Having lived in France, India, Russia and the US, Ashish Rajpal, Managing Director, iDiscoveri, blends a successful track record at Fortune-500 companies with a passion for education. A co-founder, he has an MBA from XLRI and an Ed.M (Mind, Brain and Education) from Harvard University. Drawing upon his inter-disciplinary background in education, management and cognitive psychology, Rajpal has done innovative work in the areas of school curriculum, teacher education, leadership, and creativity.
In an interview with Ashish Rajpal, Digital Learning gets a peep into the social enterprise called iDiscoveri
Please tell us about your journey from the management to education sector. How did iDiscoveri come into being?
I started my career in Procter & Gamble in India and then moved to Russia and finally France, where I was the Worldwide Marketing Director for Groupe Danone. While my career was taking off in the corporate world, my attention was gradually turning towards education, entrepreneurship and India. My two young children led me to understand that each child is created different; yet the schooling we receive does not necessarily cater to those differences. I studied the works of leading educationists like Howard Gardner, John Dewey and Sri Aurobindo. I realised that each child has an innate potential that can be unleashed if the educational experience was connected to real life. I wanted to invest the rest of my life creating and scaling up a quality educational programme that can reach a large number of children. I took a break from work to study at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and then returned to India in 2002 to lead iDiscoveri.
iDiscoveri was co-founded in 1996 by me and a group of classmates from XLRI Jamshedpur. We started off as a small adventure-based summer programme called Youreka