The Next Billion Indians – No Formal Education, 4800 Books Make Them Smart

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The Next Billion Indians – No Formal Education, 4800 Books Make Them Smart

I recently attended a 2 day conference at the Godrej India Culture Lab, Mumbai. The Lab is a place for all kinds of people to meet, share, inspire, amaze, thrill and cause valuable collisions that make this world a better place.

4800 books, first generation English language speakers and a debate on GM crops!

One of the speakers showed a story of a small private school somewhere in Coimbatore (India) where he was invited to judge a debate competition.

He assumed the debate will be another one of those usual topics (because the eldest student was class 10th). To his surprise the students were discussing GM crops and deliberated with strong facts from published reports/ papers in the US.

Ref to speaker: P Sainath from PARI

What’s so special in the paragraph above?

The students were from lesser fortunate background. Most of them couldn’t afford a private education outside their village. None if their families have ever spoken English. They don’t have proper access to Internet. To top it all, all of what they know is thanks to the 4800+ books that are part of their library. Its these books that have shaped their senses, understanding of the world and a deep sense of fact based argument making.

The library, the books

The next billion Indians across Tier 2&3 cities are learning in many different ways. The usual education system that most of us have been through is no longer the only standard that’s driving India forward.

Education and literacy is an incredibly opportunity (for Bharat) if you were to create a billion dollar business while creating valuable impact for your customers.

If you are keen to understand the next layer of connected users across Tier 2&3 cities in India, reach me:

Reach me at: paritosh(at) facebook / twitter / Linkedin

Featured Image Credit: Glen Noble


The Next Billion Indians – Excite 2K17 – Hyderabad

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The Next Billion Indians – Excite 2K17 – Hyderabad

I have visited the incredible city of Hyderabad multiple times, though my last visit in June of 2017 was the most memorable.

I witnessed India accelerate into the future with 300 bright students chosen from across colleges to be part of the prestigious Excited 2K17 program.

Of-course its easy writing the words above. The picture below shows a room with open windows. The temperature in the room would have been nothing less than 40 – 42 degrees (Im very sure). Each one of these inspired souls still was full of energy, ideas and dreams.

My association with Excite 2K17

I have had a brief association with the program. I was fortunate enough to visit the space, thanks to my friend Ankur Mehta. I was introduced to Pankaj Diwan at the JNTU campus. This was my first meeting with Pankaj and Im a fan.

A letter to every ignited soul at Excite 2K17

Hi All, thank you for taking this great nation to global leadership. Every step counts and no effort is small. I was deeply moved by seeing you guys hustle in the room.

Since I couldn’t be there for your valedictory day, here’s a letter, I hope will fuel the fire in you!

I spoke about purpose the other day. I will repeat the same today. But how do you find your purpose? Its not that suddenly some halo will appear and you will find your calling. At least it did not happen to me. To understand my strengths and finally my purpose, I have worked hard. I have said ‘yes’ to opportunities of all shapes and kinds.

Every opportunity accelerated me further.

But I was not lucky. Infact I don’t believe in luck. I worked hard on every opportunity and learnt faster. The more I worked the better I got at somethings which today have become my art.

So understand that winning/ losing at Excite 2K17 or for that matter in life is of no meaning. Everything is an opportunity. Your only job is to increase the probability of getting the opportunity that will give you flight.

You get to know the best suited opportunity for you only when you know what ‘is not’ suited for you. And that you know by failing at a few things!

So go Do. Fail. Repeat. In this journey you will find your purpose a lot sooner than later.

I end with one more learning, love your wife, build an incredible future for the next generation (be a phenomenal and practical parent) and dedicate your life to your parents. They are the real Gods.

Stay Healthy. Move Fast. Do Good.