Dr Neena Gayathri – The Learning Pedagogy Innovator

Dr. Neena Gayatri | COO ( Global) | ACEnovation India Pvt Ltd
Dr. Neena Gayatri | COO ( Global) | ACEnovation India Pvt Ltd

Necessity is the mother of invention, goes the adage related to the Greek philosopher Plato.  To Dr Neena Gayathri, the saying also means, ‘Necessity is also the mother of evolution’.

Yes, to Dr Gayathri, constantly evolving is her mantra to merit. As a child born to two simple, innocent but forward-looking people belonging to the Nilgiris District, she was arrayed to the dictums of truth, trust, service, simplicity, courage, aim and empathy not only by her dear parents but also by her alma mater St. Hildas School, Ooty, and when she means her alma mater, she also means her dearest Head Mistress Ms Devdason, all the godly teachers to whom she was par, and all her schoolmates.

An Odyssey of Revolution

It was in her alma mater she thought the poem of Lord Tennyson ‘Ulysses’ where the words ‘to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield’ has been etched in her soul and spirit. As all small things were done towards the destination of greatness and accomplishment has to commence with the first step of determination. Her determination, together with her thirst for knowledge and a passion for performance towards her journey of accomplishment, now sees her as the leader, Co-founder & COO of ACEnovation Pte Ltd, a Singapore based company.

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination and innovation. ACEnovation aims to encourage students to explore research and use any tools possible to uncover something new and lead, and never to merely follow.

Reflecting on her accomplishments, Dr Gayathri said, “It is no mean matter that a small-town girl has made it thus far despite all the odds stacked against me in a male-dominated society, my spirit says, ‘go on.’

She has thus far evolved and effectuated her abilities as an educational administrator, public relations exponent and corporate trainer with over two decades of experience in teaching, chiefly in the area of Management.

At the age of twenty-eight, she was asked to head the Department of Business Administration at MOP Vaishnav College for Women. Being a people person, her networking skills saw her taking up key positions at both Stella Maris College and SRM Easwari, where she headed the Industry Institution Interaction Cell. After which, she took charge as the Dean of the Gojan Group of Educational Institutions at Chennai.

The Everchanging Constant

The only thing that is constant is ‘change’; it is another word for evolution together with the belief that knowledge that is not shared is in vain; she had authored two books on management, as she believes the word of Buddha when he said aeons ago that ‘there is no wealth like knowledge and no poverty like ignorance.’ As a teacher, she would like her students to be updated and wealthy with knowledge.

In her constant evolution, she had been conferred as the winner of the MMA’s Young Manager award and the Outstanding Woman Manager award; the recognition is an assuring pat on the back towards her destination of excellence.

An idle mind stagnates, and stagnation is unhealthy. Hence, to apprise herself, she has pursued and successfully completed a course on Entrepreneurship conducted by IIM-Bangalore, University of Colombia, London School of Economics and NEN, USA.

The responsibility of having been a member of the Board of Studies, University of Madras, has further added a new dimension to her career as the UNOM is the mother of almost all the oldest Universities in southern India. She is also on the Board of Studies at Stella Maris College.

Exuding Roles of Compassion

The word empathy was inspired by none other than Noble Laurette Mother Teresa, soon to be St. Mother Teresa. She is a blessed recipient of personal letters from Mother herself for her keenness towards social service. This has seen her donning many roles as the Secretary of an NGO -SOURCE, in the awareness creation, intervention and prevention of AIDS in its many seminars, exhibitions and marathons conducted in Chennai and Nilgiris.

This empathy also made her one of the persons instrumental in setting up the IGNOU open university centre at the Puzhal Central Prison. She also trained the inmates and police personnel of the Puzhal Prison on Stress Management and Life Skills. She is on the Board for Women Safety at the MIOT Hospitals, Chennai. Her love for the elderly has seen her board the Advisory Committee of the Dignity Foundation of India, Chennai Chapter.

Life is a Marathon

As a child, she was blessed to grow up in a village atmosphere with lots of open space for playing and running. This enthusiasm was encouraged in her school days where she, who once was a runner who ended up at the bottom of the table, turned the table with her determination and dedicated training won many accolades in inter-house level sports competitions held within the school and inter-school level athletics events held at MRC, Wellington winning gold medals in both individual and team events. Now on this day, she is a Member of the Chennai District Taekwondo Association and the President of the Handball Academy of Tamil Nadu. She is honoured to be the Tamil Nadu State Spokesperson for Veterans India Family… A group led by our ex-servicemen!

She firmly believes in living life purposefully, and she is very passionate about research and has written articles for national and international journals. Her flair for writing has seen her freelance articles appear in the national daily ‘The Hindu’. She has also authored three books: two on management and one on taekwondo.

Her people and networking skills have made her take up key roles in the Indo American Association, Madras Management Association, Indian Society for Training and Development, HR Sangam, ASSOCHAM, CII, SIICI, FICCI, ICACT etc.

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Blessed with a wonderful broad-minded family, her daughter Thvarita, a fifteen-year-old, tenth standard student of Chinmaya Vidyalaya, is an international Taekwondo Champion. She has represented India in the International championships held in the year 2017.

Thvarita was chosen for the Youth Leadership Programme of Harvard University and mentored by Professors and Alumni on Mind Matters, mental health initiative. She has also started the Improve India Foundation, an initiative for the children and by the children. This foundation, a brainchild of Thvarita, is to change the mindsets of today’s youngsters to create a better tomorrow. There she reaches out to the poor and the deprived through Sole Warriors (collecting old footwear, refurbishing and giving to the needy), through Apalam Chapalam (a storytelling platform that takes stories to the houses of the poor and needy students across India) with the help of ACEnovation and BluHornbill Club.

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