A winner all the way Birsa Institute of Technology (TRUST), Ranchi

When a young boy from the small town of Muzzaffarpur decided to kickstart a chain of technical institutions, that too when his own education was barely complete, even the most optimistic of minds would not have given him a chance. But he defied conventional wisdom and unlike most people decided to swim against the tide. Fifteen eventful years later Ranjeet Kumar, MD, Birsa Institute of Technology (Trust) has emerged as a leader of sorts.

He spearheaded the technical education apparatus in the city, giving future citizens a ray of hope and a glimpse of a brilliant tomorrow that awaits them. The incredible journey from the uncertain initial years, to reaching the level of a robust and reputed educational society and emerging a champion of the socioeducationalcause, Ranjeet has truly come a long way.

His story quite resembles a typical Bollywood flick of the 70's. A rebel son, an adamant father, a doting mother and a lot of sub plots! As a diploma holder in Chartered Engineering, Ranjeet wanted to open an institute of technical education but his father refused, citing the uncertainties involved. After much bickering young Ranjeet left home only to come back again. This time his mother gave him some money when he lied to her, saying that he was going to pursue a job in Bhubaneswar. Instead, hell bent on realizing his dreams, he came to Ranchi, with Rs 5000 in his pocket and a whole lot of ideas.

Those were difficult days," Ranjeet reminisces. "I knew what to do but no idea how to go about it. I began by visiting different coaching institutes and imbibing the nuances of the business.

For the next three years, he kept slogging, embracing small assignments and fending for himself, while saving money too for his future venture that he had in mind at that time. "There were times when there was no roof over my head and I had to live under a bridge for one full month where I would design the prospectus of my institute!" he recalls. But these hardships only strengthened his spirit and stuffed steel in his resolve to make it big. He rented an abandoned house at a bargained price and worked day and night to breathe life into his ambitions. He conceptualised an entrance exam and started seeking admissions. Ranjeet still remembers, hisfirst client who flashed a fifty rupee note behind the closed grills and asked for the exam form at 8 pm. His happiness knew no bounds as his business just then got rolling!

Things gradually took off and soon the ambitious entrepreneur entered into partnership. He also settled down in his personal life, marrying a simple girl from a small Patna village. But then just when everything was moving smoothly, market conditions became hostile and internal inconsistencies started surfacing which could not be stemmed.

"With important lessons learnt, I imbued fresh vigour into the project"

Soon things went awry and he found himself grappling to set things right. "At that moment I remembered one thing that kept playing in my mind. It was what my mother used to tell me. She would say, ‘If you keep working there is little that can stop you. Only patience can keep you fuelled and alive. I waited for my time. With nothing to lose anymore I gradually picked myself up again and re-engineered the whole scenario. With important lessons learnt, I imbued fresh vigour and zeal into the project and within a year I was back," he reveals. The Birsa Institute of Technology and Science, the maiden venture of Ranjeet, continues to pioneer quality technical education in the region by pursuing the Trust's mission of "Education for Everyone". It provided a launch pad to hundreds of students in their chosen professional course. Soon it spread its wings and Saraswati Vandana Institute of Technology which carried its work a few notches higher, was incorporated. Today it is incessantly churning out technocrats and smart managers for the country. "While I was studying in Mumbai I was appalled to see people from Bihar and Jharkhand region descending there for want of quality technical education and splurging lakhs of rupees in the process. The reason was simple- we did not have appropriate forums for such courses.

At that time there were only two boards of distance education in this region, so obviously it warranted attention. My institutes provide world class value based education, training, research and consultancy here at the doorstep of the local people who deserve nothing but the best," underlines Kumar, who is now an M.Tech and MBA degree holder himself.

The third institute was launched in 2010 with BITT, Getlatu, offering PGDM courses, duly approved by AICTE and the Department of Science and Technology.

It pledges a professionally rewarding exposure and personally enriching experience to its students to prepare them for the global business climate by keeping pace with the emerging challenges of globalization. Ranjeet's wife and Chairperson of the institute Vandana Kumari explains what sets it apart from the rest. "We supplement our academic fabric with a robust, state-of-the-art infrastructure and a campus feel. This stays with them even after their college days are over. In this technology driven world we provide ideal destination forthose who are seeking quality education, coupled with a refreshing experience." No wonder within less than a year of its inception, it has carved a niche among the best minds of the region and has earned an enviable reputation.

Apart from this, a soft, humane corner in Ranjeet's heart prompts him to do charity. He has been instrumental in initiating schemes for the commonman like, Birsa Munda Free Computer Literacy (BMFCL) Abhiyan for Women, Bishaka Scholarship and SSCL free Computer Literacy Programme, that have benefited many needy and talented students of the region. Also numerous blood donation camps are organized by the trust. He also established Shri Vaishnavi Shivram Seva Sansthan which has a meditation centre, a yoga clinic to help people recuperate from their spiritual and bodily ailments, specially the deprived and the destitute.

With a small family of four, the ambitious businessman leads a simple, uncomplicated life.

He might not keep his promises of fetching his little daughter's crayons for lack of time, but he has ensured that they have a secure future. Ranjeet remains untouched by pride and is self-effacing when asked the reason for his success. "It's all because of my parents who gave me the right upbringing. During all these years I have toed their line of honesty and principles above all and will continue to serve the peoplewith their blessings," is all that he has to say.