Dakshana is at the cusp of a new era to deal with the next level of revolution. I have shared my thoughts and roadmap for every section in various fora. I am writing this note to re-visit our ethos and the real purpose of the organization. We need to build a foundation that is anti-fragile and can deal with an enormous degree of complexity yet does not compromise on the real purpose of infinite good.

Once an organization becomes successful, its management tends to put blinkers on and shut themselves off from new ideas: “Being right is the enemy of staying right because it leads you to forget the way the world works.” – Jason Zweig. Buddhism has a concept called the “beginner’s mind” which is an active openness to trying new things, studying new ideas, and is unburdened by past preconceptions like a beginner would. Knowing you have a competitive advantage is often the enemy of a beginner’s mind, because doing well reduces the incentive to explore other ideas, especially when those ideas conflict with your proven strategy. This is dangerous. Being locked into a single view is fatal for a learning organization.

As Dakshana scales up, the HR challenges of managing and motivating thousands of people get exponentially harder: “Scaling an idea requires scaling HR, which is monstrously complex and usually unrelated to your original skill. Designing a device or process on paper is a million miles separated from managing 500 or 1,000 people. Managing one hundred thousand people is a different universe. Even when responsibilities are delegated, creating a culture that promotes trust, creativity and growth is a different skill. After having steered thousands of varied manpower in the Armed Forces, I can say with conviction that HR engineering will be far more complex.

At a certain stage, as its executives enjoy the good life, naturally they become complacent and tend to lose their edge. I have always emphasized that systems are better than goals because once you reach a goal you tend to stop doing the thing that made achieving the goal possible. “I’m going to work out every day” is better than “I’m going to lose 10 pounds” because once you lose 10 pounds you will probably stop working out. Similarly, when a successful career hits a big goal, one tends to reject new learnings. Paranoia is a trait newcomers use to combat how deeply the odds are stacked against them. But it tends to die once a goal is hit.? In today’s era of hyper megatrends in innovation and technology, we should always be afraid of going out of business. This is the only way to survive and thrive.

The note aims to create structural systems and processes to deal with 2700 scholars and 300 staff at Dakshana Valley by 2027. For team Dakshana, this is a moment of “Tryst with Destiny”. I urge team Dakshana and DAAN members to step up and help us create a five-year vision document in the field of academics, EdTech and reforms in DAAN. The members of DAAN and team Dakshana should ensure a high talent density among faculty, outreach to Government schools, CSR partnerships, adapting future technologies to deal with challenges in the selection, HR practices and many more.

This note, in the form of a blog, is a harbinger to share thoughts and initiatives by team Dakshana. It will be our effort to write one such article every month.


Career in Armed Forces

Hello Everyone! I am delighted to share that some of our scholars have been selected for NDA in recent past.

During my interaction, I have been asked many questions regarding the process and eligibility criteria for selection in Indian Armed Forces. This note is dedicated to those scholars who would like to pursue career in Army, Navy or Airforce.

Link regarding the selection process and types of entries in Armed Forces is placed below:

Click Here to read the Selection Process

New Initiatives at Dakshana

Hello Everyone! Welcome to CEO Notes. I shared my thoughts regarding vision and challenges for Dakshana in earlier notes. I would like to share new initiatives, partnerships, process re-engineering and infrastructure development at Dakshana to deal with those challenges.

Communication skills and leadership development. Soft skills development has always been an area of concern for Dakshana scholars. While scholars are high on IQ, they have struggled in written and verbal communication skills in the past. Ron Mehta, well-wisher and a big fan of Dakshana has been extremely generous to sponsor 100 scholars from Dakshana Valley and COEs to undergo four weeks communication and FLY (Finding the leader in You) program at IIT Gandhinagar. FLY is developed by Competitive Mindset Institute (CMI), Communication and confidence building skills by Fair Observer, and Critical Thinking Skills by Maker Bhavan Foundation. Hundred scholars from Dakshana Valley, Bangalore (Urban) and Hyderabad have been selected to undergo the program from 01 Sep 22. This is a pilot project to assess the success and impact of the program. Ron Mehta will be happy to sponsor many more scholars in future. I am confident that scholars will be exposed to the best global practices in communication and leadership skills. Heartfelt and sincere thanks to Ron for his generous and path breaking initiative.

