Chosen as India’s Inspirational Leader for schools, Shweta Manthena of Samashti International School is building a massive legacy of world-class education with a culture of happiness and sound systems
What is the differentiating factor of your brand
What is the USP of your brand?The USP of Samashti is ‘Values’. In the jet-setting age of today, human values seem to have taken a backseat. Samashti aims to instil the core values in each and every Samashtian, right from pre primary. To that end, students are taught to respect, appreciate and emulate nature through our own ‘Srishti’ curriculum, nature related programs such as Shinrin Yoku, outdoor classrooms, planting saplings and taking care of them etc; respect all, share with and care for all human beings through ‘Bucket fil and bucket dip’ program, learn morals and acquire wisdom through our special ‘Being Wise’ curriculum; be mindful and aware of the present through regular mindfulness sessions; learn to approach everything with heartfulness.
What are your future plans for the brand?From childhood, I have always felt that importance should be given to sports along with academics. I have ensured that the best infrastructure and facilities for sports are provided at Samashti. I would ensure that Samashtians have an education which is a balance of academics, sports and co-curricular activities, with of course everything firmly ground with proper values. My special dream is to see more and more girls in the sports arena. Another initiative at Samashti would be the ‘farm to plate’ strategy. We are planning our own farm at the school premises, where we would be growing vegetables and herbs which would go in to our delicious lunches. The students would be actively involved in the planting, maintenance and plucking of the crops. When children are involved in growing their own food, they develop a sense of pride as well as responsibility. We hope to ensure that our students’ take nutritious food which they themselves helped to cultivate and grow.
What according to you are the key traits of a successful leader?The key traits of a successful leader according to me are: a) Ensuring the best quality human resources – a leaders’ success depends on his/her team. So the leader should take utmost care when hiring the human resources for the organization. b) Proper policies in place for delegation of power – this ensures smooth running of the organization and quick responses in any situation. c) Developing a second line of command- a leader should be able to inspire others and promote their leadership skills. d) Guiding without interfering – Your team should have the independence to work to the best of their capabilities. At the same time, they should have the confidence that the leader is always there to support and guide. e ) Keeping abreast of the latest developments in the sector – This is of paramount importance in the present-day competitive world. Change is the only constant and one has to be updated to proactively respond under any situation. f) Promptly implementing measures which are for the good of the institution – Any hesitation will result in the brand taking a beating from its competitor. g) Last but the most important – Be humane. When taking any decision,ensure that it makes all concerned persons happy. I feel it is the happiness of others that makes a leader successful.
What has been your driving force or philosophy in life?The driving force behind Samashti is – a school where there is an amalgamation of modern technology and traditional values, where academics and sports go hand in hand. That is how Samashti was born. My philosophy has always been ensuring holistic development and the right values in each child and providing a platform for achievements in sports for all students.
How do you define success and how do you measure up to you rown definition?
Your perception of an empowered society.
An empowered society is one in which every human being is a globally responsible citizen, well educated, healthy, happy, caring for the environment and for others, with the right set of values. With nearly 30% of the population below 16 years, the school is the place where the right mindset is developed. So I feel the education industry is uniquely placed to contribute the maximum towards an empowered society.