Ad Land’s Young Guns: Nirvaan Birla, Founder & MD, Birla Open Minds Education
Nirvaan Birla is on a mission to expand Birla Open Minds to 1,000+ schools Pan India, and with Birla Brainiacs’ reach 100,000+ paid users in India, Europe, and America. Furthermore, he also desires to increase the number of company-owned operated schools for Birla Open Minds to 65 schools in the next 5 years. Ed-tech platform Birla Brainiacs offers hybrid homeschooling and upskilling to students from kindergarten to 12th grade. As the organisation’s founder and leader, he oversees and manages the overall business operations, aiming to propel the company to new heights and vistas.
In conversation with Adgully, Nirvaan Birla, Founder and Managing Director, Birla Open Minds Education and Birla Brainiacs, speaks about his journey with his organisation, icons who have inspired him, a long term career in Ed-tech industry, and more.
What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
Not to boast about myself, but I think I possess qualities of creativity, dynamism and leadership. But every day, I’m working to learn and acquire new skills, because that’s the need of the hour and ever-evolving business industry.
How did you join your current organisation?
After completing my masters from the United Kingdom, I wanted to join the family business, and thus joined Birla Open Minds as the Head of Business Development. After proving my mettle, gradually I earned the chair of the Managing Director.
Icons in this field you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
The education field has many icons who have changed the way one looks at the sector today. But, the one who has had the biggest impact on me is Lina Ashar. She is someone I look up to and learn from. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that she’s a powerhouse of a brand. From creating an empire like Billabong, to her associations with Subhash Chandra and making Zee Education’s presence felt in every nook and corner, Lina has proved that nothing is impossible.
What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?
My everyday routine is very simple, and I’m sure many will relate to it. I start my day with meditation, followed by a 5 to 10 km jog, a few hours of hardcore workout and end with some Pranayam. While this is all to do with physical wellbeing, I ensure to take some ‘me time’ and read either fiction or non-fiction books. These five activities don’t just keep me productive and motivated, but offer a good balance for my physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Do you think a career in this field is a viable one in the long term?
Yes, without any doubt, a career in this field is extremely viable. This is one of the few sectors that offer an all-round development of the individual. From implementing your strength to acquiring new skill sets each day, you will experience immense growth, both professional and personal.
What does it take to succeed in a career?
Even the most successful people cannot answer this question, as there’s no particular formula to success. But having said that, there are elements that one can work on to achieve their goals, and be successful. The first quality that one must possess is determination, as firmness of purpose can streamline the way toward achieving goals. This has to be followed by focus, as without a clear vision, direction and interest, nothing can ever fall into place. Being determined and focused alone will not help, as patience is the key to progress. Also not to miss, luck also plays an important role. While Determination, Focus, Patience and Luck are crucial, Consistency in attitude and approach is the game changer.
What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
Having worked with and among the youth, I believe today’s generation is smart, advanced and street smart. But I understand the apprehensions and nervousness youngsters entering the field face, as I’ve gone through it myself. Hence, my advice to them is to have an optimistic approach, study international trends thoroughly and train their minds to think ahead of the markets. Additionally, they must spend maximum time on R&D, as in-depth understanding about their field will make them stand apart.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I expected this question, and like most, I also have a future plan in mind. I’m entirely focused on making education more accessible, and nurture students to bring out the best in them. In the course of 5 years from now, I aim to provide thorough education, learning and practical experience to students globally, and ultimately enhance the quality of education. Also, the most important goal that I’ve set for myself is to successfully run a Rs 100-crore turnover company, and I hope that I make it happen.
Is there any organisation that you would like to work with in the future?
If you would’ve asked this question some years ago, I would’ve definitely said ‘Birla Open Minds’, as it has been my dream. And after a lot of hard work and perseverance, the dream of working with and for Birla Open Minds has come true. I feel blessed to head a robust team at Birla Open Minds, and strive to put in my best foot forward to make Birla, a name synonymous with education too.