Rao’s IIT Academy
Rao’s is a brand, much like Philips, Johnson and Johnson’s, and Johnny Walker. In the internet age, a marker of a successful brand is the number of copy cat returns when you google it. There are several Rao’s’s coaching academies. Yet, the Rao’s’s that you heard, from your friends, your sister’s friend, second cousin, or just someone you know who studied there, is most probably the Rao’s IIT Academy.
The man behind the brand
The eponymous Dr. B. V. Rao’s is a man of many degrees. M. S. in organic chemistry, M. Sc in Chemical Engineering, and a Ph. D. in Material Science to wash it all down. He is a sturdy, bespectacled man, dynamic in his stature, even as he sits, as if he might just start telling you about quite an interesting benzene reaction.
Rao’s IIT Academy started the academy in Kota, the Kasi-Varanasi for IIT aspirants. Like Google, which is a technology giant but known mainly for the search engine, Rao’s’s is a coaching academy for the medically inclined too, though the name has stuck, partly because of the sheer numbers, 12000 to be precise who have made it to the IITs through Rao’s’s academy over the years.
Rao’s now serves as Chairman for Rao’s IIT Academy. He does continue to serve his passion of teaching by devoting certain hours in a week for it. This is not surprising for a man with fourteen patents, several awards dating as far back as 1989. As he says in his welcome address on the website, “the price of success” does seem to come from “unflinching desire, dedication and the determination.”
Rao’s centers are currently located in Mumbai, Kota, Pune, Delhi, Nagpur and Silvassa. Rao’s also plans to expand to Gujarat and West Bengal soon.
How does it compare with others?
For every house in Kota, there are four coaching centers in Kota. What sets apart Rao’s is the clean, squeaky image of it being the brainchild of an highly qualified chemical engineer/doctor whose passion seems to be teaching. Apart from the vision, there is a certain holistic approach to coaching in Rao’s’s.
When one goes through their website, you find that the entire institute is designed aorund the philosophy of getting the maximum clarity to students about the subjects. The classes are balanced with doubt sessions which aim to remove blocks to clarty at the onset itself.
Kota is known for its competitievness. It is also a sad remainder of the failed mental health side of coaching institutes. Education, after all, is a mental exercise. When the mind breaks, there is not much more to feed to it. We are constantly reminded of the stressful environment of Kota by the frequent news of untimely demise of students.
When the suicides in Kota increased, Rao’s was not hesitant in admitting that institutes “can’t take care of these students 24×7.” Maybe this is also why there is a student support and counselling oriented approach to coaching in Rao’s. They also have a Student Welfare Team, a team of 3 doctors, which tends to the examination stress of students by counselling.
Rao’s’s is also fast to adapt to technology with their biometric attendance system, CCTV systems, notification channels to alert students on upcoming tests, classes.
In an almost Lacanian twist, coaching centers are now a viable career choice for IIT graduates. Rao’s boasts a 200+ faculty fleet. The glassdoor reviews of the cente rs quite favourable in a time where coaching institutes are seen as hectic work places. One repeated vibe seems to be the ‘relaxed work environment’, and ‘stable’ work place.
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