The Wheels are Turning - Tribute to the First Turbaned Sikh Graduate from Harvard - Sant Teja Singh Ji

Successful Social Enterprise founded by Harvard Alumnus is subject matter for case-study by IIM-A and finds listing on H...

Only around one out of 200 case studies done by IIM-Ahmedabad are picked up by Harvard Business Review for listing on its case collections, a meagre 0.5%. Dr AS Ghura, IIMA and Prof. Vijay Sherry Chand, Ravi J Matthai Centre for Educational Innovation (RJMCEI), IIMA chose to do a case study titled “The Akal Academies” for the unique strategy of this social enterprise that stands out for innovation and entrepreneurship in Education. This case study published at IIM-A is now a part of Harvard Business case collection and is a field-based case study which documents the real-life dilemma of Baba Iqbal Singh Kingra (Retd. Director Agriculture, Himachal Pradesh), a nonagenarian spiritual leader, popularly known as Babaji. Babaji was simply following the divine vision of his masters Sant Attar Singh ji, who conceptualised the whole mission of synthesising scientific education with moral values and Sant Teja Singh, MA. LLB. AM Harvard, who founded Baru Sahib.
 
Babaji after being handed over the mantle, as Chairperson of The Kalgidhar Trust, a non-profit social development organisation based at Baru Sahib in Himachal Pradesh, was thinking of a route to be adopted (a public-private partnership with the government or enter into management contracts with existing schools  without actually taking over the ownership of the schools or leasing of land) to accelerate the rural school development activities of the Trust to 500 Akal Academies, in the next decade, which shall cater to 250,000 students from a small unit of 19 schools in 2007.
 
The case study becomes unexampled as it documents the unique model been adopted by Akal Academies, by merging spiritual and high quality scientific education, inspired by the Sikh Gurus and faith and how the Trust has been integral in sustaining the growth of Akal Academies from one school in 1986 to 129 schools catering to 70,000 students in 2018. More over the donation based low-cost financial model and loan-driven model for financing the capital cost of new schools is a unique mix to be taught to the future managers who wish to have their careers in education industry by developing skills in evaluating options using a set of criteria, and recommending a plan of action.  
 
It is another fact that Sant Teja Singh was the first turbaned Sikh graduate to have completed his course in Harvard, way back in 1911. Finally, the case study now being available at Harvard Business Case Centre is in itself a pleasant divine blessing and a tribute to Sant Teja Singh Ji (1877 – 1965), who finally got recognized by Harvard and has not only given back to the society, community but also to his alma mater where he completed his AM.

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