In his book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, published in 1983, Dr Howard Gardner mentioned eight different abilities that could be considered as an intelligence that each human being possesses to varying degrees — Verbal skills, Logical and Number skills, Bodily skills, Music skills, Visual skills, Interpersonal skills, Intrapersonal skills and Naturalistic skills. MySuperBrain.com is an online platform that has taken inspiration from this research, and works on the holistic development of school students from the ages of 9 to 17, with a focus on Learning, Competing and Recognition, which are important aspects in creating well-rounded individuals.
The website provides learning material developed by subject matter experts on General Knowledge, Current Affairs, Leadership, Vedic Mathematics, Science Projects, Health and Financial Education. They conduct competitions on dance, music, poetry, painting, writing, number skills, group tasks and photography, which correspond to different intelligences. Prizes like the “SuperBrain of the Day” and “SuperBrain of the Year” provide recognition to the students, and keep them motivated and engaged with the platform.
MySuperBrain.com was started in February 2011 by Raghavendar Reddy Bojja and Yuvaraju Atmakuri, who were roommates at IIM Kozhikode that decided to opt out of campus placements. Bojja is an Electronics and Communication Engineer from Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology (SNIST), Hyderabad, who then did his MS from the University of Memphis. Later, he worked with Vecna Technologies, a startup run by MIT alumni, where the seeds of entrepreneurship were first sown. With a 99.91 percentile score in the CAT and five IIM interview calls, Bojja quit his job in the US and returned to India, confident of cracking some of the interviews, finally gaining admission at IIM Kozhikode.
“Yuvaraj and I started MySuperBrain.com while still at IIM-K, and would often visit schools to talk to teachers, parents and students for our research. We spent a lot of time in the dorm just discussing various topics related to education, and how people lament about the lack of exposure for students pursuing higher education. Our aim is to generate a sense of curiosity in students at a very young age, encourage them to try out new things and showcase their talent globally. We provide a comparative analysis of each student against thousands of their peers from different parts of the world, thus allowing students from even remote places to compete with the best and brightest across geographies, schools, and cultures,” explains Bojja about the business.
The internet penetration in 2011 was not very high compared to today, and they were finding it difficult to get clients. It was by chance that they met Venkat Ram Reddy Sureddy at an alumni meet, a Gold Medalist from IIM-K who had experience in the media sector with Business Standard, Asian Age and Sony Entertainment, who suggested that they should start a magazine to supplement the website. This resulted in EXALT, an activity-based monthly magazine that is available in four age groups: Little Genius (Pre-primary), Kids, Junior and Senior. The magazine contains activities that help students improve their multiple intelligences, and bring out their innate skills, rather than testing them on their memory. Priced at `20 per issue (they give heavy discounts based on volumes), they have more than 1.5 lakh subscribers, mostly through their partnerships with some of the biggest schools in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
In the past three years, they have conducted campaigns with organisations like Olympic Gold Quest, McDonald’s, India First, and Make a Difference, using this medium. MySuperBrain also conducts an annual competition, PANORAMA, that has student participation from all the Indian states, as well as countries like the US and Dubai. Details at www.mysuperbrain.com/panorama.