Chairman Sharda Group of Institutions
"the story of Indian Entrepreneurship"
Education is more than just the memorization or learning of theories, it is the pathway of gaining access to a better life and in the bigger picture it leads to a better human society.
Mr. P. K. Gupta has been privy to this fact for some time now and as Founder Chairman of the Sharda Group of Institutions is among the leading educational reformers in India. As the entrepreneur behind Sharda University he has revamped the way education is imparted in his colleges and in educational institutions across India.
Business Idea- Unlike most other institutions of formal learning Sharda University stresses upon not what they are teaching but whom and how… It is “An education system which would inculcate an application based approach in the young students enlightened the thought of opening up educational institutions which would focus more on nurturing the talent & develops curiosity of young individuals.”
Target Market – Every young mind looking for quality education factoring in your average and not so average students should take a look at their offerings. From the Hindustan Institute of Science & Technology to the Hindustan Institute of Management & Computer Studies, they cover a large spectrum of subjects. They also set up Anand Engineering College in 1998 and Babu Mohanlal Arya Samarak (BMAS) Engineering College in 1999 to meet the growing demand for quality education
In 2000, Anand College of Pharmacy was established and by 2005, the first of its kind Faculty Development Institute was also founded. Between 2005 to 2008 few more colleges have been added under the group’s umbrella like, Hindustan Institute of Dental Sciences, Hindustan Business School, Hindustan Institute of Technology, HAERT, & Hindustan Institute of Allied Health Sciences & Research.
What sets them apart-
Apart from Mr. Gupta’s altruistic vision Sharda University is also known for application oriented methodology. Mr. P.K. Gupta is also well known for providing and championing the cause of higher education to the girl child. Sharda University has a 90% scholarship for girls whose family cannot afford to pay their tuition fee because of Mr. Gupta’s interest in reducing gender inequality.
Future Plans- The group is looking at expansion on a global scale and has recently announced their intentions. SGI, under the leadership of Mr. P. K. Gupta, is set to realize a new dream of setting up campuses in U.K., U.S., East Asia & Latin America with a family of 1 lakh students by 2020
His Entrepreneurial story- Mr. PK Gupta believes that the true rewards of entrepreneurship are not the kind that can be counted or weighed. He explained what has been most important in his entrepreneurial journey saying “It was not just an intention to be successful or the idea of huge profits that motivated me to foray into the higher education sector. In fact, I was genuinely concerned as I saw the drive in the youth around me. They wished to excel in higher education and it was my good fortune that I was able to provide students in north India with quality education right at their door step. In a way, being an entrepreneur in the education sector also allows me to fulfill my duty towards serving the society. Imparting education is gratifying in itself. It’s a matter of great pride to be able to provide the means for shaping the youth of India.”
Born on 9th December 1959, in Agra, Mr. Gupta was brought up in a family with strong values and dedication towards social service. His grandfather, the Late Shri Mohan Lal Arya, was an eminent personality and a freedom fighter in India’s Independence struggle. His father, Mr. A. S. Gupta, who traded in medicines, was a businessman who was involved in the cause of social service.
Like any other child, Mr. Gupta, was more interested in the playground than his books. His interest in studies came from the inspiration and motivation that the principal of his school was able to impart. This later made him realize the importance of a teacher in shaping the future of a child.
On completing his graduation from Victoria Engineering College, he started his career with HNT as a contractor in 1979. By 1980, he was an entrepreneur and had started his business of manufacturing & supplying engineering equipment to various Educational and Research Laboratories.
He diligently spread his business from North India to South India and travelled all over meeting his clients. On his business trips he observed that his co-passengers were mostly students who were travelling from north India to south India for their education. In those days, students had to struggle for admissions in the engineering colleges due to which they travelled to South India. This observation sowed the seeds of what was to come.
In 1985, he shifted to Chennai and through his business networks came across many educators and institutions which were running their colleges in small rented buildings. Realizing the absence and need of infrastructure in an engineering college, he decided to set up a college in Agra.
