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'An education in English can accelerate your career'

Thursday, January 18, 2018
Photographs by Azad Shrivastav

Speaking to our reporter Parth Khatau, Nirvaan Birla opens up about how he has come of age after completing his Masters in the UK, his vision to see an English-speaking India and how he would like to see our youth become more broad minded

As we waited in the conference room at the Birla Edutech office at Nariman Point, Nirvaan Birla and colleague Yatharth Gautam walked in and greeted us warmly. "Yatharth is our chief marketing officer," said Nirvaan, the son of business tycoon Yash Birla.

This is the 10th year of Birla Edutech since its inception by Mr. Yash Birla and the company has come a long way, expanding to over 60 schools across 14 states, catering to 10,500 students pan India through education. “Our USP (Unique Selling Point) here at Birla Edutech is our curriculum, said Yatharth. “It is an integrated curriculum which is an amalgamation of various boards such as CBSE, ICSE, IGCSE. We believe in making learning fun for our students and hence the curriculum is not all textbook oriented but gives them a lot of hands on experience,” he added.

Speaking about their tie up with the Uttarakhand government, Nirvaan was quick to point out the amount of work done behind the scenes to make it all possible. "We have been pursuing this opportunity to offer quality education in the state of Uttarakhand for quite a while now," he said. "We finally got the nod and have now opened schools under the PPP (Private-Public-Partnership) module wherein the government provides us with the land and infrastructure and we provide the facilities and curriculum to run the school," he added. The company has tied up with the government of Uttarakhand for providing teacher training to 30 public schools in the state, and have stepped into the government's initiative of skilling India.

The main objective is to tap areas in North India and also other states like Bihar where literacy rates are compativiely low and provide students with skill development and English speaking courses. "In today's world, speaking English can accelerate your career growth and can take it to a whole new level," said Nirvaan. "We have a lot of children studying in our schools who are from very poor backgrounds and we provide them education free of cost. Them being able to speak English shall give them a bright future in their respective careers," he added.

The 23-year-old Birla scion who returned after completing his studies from the University of Westminster in London last year is proud to carry forward the good work done by the company before his arrival. "After completing my Masters and a year of work experience in London, I returned home and have taken over this company," said Nirvaan. "One of the few things I tweaked was that I re-arranged the operations chart. I wanted to make sure there were specific people asisgned for specific roles so as to carry out opearations effectively rather than one person juggling ten different tasks," he added.

Ask him what is the one change that Nirvaan would like to bring about or see in today's youth and pat comes the reply, "Well, I would like us to be more broad minded and more dynamic in our personalities and also be more accepting towards people's opinions and changing trends. From what I have seen of today's society is that we are very judgemental in our thinking and that attitude needs to change from the roots, which is via education," he added.

Looking ahead, Birla Edutech wants to have more company run schools which are 100% under their control. "We have company run schools too," said Yatharth. "Our flagship school is Gopi Birla Memorial School located at Walkeshwar and we are looking to expand with an international school coming up in the near future," he added.

Nirvaan feels that having the schools under their control gives them a better opportunity to stamp their mark and have them run the way they would like them to. "The thing with franchises is that they are, at the end of the day an autonomous body," he said. "We can provide them with the curriculum but the day-to-day functioning of these schools and hiring of staff is done by the franchise," he added. "Hence we ideally would like to open more schools that are completely run by us or tie up with companies that we have been working for since years and who understand our methods or working rather than branching out to newer companies."

As for his other interests, Nirvaan is a huge football fan and also enjoys singing Indian classical music in his free time. "I am a huge fan of English football and support Chelsea," smiled Nirvaan. "I was lucky to be able to go and watch my team play live while I was studying in London and am very passionate about my football," he added. "Besides football I also enjoy singing Indian classical music and bhajans in my free time and love to watch movies."

Nirvaan is also a huge fitness fanatic like his father, hits the gym sincerely and also goes cycling on the weekends. "Fitness is of course another huge passion of mine and since I love the outdoors I often go cycling on the streets with my friends on the weekends when there is less traffic," he added.

Being successful in carrying forward his family legacy, Nirvaan is well aware that this is just the start. However, if history is anything to go by, then success definitely breeds success.

About the company
Birla Edutech Ltd, a Yash Birla Group company, that has embarked on a journey to revolutionize education in India, by becoming educational transformers for learners across all educational segments - be it Preschool, K-12 school, continuous education, technological or vocational education.

The Birla family has a legacy of nation building and understands the significance of a high-quality education system.

It promises to build a uniting culture, provides rich education, supports educational solutions and develops a strong sense of community through each of its multifaceted institutions by nurturing sensitivity towards the Society, Economy and Environment.

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