Ashutosh Khurana,Co- Founder &Director, Mind Edutainment Pvt Ltd

By Team YS|8th Mar 2009
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What many fail to understand or even dare to attempt is what Ashutosh Khurana has pioneered and accomplished. In one of the most unique endeavours of its kind, Khurana, an Engineering  graduate with post graduation in Advertising, established Mind Edutainment Pvt Ltd. The company is among the first in the world to be exploring the field of developing Thinking Skills among students in grades KG to XII through its ‘in-school’ program — ‘My Thinking Program’.

This program has been created with the objective to equip our future generations with the wisdom of structured ‘thinking skills’ and ‘thinking processes’.


At some or the other point of time, people do tend to question the thinking processes imprinted during our childhood. And later in the life, hardcore experiences force them to unlearn such processes and re-establish them in a new way. But by means of My Thinking Program, a mode has been developed to provide the right kind of experience to a child at the initial stages of process formation.


Khurana believes that the development of thinking skills is an embryonic process and the methodology of such a program should have the sensitivity to understand the age specific abilities of the children. It was for this reason that My Thinking Program has been created as a progressively evolving thinking skill-development curriculum-cum-delivery program for KG to XII grade students.


Each grade undergoes various thinking concepts, which are linked to the development of various Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). These real life applicable thinking concepts are delivered within the framework of various fundamental thinking skills, by linking a set of thinking skills to its corresponding thinking processes and thereby relevant processes forming a thinking concept. 

 

Khurana’s signature line ‘Who Am I – the more I discover, the more is the quest’, explains why he wanted to become an entrepreneur. He has worked with some of the most reputed corporate houses and brand names and has held some of the most crucial leadership portfolios. “During my 14 years stint in the corporate world I realised that the one thing that brings about a difference in an individual is their thinking abilities. A number of times I have experienced that a lot of our cognitive, social and emotional processes are formed during the initial years of school and college. This inspired me to develop a programme that could impart such skills to children right from an early age; to instil in them skills that can help them become cognizant and successful individuals in all walks of life; skills which are independent of all influences and dependent only on their own thinking abilities.


Khurana faced a number of challenges as an amateur entrepreneur but sums them up in three folds, ”I had to make the schools understand that there is a need to look at the development of thinking skills as a process of training as is true for subjects like Math or Sanskrit. This apart, I also found it challenging to expose the myth among parents that thinking development is a natural process dependent upon age. But the most difficult of them all was to form a team of members willing to challenge their own ways of thinking and adapt new ways.”


A turning point in any business is a time when the product or service on offer is able to garner life-long meanings and advantages for its customers. Fortunately for Khurana, within the first quarter of the implementation of the program at DPS Mathura Road,Ahlcon Public School and DAV Gurgaon, students expressed the need to strengthen their way of thinking, both cognitive and emotional. And that was the turning point for Mind Edutainment.


When asked what drive him to further this initiative, Khurana promptly replies, “What we give to our future generations, they would multiply and give it back to us. That is how we benefited our past generation and that is how we shall be benefited. Through this program we are sowing the seeds of our future.”


Khurana’s sons, Krishnansh (six-and-a-half-years old) and Shivansh (five-years old) are his inspiration. Any thinking tool he introduces in his program is given to them first. And they are so honest that they reveal what tool is making them learn cognitively and emotionally.


So far, a program so exhaustive and efficacious as Khurana’s, which has been able to define delivery and imparting of thinking skills directly, is one of its kinds in the world. Besides, in other programs that do exist, development thinking is either indirect or is delivered as rules. My thinking Program, on the other hand, is a robust business model. It can be integrated in the school curriculum just like an additional subject. The company plans to scale its business model by developing its own thinking development tools and games. As of now, these tools are imported from various international companies across the globe, but with domestic production, cost of the program can be slashed considerably.


In the next 6-8 months, the company plans to launch the program in Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata while in a year’s time it hopes to develop modules on thinking development for college students. Plans of starting a vocational job-oriented program for qualified students, who wish to take thinking development as a field of training and research, is also in the pipeline.


By 2010, Mind Edutainment aims to have a presence in the all the state capitals of the country and develop all the tools in-house. It will also aggressively participate in various national and international funded projects for a rollout of the program in the rural areas. And if things go as planned, the company will have its presence in 30 countries across the globe in the next 5 years, training 10 million students every year.


And what are Khurana’s tips for aspiring entrepreneurs? “After you have taken up a business, ask yourself if the venture will sustain your will and motivation and keep your positive spirits high during those extremely tough times and follow whatever is the answer.”

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