From then on whenever he met any faculty or visited any institution, he would observe their methods of running an educational institution. He would go through the strengths and weaknesses of the colleges running in Chennai and focused on the teaching pedagogy prevailing in that area.
In 1995, he established the Sharda Education Trust under which he opened up an engineering college by 1996 in Agra, well known as Hindustan Institute of Science & Technology. In 1997, he opened up a second college for students of management and computer science by the name of Hindustan Institute of Management & Computer Studies.
His journey was not bereft of challenges or trails, but his perseverance and vision helped Sharda University to be ranked among the best. M. Gupta says “Our biggest challenge was that of establishing a world class university with one of the best and most flexible education systems in the country. For this, we adopted the best of international standards. We run a credit-based system at Sharda University.”
“This system offers students the flexibility to choose subjects from other streams, which provides them with the opportunity to be exposed to domains other than their core electives .This in turn helps them to develop analytical, logical and reasoning skills.”
“Initially, there was resistance, but I have always believed that challenging the rules with logic creates new rules which lead to innovation. Now, in our very first year, we have witnessed an encouraging response from the community. Parents and students alike have welcomed the university’s initiative towards re-defining the teaching methodology. I can confidently say that we are growing by leaps and bounds.”
Looking at the huge response and demand for colleges, he opened up Anand Engineering College in 1998, & Babu Mohanlal Arya Samarak (BMAS) Engineering College in 1999.
In 2000, Anand College of Pharmacy was established to diversify into other areas of education. By 2005, the first of its kind Faculty Development Institute was set up in the Greater Noida Campus. This establishment was started based on the vision of shifting the management from theory based learning to application based learning. The change was witnessed within the classrooms but the traditional examination system created a resistance in realizing the vision. Thus, the need of a fully innovative system was felt and the idea to set up a university began to come into existence.
The inception of Sharda University in Greater Noida has been a step towards changing the teaching pedagogy to a stress free environment with a flexible credit based teaching providing dual degree courses. 20-30% of the faculties are being appointed from U.K & U.S to provide an international exposure of teaching for the students.
Today, under the umbrella of Sharda Education Trust, with 160 students in 1996 Sharda Group of Institutions have grown to a family of 20,000 students. Over 10,000 students have passed out since the inception. Over 6,000 students have been placed in the best organizations across the nation and almost 4,000 of these students have become entrepreneurs owing to the relevant exposure to entrepreneurship.
In addition to the various educational institutions Mr. Gupta has also set up Maxwel Hotel Private ltd, Agra, Sharda Hospitals Private Ltd, Agra, Sharda Software Solution Private Ltd, Delhi and Maxwel Products, Agra.
Recognition gained- Aside from being known as Sharda University’s founder and guiding light, P.K. Gupta has also found time out of his busy schedule to help society. He is a founding member of the National Chambers of Education Promotion Society of India. At many conferences he has also championed the cause of educational reforms with leaders like Yashpal Sharma, Dr. Abdul Kalam and many other prominent personalities.
He had also submitted a report on educational reforms to the Ministry of HRD and many of his suggestions have been implemented by the Planning Commission. He is an active member of the Agra Club, the Rotary Club (Agra) and the National Chamber of Commerce and Industries. In 2001, Mr. P.K. Gupta was honored with the Udyog Ratna award and a year later with the Uttar Pradesh Ratna award for his many years of service to society.
Entrepreneurial Lesson – The reformer within Mr. P.K. Gupta has advice which he believes every future entrepreneur should pay heed to. He says “I would like to suggest to the young entrepreneurs to
Be job creators instead of job seekers so that you can serve mankind.
- Try to earn profits through products of excellence in every field.
- Money is the byproduct of excellence in your field
- Never say I am working very hard, always work passionately you will never get tired
- Do what you enjoy never choose a career by force”
The Yourstory team thanks Mr. P.K for indulging us with his entrepreneurial story and wishes him success with their international expansion of Sharda University...