Getting people to believe in themselves and realise their potential is the goal of IT professional Raghuram Ananthoj, founder of Leading Self, an unconventional educational programme. An IT program manager at DELL Computers by profession, Raghuram hails from the old city of Hyderabad. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Osmania University. However, Raghuram was compelled by an inner desire to share his experiences and teach people to be self-confident and self-assured, and that led him to start Leading Self in June 2013, through which he delivers motivational sessions for free.
“I felt there was something lacking in our education system. Our education system doesn’t teach kids about human potential; children don’t know what they can achieve. I try and prove to the participants that they have infinite potential already,” he shares. In spite of working in the IT sector, Raghuram takes time to deliver lectures in various schools, colleges and corporates. He has so far delivered several sessions in St Joseph’s Public School, Kendriya Vidyalaya CRPF and Jawaharlal Nehru Technology University’s School of Business Management, among others.
“I conduct my sessions in a participative manner and teach them how to be creative. I feel that one single thought can influence millions of people. For example, a cellphone is a result of somebody’s thought, as is an airplane or a computer. I tell participants that the mind is capable of infinite thoughts and one can achieve anything with those thoughts,” he says. Shedding further light on his rather unconventional style of educating people, Raghuram who has experienced different cultures across the globe, says that the globe-trotting helped him share his knowledge. “I have travelled extensively and have worked with different people from various cultures. That’s when I thought about the gaps in our education system. Today, India lacks good leaders, and leadership qualities are possessed by those who are confident,” Raghuram points out.
“I also teach people how to remain positive and happy. Darkness and light cannot exist together. When light comes in, darkness will have to go away. Negative thoughts must be shut out in a similar way,” he adds. Raghuram has successfully conducted Leading Self workshops for several participants from all walks of life. His other interests and hobbies include yoga, meditation, music, reading books, cricket, soccer, travel, mentoring and teaching. Raghuram has also written a book by the name Leading Self, illustrating the work they do.
“Education is the only light which shines throughout the day. It can change people, transform the world and teach people happiness,” he states, philosophically. With his work in the IT industry and Leading Self, Raghuram has his hands full. However, that hasn’t stopped him from harbouring ambitious plans for the future. “I now plan to start a ‘Read India’ campaign, to encourage reading among youngsters. I will ask young readers to write short book reviews, and a few shortlisted, out of which the winners will get laptops as prizes,” he says.