After much contemplation from my parents over the choice of school, I began my educational journey with Seth Anandram Jaipuria, Kanpur in the early 80’s. Starting out right from Crst standard, and having spent 12 years of my life, this special phase was marked with events and episodes that remain deeply embedded – some that make me proud, some that make me smile and many more that make me laugh.
As far back as I can remember my interest always lay more out on the Celd and extra curricular activities than inside the lecture rooms. But despite my eagerness to be involved in extra co-curricular activities, I could only thank my teachers and faculty members for always encouraging me towards studies – when at times the encouragement meant pulling me back to classes; something I despised then, and something I am highly indebted to now! The strength of the school lay in its understanding of education – which meant holistic development of an individual and not just theory and in-room teaching.
While I was treading the many paths, the qualities of a multi-faceted personality were developing, and all quite sub-consciously and effortlessly – the true mark of an educational institute that understands your potential and gives you the opportunities and guidance to hone your overall skills.
School isn’t much of a memory without friends - childhood mischiefs, Cghts and the vows of a lifetime of togetherness. I cannot possibly look back and remember school days without those sweetest memories of growing.
Another remarkable experience at school, which I continue to remain humbly proud of, was being selected as my house prefect. It was the inception of a quality that I started to hone from a very nascent stage; a skill that I could integrate and build on ahead in my life – leadership. Being an ofCce bearer was a responsibility that helped me understand the collective energies of individuals, the art of listening, and the will to lead for common causes and towards symbiotic development. Given my extrovert personality that often reGected on stage and other cocurricular events, I was crowned Mr Jaipuria – a feat that was actually more important to most, than holding the Crst rank in class – metaphorically of course. The mix of students at the school was tremendous with children from different family backgrounds and diverse faiths, which helped me understand and accept differences and celebrate them.
The simple lessons of focus, determination and discipline taught and practiced during early years, all cumulatively snowballed for me to have the conCdence to become fearless. From an eight people team in 1998 of a single business entity that I started in Uganda, to driving a multi-national business conglomerate with a presence in about 17 countries, 1400 employees from 42 different nationalities and various industry verticals ranging from telecommunication, trading, distribution, education, agro, dairy, manufacturing and consumer electronics, formed in association with global giants such as Samsung, Microsoft and Nokia, the past 16 years have been nothing short of a phenomenal journey, with a lesson at every turn. As an ingrained value we were always taught that success is a by-product of hard work and never a goal in itself. This teaching was revealed time and again when I was featured in Forbes as the youngest entrepreneur in Middle East and Africa region and then conferred with the ‘NRI of the year award’, in the entrepreneurial category in 2014; all making me pensively reGect on the journey. I can now assertively say that we are made of our experiences, starting from as early as school.
In essence, Seth Anandram Jaipuria School remains a memory of simpler days that I often peep back into and often want to tread back as well; and besides everything else, for simply giving me memories that I would cherish for a lifetime.
(Batch of 1992)
Vice Chairman, Midland Group of Companies, Dubai