Free B.Tech (Computer Science) by Sitare Foundation. Getting an admit to B.Tech (Computer Science) at IITs is a holy grail. Top 100 rankers in JEE are admitted in computer science. Amit Singhal, founder of Sitare Foundation, is trying to bridge this gap through Sitare university at Indore. Sitare will commence pilot project for underprivileged and selected scholars. Four-year B.Tech (Computer science) program will be at ZERO cost to selected candidates. Students will be selected based on JEE Mains score and economic criteria. Amit Singhal is planning to visit Dakshana valley and Bangalore to share details of the program to students. During my informal interaction, scholars are excited to explore and consider the option in sincere earnest. This program can hammer the ever-growing global demand for IT professional. Above all, Sitare has promised stellar placements to scholars in companies of repute and global brand. Dakshana and Sitare will jointly work to transform the lives of beneficiaries. This should forever end the poverty for those students who are not able to crack computer science.

R.G. MANUDHANE Hall: Dakshana valley is gearing up to train 2600 scholars in next few years. As part of infrastructure development, RGM Excellence lecture hall was commissioned in Jan 2022. New classroom has a capacity for 200 scholars.

Girls Hostel at JNV Pune: NVS was extremely kind to approve construction of girl’s hostel at JNV Pune. COE at Pune will have an additional capacity of 132 girls from new academic session in Jun 2023.

Computer Lab. Naming rights for digital lab was awarded to Unites Overseas Bank(UOB). They have sponsored 35 Lakhs for setting up of computer lab at Dakshana Valley. Dakshana Valley will have computer lab for 202 scholars in Aug 2022.

New Partnerships. Dakshana is in advanced stage to develop new partnerships with BARTI and EMRS. This initiative will herald a major boost to those scholars who need our support. We are aspiring to start two-year program for 600 scholars in Maharashtra and Gujarat under the aegis of BARTI and EMRS from this year. Education department at Leh has agreed to extend complete support in selecting scholars for one year program at Dakshana Valley. Honourable Lieutenant Governor (Leh) has showered praise and blessings to Dakshana during our recent interaction. Dakshana is also considering to start two-year program at Leh.

Framework to achieve 100 percent results. It’s always Dil Mange More at Dakshana. After historical record results in 2021, Dakshana is aspiring to achieve 100 percent results. Its both audacious and ridiculous challenge to the academic team. But hey, challenges are not good enough if they don’t blow your physical and mental boundaries. We are working to reshape revision modules and strategy, organise training program through Scholar Almanac, extensive counselling to underperformers and core focus on academic activity through efficient administration and medical support.

Inhouse Portal Management. Dakshana has created an organisation to maintain and upgrade all portals and IT infra using inhouse resources.

Tree Plantation. Nearly 4000 trees were planted at Dakshana Valley by 14 Trees, an NGO headed by Praveen Bhagwat. He is on a mission to convert barren land to green forest. Soon those trees will provide green cover to valley.



Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

“Someone sits in the shade because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

What makes humans different from animals? It’s their instinct to let go of their self-interest for the greater benefit of not only their immediate family but for a larger society. Human history has a long tradition of donations. Indian mythology, Vedas, Upanishads and history revere such figures with great emphasis on their characteristics of letting go.

Be the change you wish to see! As CEO, I am biased for Dakshana. But I don’t find any other cause more appealing than Dakshana. Yours truly has decided to donate five percent of gross salary to Dakshana albeit small and insignificant step.

