vision, and unwavering commitment to excellence. Through their collective efforts, they have not only shaped industries and institutions but have also nurtured a legacy of inspiration and empowerment that will resonate for generations to come. In other words, their legacy is not just in bricks and mortar but in the hearts and minds of those they've touched, transforming aspirations into achievements, and shaping a future where every individual thrives.

Garnering Accolades:
Dr Udaia Kumar earned numerous awards. He was conferred with:
  • 1. Udyog Rattan Award and the Excellence Award for the year 2008 presented by the Institute of Economic Studies, New Delhi
  • 2. The Lifting up the World with a Oneness Heart Award for 2002 honoured by the Chinmoy Mission on behalf of the UN foundation at the United Nations, New York City
  • 3. The Excellence in Micro Credit Award for the year 2000 bestowed by the Grameen Foundation and the Rockfeller Foundation New York USA
  • 4. The Change Makers Award for the year 1997conferred by Dr. Reddy’s Foundation
  • 5. The Rashtriya Ekta Award conferred in 1999 by the then New Delhi Chief Minister Mrs.Shiela Dikshit
  • 6. The Bharat Jyoti Award for the year 1999 awarded by International Integrity Peace and Friendship Society
Dr. Vidya Sravanthi’s Accolades
    • 1. 50 Effective Principals by Education Today 2023
    • 2. Women’s Leadership Awards in School Education  2023 – ET
    • 3. Education Stalwart Award by Education Today – 2021-22
    • 4. Asia One BlackSwan Award for Women Empowerment – 2020-21
    • 5. Asia’s greatest Principal – By Humming Bird – 2020-21
    • 6. International Achiever’s Award for Business Excellence for Outstanding achievements at the 5th International Achievers’ Summit on GLOBAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES AT Bangkok Thailand – Jan 2014