We want Birla Open Minds to be the top K12 franchising brand in India: Mr. Nirvaan Birla

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Birla Brainiacs
Mr. Nirvaan Birla

Mr. Nirvaan Birla, Founder – Birla Brainiacs & Director – Birla Open Minds Education Pvt Ltd. in conversation with www.businessfortnight.com shares his entrepreneurial journey. He also sheds light upon the social causes, he’s been working on and provides insights on his organisation’s social causes including ‘Akansha foundation’ and ‘Happy Home and School for the blind’.

Can you please give us a brief on your entrepreneurial journey?

It has been a long journey of trial and error from my family office at a young of 15 to various internships at reputed names such as Motilal Oswal to launching a sports, nutrition and a fitness start up and then finally as the managing director and promoter of Birla Open Minds, which was formed with the idea to transform education across the vast landscape of our country. With the focus and nonstop dedication of our team, I have always strived to enrich the legacy the of Birla family. The brand has grown to over 120+ schools across 22+ states and 90+ cities and continues to grow at a steady pace.

You have been actively working for a lot of social causes, what made you take this up?

The Birla family has a legacy of nation building and has always strived to provide best facilities to every stratum of society. Aiming to nurture the society, economic betterment of people as well as social transformation has been the ultimate goal. It is this goal that has led us to tie up with several NGO’s, charitable trust and the Government of Uttarakhand to provide skill development and employment to millions of students.

Your social causes include ‘Akansha foundation’ and ‘Happy Home and School for the blind’ please give us more insights?

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At Birla Open Minds we believe in respect for human rights, respect for differences in views, we have diversity and non-discrimination as the guiding principal, and we believe in retaining the core principles of the community and strive to add value to society. Economic and social development of one and all is our motto. Our company has been conducting innumerable CSR activities. It is obvious that the education sector has undergone an overhaul in the last decade and now more so with the pandemic and all the baggage it brought along. The underprivileged children faced the harshest blow when it came to learning owing to the lack of access to technology and the exorbitant costs involved. We understand that helping one child might not change the world but it might change the world for that child for sure! As a small gesture of support and philanthropy from our end, in collaboration with the Being Human Foundation, we distributed much-needed tabs to the children in an NGO in Pimpri, Pune to ensure their learning progresses smoothly. Under this initiative, students can gain access to an array of learning resources and virtual sessions at no cost.

In collaboration with the Aakankasha foundation, we have taken initiatives like ‘Fist full of grains’ to distribute food and groceries to orphanages and blind schools. We purchased bags made by students at Aakanksha foundation and distributed the same to our business partners and students.

Building a future ready generation across the social strata has always been our vision and Birla group of schools and our tech driven version ‘Birla Brainiacs’ has been consistently striving at achieving this dream of a country that has the privilege of uniform education to one and all.

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What was your idea behind setting up Birla Brainiacs?

Ed-tech in India is a vast market that is growing every day and this brings about a need for them to not just prepare for the demands of the present, but also to gear up aggressively for that of the future by bringing learning alive. It has been our vision at The Birla Group to bring about revolutionary changes in this sector by introducing various alternatives for different audiences and consumers in the education sector. Right from online schooling embodying a blended learning system and courses targeting skill development such as coding, to home-schooling – we have left no stone unturned. We strongly believe that modern technologies like machine learning, virtual reality, artificial intelligence among others, can be involved in bridging the vital gaps. Building a future ready generation across the social strata has always been our vision and Birla group of schools and our tech driven version ‘Birla Brainiacs’ has been consistently striving at achieving this dream of a country that has the privilege of uniform education to one and all.    

What is your take on the current scenario of the education system? What challenges do you see as an industry expert?

There is still a ton of potential for improvement in the educational framework. There is a glaring need to focus on high-quality, low-cost and replicable interventions to address gaps in the education system. New challenges demand novel approaches to the process of teaching-learning. Despite many efforts to upgrade and improve India’s education system through comprehensive policies and schemes, a significant portion of the country’s population does not have access to primary schooling. This is because even today, many remote areas lack proper school infrastructure and qualified teaching staff. However, online learning and modern innovations have brought about a major shift in the way society and students perceive education. As educational practices are being recalibrated with the emergence of the National Education Policy 2020, the future of the Indian education system does appear bright to an extent.

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India has seen a boom with reference to start-up coming in picture? What is your thought process?

The Indian startup ecosystem has evolved considerably over the last two decades. While the availability of easy capital has often been cited as a primary reason for the boom in the startups, it is the focus on innovation that helped script the success story. There is a huge need for innovative solutions, particularly those that alleviate poverty and benefit a large number of people. Given the scale of India and its resource constraints, low-cost, high-impact solutions are required.

What are your future plans in terms of the brand’s you are associated with?

For Birla Open Minds, we want to be the top K12 franchising brand in India, and also expand our company owned schools pan India, with focus on Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

For Brainiacs, the goal is increase pur paid users to a million, integrate VR & AR into all our courses and eventually join the unicorn club.