When the bestseller Stay Hungry Stay Foolish hit the market, the whole country read with curiosity and awe the story of 25 Entrepreneurs who had one thing in common. All graduates from IIMs, they turned away lucrative Corporate offers to walk the path lesser known.
Around the same time, two young minds from the same background, in our own Gurgaon, highly influenced by the book and Job’s famous speech, decided to pursue the passion they had nurtured since their college days.
Kavish Sarawgi & Rohan Jain, both graduates from IIM Lucknow, were comfortably placed in the corporate sector when they decided to pursue their passion full time – an opportunity to develop the right attitude and skill sets in children, to make them stand out in an increasingly competitive world. Later on, Jagruti, who has undergone professional development at Harvard, and has been actively working with children, also bought into the idea of this young group.
Aptly named Stones2Milestones, it is today an education space where all students feel happy. It is a place they want to come to… not have to!
“We started with the idea that most of the life skills and attitudes, that MBA Institutes and Corporate trainings aim to develop in a person, are best inculcated at a formative age,” says Kavish.
They spent a lot of time understanding this space, and brought together the best brains and experience – of people who are passionate about changing the way children are taught, and want to give significant importance to the creativity of a child.
One of the key areas identified by them is ‘reading skills and a reading habit’ among primary school students. “We aim to give children the reading advantage, to create children who choose to read - for purpose and for pleasure. Our core belief is that explicit reading instructions help children to become better readers, than if they were left alone. Such reading instructions are more than just phonics or vocabulary – they are a special blend of skill instruction and a value for—and an interest in—reading. Children will not only know ‘How’ to read but also ‘Why’ to read,” says Jagruti.
Curiosity and imagination in children need a thoughtful stimulation, to nurture them in the right direction – so we developed a programme for the imaginative, inquiring, inspired minds. “The coming world belongs to the people with ideas, and their ability to execute those ideas. It requires people who can think with clarity, can analyse situations, can create new solutions; who are compassionate, sensitive, and better learners. iMinds is an endeavour to enable all these in young and agile minds,” explains Kavish. “Our only wish is that Stones2Milestones succeeds in creating a mark in the lives of many youngsters, that will help shape the future of our country.”
“All this would not have been possible without the support of our parents, and our respective spouses,” says Komal, a facilitator. “Though at first they were flabbergasted, they got to see our point – for these were the same parents who wanted their kids to love to learn. They had imbued in us a passion for learning – which is quite different from just studying to earn a grade, or to please parents or teachers. So naturally, since we developed a love of learning at an early age, we are continuing the process to date – and now also teaching children to have this passion,” says Kavish.
Steve Job’s words are their mantra: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on….Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself...”