“I’m so happy to see people come up and say that this is the kind of change we are making at a grassroots level, at a rural level, where there’s no access to education,” says Dr. Manjula Pooja Shroff, MD and CEO of Kalorex Group in an interview with Chandan Anand, CEO & Group Editor, ArdorComm Media Group at the ‘New Normal – Education Leadership Summit & Awards 2023’ #ELSAChennai #ELSATamilNadu
How was an outcome of this event and what were the takeaways?
Chandan ji it’s always very good to come here to your events. I believe that the morning event was very good, and we’re so glad that the minister was here because it shows a certain seriousness from both sides, from the participants as well as the people on the dais. There were government officials in very good positions. I love the fact that you selected the NIOS because that’s a place that people need to understand and therefore apply. It is in this way that you’re making a differentiator.
I would like to understand more about Shroffism from you.
In a single term I call it the impious of education. The mental, physical and spiritual dimensions if we don’t help students grow in a unified and holistic 360-degree balanced manner. They can actually get swayed with whatever happens in life, but that’s not the idea. The idea is to be so strong in your core that life will happen, but you’ll always be the winner and never the victim.
And what about the DHI episodes which are going on? Can you please throw some light on that?
Spiritualism is so big that people think it’s hard to understand. So, I’ve tried to do this daily thought, a one-minute daily thought towards conscious living. And the word ‘DHI’ is a Sanskrit word for reflection, introspection, a deeper level of intellect. So, I’ve tried to use it to bring it in a package which is easy to do. ‘DHI’ is your one-minute daily thought for conscious living.
Handling the academy, looking after the thing which you are passionate about, how do you organize yourself and your life in that way?
When you are clear about what you want to do, you put energy and intention together. So I believe that there are teachers. By now, we have a very, very strong team. Some of the team members are teachers who are already doing what they believe is the 2D educational deliveries. My addition is the third angle, whether it is the teacher, the child, or anybody that I can influence, which is the 3D angle, which I believe is the MPS, which is mental, physical, spiritual.
So out of the series of book launches you have done, any special recognition or any special occasion which is in your memory, which is that city, and why is that memory with you?
Jaipur is in my mind. I don’t know why. It’s something that I did with you, but Jaipur got a lot of acclaim. And every time I look at the pictures, I love the way we came across in Jaipur. I really do like this. I genuinely believe that Chennai and the South have preserved the Indian education system a lot more than many other states, where it’s far more diluted. And it’s such a pleasure to come here. And I must say this, that you’re not even two years old, and you’re doing a terrific, terrific job. And before you ask me if I have any words, if I want to say anything for the ArdorComm, let me just say this. I believe that any organization, the culture comes from the person who leads it. And I believe that you not only understand education well, you have a quality perspective on education. When you have a quality perspective, you’ll deliver quality, and that is your differentiator.
What is the outcome of certain forums and how does it help the community at large when we see the corporate, academia, and government on a platform together?
Unless the corporate, academia, and the government work together, we cannot make any change. Everybody has to work together holistically. It’s in platforms like this that not only do you network, but you also get to see what is happening in the industry and how that can be applied to the delivery of education. And how the people who make the policy decisions can shape those decisions to take the country’s progress educationally in that direction. So, these are very, very important platforms.
Any takeaway from today’s event?
I’ve been talking about opening your own mind and opening the minds of students in order that we can live in a VUCA world or prepare our students for the future. I am so happy to see how many people resonate with that. I’m so happy to see people come up and say that this is the kind of change we are making at a grassroots level, at a rural level, where there’s no access to education. That’s real India. We are slightly more urbanized, but India lives in rural and hilly regions. So, when people from there come up and share their success stories, it’s very gratifying.