A meteoric rise Nilai Education Trust's Group of Institutions, Ranchi

For this young entrepreneur, life was never easy. Yet today Manish Kumar has managed to climb up to a height that fills people around him with envy. The journey from a restless kid to the suave Secretary of NILAI Educational Trust’s Group of Institutions (NETGi), seems nothing short of a fairytale. He goes down memory lane and recalls his initial days of struggle and uncertainties. "My father was in the army. Though not too well off, he ensured both his sons got quality education, which he was deprived of," reveals Manish.

After doing his B Tech from Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalya Indore, he moved to the US to pursue his MBA. Unfortunately, just when he was flying to India on a two-month holiday, the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers of New York happened. His passport, alongwith those of all other passengers arriving from the US that day was forfeited for scrutiny. He did not get it back for the next six months which prompted the university to discontinue his admission. Life clearly had ordained something else for him. "It was really a devastating phase."

"But I moved on and opened an education consultancy. The knowledge and experience of my own education programme came in very handy. I had tieups with many American, Russian and Canadian universities where I would place Indian students. The logical extension was a study centre which came calling when Nilai University of Malaysia asked me to provide them one," reminisces Manish. It was a good move since many who would miss out on going to the US, could acquire education via the Malaysian route.

With this tie-up, it was also going to be at a much lesser price. It was really a profitable venture and it prepared him to make foray into the bigger league. The idea of opening an education society himself struck him soon after.

Alongwith his father Bhim and brother Sanjay, he established an educational trust establishing an engineering college under the aegis of NETGi. Like his earlier ventures, this too was tailored to be a success story, right from the word go. For Manish it was a dream-come-true.

"I always thought of utilising my skills and knowledge for something that had a ready connect with my aspirations. What could be a better way than to start a mission which equally addressed both professional and societal concerns? And being an engineer myself was a great help to understand the needs and requirements of a project."

The college is gradually taking on the contours that a world class institute should carry. Situated at a comfortable distance of nearly 25 kms from Ranchi, the 25-acre campus boasts of ultra modern buildings and all possible facilities.

"We place a great deal of premium on personal growth and development as We do on academic achievements"

The classrooms and seminar halls too have the latest audio and video facilities to accentuate the parallel, traditional learning. Then there is the IT infrastructure & information centre, a well equipped auditorium, a recreation centre, a food court and a yoga and meditation cell to cater to the spiritual needs of the students. Nearly 300 students of first year B-Tech slog it out in the fastpaced learning ambience of the institute, dreaming to make it big one day. "We place a great deal of premium on personal growth and development as we do on academic achievements and excellence," he shares.

The whole idea is to prepare the students for all kinds of challenges that await them in this highly competitive and technology driven world. For the same reason we have planned a foreign educational tour of Malaysia for our students just to get them the feel of real time corporate atmosphere," Manish underlines with confidence. A dynamic entrepreneur that Manish is, he has never been short of ideas for the institution. While his father Bhim supervises the whole designing and construction of the campus, he himself concentrates on issues of student welfare and the curriculum.

"Even though things are on a roll, the father-son duo doesn’t relax even for a moment"

The influence of foreign education is clearly visible in his ideas. "In the West you don’t need to carry pen and paper, which in their opinion distracts the students from the lecture. Instead the whole classroom proceedings are recorded automatically daily and remains available to the students in their hostel rooms! We too will soon have such a system in place and are giving each student a laptop for that matter," reveals Manish. Even though things are on a roll, the father-son duo doesn’t relax even for a moment. New management programmes are in the pipeline to be launched this year.

Some other professional institutions including a medical college will roll out soon. For this family, work is its only priority. The early hardships actually enhanced their appetite for a rightful place in society and a successful life. In the last one decade they have literally risen from the ashes. Their ascent however was punctuated intermittently by rough patches. Disaster struck when younger brother Sanjay almost lost his life in a road mishap. Spending months in hospital was traumatic for the whole family. But Sanjay defied death much to the relief of the family. He is still recuperating but that one incident has completely changed their perception of life.

"Even though things are on a roll, the father-son duo doesn’t relax even for a moment"

"God has been kind enough to pull us out, every time we landed in trouble. This is the reason why I want my children to work for the society and serve the needy, the only way one can express gratitude towards the Almighty. Our project has helped our native village Naug a lot in terms of employment generation. This is what gives you satisfaction at the end of the day," muses Bhim, the 1971 war veteran who is now the Chairman of this prestigious league of institutions. His values and discipline of an army life remain entrenched in its very foundation.

So what interests Manish besides his profession? "I love to do yoga which keeps me calm and focused. And just like my father I am a man of simple tastes- I eat anything that comes my way without giving too much of a thought. Earlier I used to sing, particularly for my girlfriend Shilpi, who is now my wife," says Manish with a naughty smile. He effusively credits her for being such a formidable force and eternal source of motivation in his life, besides of course being mother to two lovely kids, Aryan and Archi.

The charming moments he spends with them, brings his life to a full circle.