"Play Your Cards Right" - Yashas Kemparaj


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1. Tell us about your background and your journey.

I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Engineering-Biotechnology in the year 2016, I was placed in a corporate company through the campus placement drive. For the little I knew back then, corporate was not something where I saw my near future. 

So I had to reject the offer despite a lot of incoming suggestions and concerns as the idea of turning into an entrepreneur with no work experience was considered a risky affair. This was also the time when my brother, Ankur, had put down his papers from corporate and we set out to begin a new journey.

Teaching was something that I had started earlier, back in my school days, with teaching cousins and students among our circle of family friends that could be accommodated over the dining of our house. 

As the demand increased, we went on to begin the project in a 2BHK apartment and the struggle to balance between my academics and my hobby was getting intense with time. From there we gradually progressed into what it is today and from then, there is no looking back.

“Doing what we are good at, the right way, at the right time.”


2. According to you, what areas in the Indian Education system need a change?

Though the Indian education system is evolving over the period; we feel it still requires to be upgraded in the following areas.

● The teacher's training modules/course content where there is an evident lack of use of technology in teaching.

● Teaching and knowledge adhered within the boundary of the prescribed textbooks leaving a major gap between “what is taught” and the “industry requirements”.

● The ongoing theoretical approach to learning can be converted to a more practical approach with a blend of engaging activities and the right use of technology.

● Investment of time and effort in record keeping, lesson planning and other documentation activities just to abide by board regulations which can be easily done using technology, rather focusing on enhancing teaching skills and making learning more student-centric.

● The hierarchy model, preconceived notions that persist in schools/colleges, prevent freshers/youngsters to exhibit their skills and talent, making it the least chosen and underpaid profession.

● Lack of bringing about the essence of various disciplines available and its fusion resulting in underestimation of a subject/field which fails in respecting every profession either odd, trade or otherwise.

● The reservation system that persists in government and private organisations.


3. What inspired you to establish the academy?

Like I said earlier, the bench scale of the project was already initiated during the college days. What started as a hobby and in return provided pocket money to the teens, gradually took the shape of an organization that it is today.

We knew that our strong foundation in terms of academics and the skills we expertise in with the right mindset can bring an impact in the field of education and cater to the current requirement of a student-centric and multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning.


4. What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?


Though entrepreneurship comes with a package of challenges, the main challenge namely was the whole of idea of youngsters in the field of education with our

unusual teaching and learning methodologies made parents quite sceptical. On the other hand, the creation of the team with individuals willing to adapt to changes was equally challenging.

This called for a blended curriculum creation, its implementation keeping school syllabus in consideration, training the teachers to go that extra mile with our self-designed training module, and then presenting it to the parents. Breaking conventional norms and practices was not easy until we proved that “we know what we are doing”.


5. What is your favourite book and why?

I am personally not into reading books. But blogs, research articles and journals on scientific advancement and business that keep me updated on the current happenings, keep me going.


6. Tell us about one valuable lesson you learned that you feel everyone should know.

Well! Over time, I have picked up that you got “to play your cards right” and it comes down to how you make things happen despite everything .”You make yourself”, do not expect, do not blame others.


7. What is your advice to our readers, some tips for someone aspiring to be an entrepreneur, or planning to pursue a career in this field?


Ah! To list some of them, Entrepreneurship involves a high level of commitment and patience, to be ready to learn new skills, adapt to changing times, being flexible and having a willingness to do anything that it takes, in your initial days. All these blended with a strong principle, work ethics, and discipline can bring up innovative solutions to problems around us.

To all the budding individuals in this field out there, I would say "A great teacher isn’t a teacher”. Listening, being learners, getting updated is essential because education is everything around us.


-Yashas Kemparaj, Co-Founder, Ashank Academy Of Learning

- Interviewed by Agatha Coutinho

- Edited by Shilpy Sharan

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