For a decade, children have been adapting to a variety of new emerging advancements in the education sector. Including courses in the curriculum, like robotics accompanied AI, enhances education at foundation levels of learning, like school and college students.
The emergence of various fields, such as robotics, IoT, 3D printing, etc., are upskilling in the 21st century powered by the industry and its advancements. The hybrid model of teaching, is enabling access for the children, who will be the citizens of the future.
Pursuing the same thought for positively impacting children, Udhay Shankar Polavaram, the Founder of Do It Yourself Academy (DIYA), aims to uplift them with skill sets for the future, through well-proofed career-oriented courses powered by unique teaching methodologies. They partner with UK, US, Singapore, and Australian education institutions and companies to ensure international standard. Adaptable training programs in coding, algorithms, industrial automation, robotics, AI, IoT, 3D printing, and much more.
Let’s peek into this emerging academy. Below are the highlights of the interview.
Please let us know about the saga story of your career since its beginning.
I was pursuing my bachelors in Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineering when I was selected on a scholarship for an international immersion program in Australia. There I volunteered at STEMSEL Foundation, a 25+-year-old foundation dedicated to transforming society and the life of children through STEAM. I was amazed to see innovations of children as young as 7-8 years, and among them was little 8-year-old Kaviya from Chidambaram, India, who has made a texting plant, which would send a message to the Gardner saying ‘Water Me’ if the soil moisture level is less. She won a multi-lakh scholarship for her innovation.
This made me wonder, what if we can present an opportunity for our Children to learn, build and innovate, and even more, what if we can positively impact the underprivileged? With support from Australia, we manufactured the first set of robotic kits in India at 20% of the cost, truly realizing the power of Make in India. With the support of our friends and volunteers, we started TRY (The Reformer in You), where we empowered children from Government Schools and Orphanages with Robotics Education. Our students won first place at a National Level Robotics Contest, which enabled us to visualize the impact we had created. To ensure that we can continue the impact we have created, we founded DIYA (Do It Yourself Academy), a for-profit organization that empowers students from Schools and Colleges to become future-ready! The thought was to fund TRY by generating revenues from DIYA.
Tell us about the mission, vision, and core values for your future success.
To be the foundation of future readiness for 10 million+ students across 100+ countries by 2033, making DIYA the 1,000+ crore compassionate global hands-on technology education leader.
Making students future-ready by empowering them with hands-on, internationally certified, industry-oriented technology education through various in-person, virtual, and international experiential education models powered by our proprietary TechXploratIon pedagogy, enabling meaningful and structured engagement from kindergarten to corporate, by nurturing an international multi-level network of passionate Edu-Preneurs towards building an ever-growing community of DIYA-ventors combining the aspects of tradition and innovation, by immersing in a culture of compassion, constant innovation, and customer ecstasy.
- Excellence in Experiential Education
- Building Meaningful Relationships
- Tradition learning practices + Innovative tools and platforms
- Constant and Consistent Learning + innovation
- Accountability and Recognition
- Customer Ecstasy
- Begin with the end in mind
Being a prominent leader, how do you manage to influence others?
The best way to influence others is by enabling them to visualize or see things practically. The first way is to explain and help them analyze, understand, and accept the outcome of a certain action/ activity. The second way is for people to see us doing it, as actions speak louder than words. But for either to happen, people should either see us as a role model or as someone who cares for them.
During your journey, what challenges, you came across, and how did you overcome them?
Our assumptions and real-time situations seldom match. The world is so huge, with different types of people having different expectations. When a business is launched, the sample size we interact with is quite small, and we are less prepared. Having started this business right out of college, I had limited or no sales, marketing, compliance, project management, and people management experience. The best way to overcome any situation is to ask the right people for help. I am part of a wonderful BNI forum, which has helped shape me as an entrepreneur and build connections. Mentors and forums are essential for every entrepreneur.
Do you provide any global exposure in your institute?
We have built international technology partnerships in the UK, USA, Singapore, and Australia. This enables us to maintain international standards of education, offer certification, enable our students to interact with international experts, and have an international immersion program, where we send students overseas for 7 – 14 days for international exposure.
What are the major factors that keep motivating you towards your goal, and how do you inspire students to select an interesting career for their bright future?
The biggest motivation for any entrepreneur is the words of gratitude from a customer. Entrepreneurs are problem solvers, change makers, and innovators. Results of positive impact and transforming lives drive us to strive for bigger impact. The best way to inspire students is to enable experience and showcase success stories of people with unique careers. We have created a unique pedagogy called TechXploratIon, which includes us introducing different technologies to students, enabling students to build different projects and explore the technologies, and finally empowering students to create innovative solutions.
Which activities do you conduct in your institute to maintain maximum student engagement?
Being into Robotics and Coding education, more than 70% of the learning time is hands-on. We have project presentation sessions, student-led sessions for students to explain the concepts and steps taken to build their projects, innovation contests, experience sharing, and parent interaction sessions.
As an inspiring leader, what would be your message to students worldwide?
The effort to explore is highly crucial. Many a time, I see most of the students all set to follow the usual norm, taking it as it comes and not having the fire to carve a niche for themselves. My only advice would be to explore and try multiple things, identify your passion, and give it all it takes to make it your profession. Even if circumstances demand a short detour for you to get there, you will wake up every morning filled with energy, as with every passing day, you move closer to making your dream come true!
What is your vision for your institute/organization and you also?
We put in the best of our efforts to realize a simple dream – to be the foundation for students’ future! Many a time, people lock horns with their competitors, but we are a little bit different; we look to partner with our competition. We look to see how we can work together to make the world a better place. That is how passionate we are to positively impact the lives of students by enabling them to develop 21st-century skills through Future-Tech. Our vision is expanding globally through our unique franchising models (which we call partnership models), ranging from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 25,00,000, which empower anyone starting from a homemaker to a seasoned education entrepreneur to build and grow with us whilst ensuring fulfilment of pockets and purpose. I am driven to put in consistent efforts to carve a reputation for myself as the face of foundation-level STREAM education.