In a heart to heart conversation with John Mohd. Bhatt, an alumni of Shoolini University who dared to follow his dreams.
Where did you get the drive for establishing a futuristic school in Kapuwara?
It was my dream to establish a good institution in my native place Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir. Having done by schooling as well as Engineering from Himachal Pradesh, I was always fascinated by the developments taking place in Solan. Watching small towns grow, I felt the need of having good institutions in my hometown as well. The idea was to make education accessible - at doorstep. I know the pain of staying away from parents. With the help of my Uncle Jalal-u-din, the idea lingered all through my professional stint.
What was it like when you first got started?
I was working as a software engineer in Bangalore with Centurylink Technologies. However, my dream to start my new school motivated me to leave my job. But, due to financial constraints and unrest in J&K, I was unable to set up my dream project. To make ends meet, I went to Mumbai and started working as a data scientist. After working for some time, I came back to Kapuwara and, this time, was fully prepared to make my dream turn in to reality.
Who has most influenced you to become an educator, and how did they influence you?
I was inspired by the development of Solan district. I had this idea in my mind when I was in Blue Star Hamirpur but at Shoolini University it became a dream. I have seen our university grow from the first year and the passion Mr. P.K. Khosla showcased. He is my true inspiration. His dedication and the hardwork of all faculty members has made Shoolini University stand amongst the top universities in the world. Mr. Atul Khosla gave me the courage to pursue my dreams without any hestitation. We saw him leaving a successful career as he jumped into education and followed his true passion.
What were some significant challenges you’ve had to overcome and how did you get past them?
First and most important challenge was to convince my family. Society always tries to sabotage our dreams by forcing us to confirm to the held convictions. People made fun of me as they thought it was a mistake to leave a settled job and sit at home to start a school. But, I did not give up. When I was able to convince my family, we started taking small steps and started purchasing land. It took me 4 years to own one acre of land. Then, without taking too much burden, we constructed an 8 rooms building and finally completed the interiors this year itself. Getting a good staff was also a challenge, for that our HR at Delhi office helped us religiously.
I did not let anyone deter my spirits. All throughout my journey, I kept reading motivational books, and never let any negativity deter me from moving towards my dream. Every day I started with a positive thought. I believe it is important to have a clear vision and proper planning to achieve all our dreams.
Are there any valuable lessons learned that you would like share?
One thing I have learned is never to give up. Today if something is not going according to your plan, then don't lose hope. It is necessary to make a note of everything, and then, self-introspect. Try again tomorrow, you will definitely feel the difference. Good communication helps a lot while you are presenting your plan or counselling any parent. Read a lot. The more you read, the more you can express. You need to show your presence in the market, it is equally important to present your key strengths out in the market to succeed in life.
Since you are an alumni of Shoolini University, can you sum up your experience there?
I can never thank Shoolini University enough. The university helped in shaping my personality. SPRINT sessions were a great way to learn new things, and has helped me throughout my journey. Suri Sir beautifully taught us the entrepreneurship subject which gave me direction and knowledge of financial institutions. It helped me to think like an entrepreneur.
I must say that Shoolini University gave me the base to be an entrepreneur. I was inspired by Mr. P.K. Khosla’s dream. If he can dream to make Shoolini University rank amongst the top 200 global universities, then everyone can and should dream big.
I am proud to be part of Shoolini University. I always pray for its success and I want it to be the best university in the world.