Sending more disadvantaged students to IIT & Government Medical Colleges:

Dakshana was established in 2007 with a focus to assist bright and talented minds from the underserved communities in rural India. Under the guidance of Mr. Mohnish Pabrai, Founder and Chairman, Dakshana has assisted more than 6000 students across India in fulfilling their dream to study at India’s premier engineering and medical colleges. Every year, more than 75% of our scholars are admitted to IITs, NITS, AIIMS and other government colleges in India.

Dakshana provides JEE and NEET coaching, food, and accommodation to 600+ students (both boys and girls) every year at the Dakshana Valley campus in Pune and about 800+ scholars across Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas spread across India at Zero Cost to Beneficiary. Building on our success, we are now looking to expand our free coaching opportunity to more students from underprivileged backgrounds by reaching out to more remote areas across the country. Our aim is to coach 2600 students from Government schools in India every year at the Dakshana Valley campus near Pune.

Why Dakshana?

Thousands of brilliant and disadvantaged students in government schools from rural India are deprived of the chance to pursue education in engineering and medicine in the premium colleges of India. This is so because they have dreams but no means to prepare for the highly competitive exams for a seat in these premium colleges. The tuition fees at standard coaching institutes range from INR 2-3 lakhs a year. Families whose annual income is not even INR 2 lakhs cannot even think of providing coaching for their children. That is where a scholarship coaching program like Dakshana becomes necessary.

Beneficiaries pay absolutely nothing to Dakshana. All costs towards coaching and registration for the JEE or NEET are paid for by Dakshana. Their accommodation and food during the two programs are also paid for by either Dakshana (in the 1-year scholarship program) or the government (in the 2-year scholarship program).

There are likely many causes around the planet that fit this vision. We’ve decided to focus on Education of the gifted and impoverished in India. And within that broad tenet, we’re further focused on giving these gifted kids the same opportunity to join an IIT or a Government Medical College that middle-class or upper-class Indians have.

Core values & principles of Dakshana:

1. Results must be measurable.
2. The area of focus must have no other meaningful natural funding source.
3. Must have very high returns on invested capital.
4. Overheads must be low.
5. Must be self-sustainable in the long run.
6. Must be limited to one or two narrowly focused causes.


Till date, Dakshana has been able to help 6000+ families overcome and break the shackles of poverty. Nearly 2000 Dakshana scholars, hailing from rural India, are now employed in promising engineering careers with MNCs across the globe. A few of them are also serving our country as doctors at government hospitals.

Dakshana’s impact is not limited to its beneficiaries. It also influences the communities and geographies that the scholars belong to. Most of our scholars are first-generation school or college goers from their families or their villages. They become beacons of inspiration for the generations that follow from their communities. At Dakshana, we take pride in developing humans with high morale and integrity for the country and compassion towards fellow citizens.

Synergising with corporate social responsibility (CSR) objectives:

As per CSR rules in India, under section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013, companies must spend a minimum 2% of their average net profits made during the last financial year if the company fulfils any of the following criteria:
1. Net worth of Rs. 500 crores or more; or
2. Turnover of Rs. 1000 crores or more; or
3. Net profit of Rs. 5 crores or more

Under CSR, companies can spend for the activities in various initiatives. Education is one of them. Dakshana has education at its core and has CSR1 registration with the ministry of corporate affairs which licenses Dakshana to carry out our CSR activities in India. Dakshana also has an FCRA license to receive foreign donations.

Dakshana receives corporate donations under CSR policies of the companies every year and we ensure every single penny received is put to the best of its use to alleviate poverty through education. These donations are used for the expenses to run the JEE/NEET residential scholarship and we are proud to say that nearly 70% of the students in the program get to the IIT or government medical college every year.


We are expanding at blistering speed at Pune residential campus and have grown from 70 scholars to 600 scholars in six years. Through this blog, I call upon the much-needed support of humans and corporations to support a pristine cause of transforming lives of underprivileged. To check if you or your company can explore a partnership with Dakshana on CSR objectives kindly drop us an email at nkadam@dakshana.org or call us at +91.73918.22002.

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