Name: Vibha Kagzi
Business: Reach Education Pvt. Ltd.
Location: Mumbai, India
Industry: Education & Training
Reason for starting? When I first considered applying from Bombay to go to a top school abroad for my undergraduate studies, I was overwhelmed with a range of choices and a fundamental lack of access to expert guidance. I did not have access to the granular advice an expert mentor provides to help me evaluate and understand all the options, find my fit and then navigate the intricate application process. I used the internet as my primary means of research and somehow scrambled to get admitted to Carnegie Mellon University, without much context or understanding of my chosen path.
Similarly, when it came time to apply for my MBA, I wanted to find a top ranking university where I found a cultural and intellectual fit, but again had no guidance readily available. After I graduated with an MBA from Harvard Business School, I moved back to India to found ReachIvy, a premium education and careers advisory.
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How do you define success? The term success has multiple facets and numerous connotations attached to it. To me, success translates to a state of contentment – a happy place or moment that one enjoys with him/herself, removed from conventional norms of measuring success. Success has neither boundaries nor limits; it is neither big nor small. It is merely a temporary destination in our personal journeys that we must stop and recognize, and then move on. One can be successful in just one domain and fail miserably in other areas. I believe that it is the amalgamation of personal, professional and inter-personal success that makes one complete; a balance I continue to strive for.
Biggest success: On the academic front, my biggest success is securing my admission to Harvard Business School. This milestone achievement was the culmination of years of tedious work through out school, college and at work – an acknowledgment of the many years of effort I had committed to this goal. On the professional front, my biggest success is the growth of my entrepreneurial venture, ReachIvy. What started as a sole journey with my laptop and me has grown into a sizable organization with team members and clients in over 33 countries. We have built a formidable brand in the education space in a span of merely 5 years and are well poised for rampant growth.
On the personal front, my biggest success is the dependable family of well-wishers I have been fortunate to build. I have a strong support network both within and outside my family that allows me to take risks and deal with life’s vicissitudes.
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What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? My top challenge was always channeling my thoughts and energy productively. As a curious student, I was always eager to learn new things, interact with different people, explore different careers etc. For me, learning did not stop at one place. This constant supply of energy and enthusiasm was dissipated across multiple jobs, and experiences but did not culminate into one substantial entity. I realized then that I needed to channelize my energy, intellect and enthusiasm into a repository that was more permanent and structured.
My company, ReachIvy became my palate when I turned to entrepreneurship and realized that my role needed me to don multiple hats daily and think from both left and right brains. This provided an outlet for my ideas and ensured I was constantly challenged and alert thereby channelizing my energy in a positive direction.
Who is your most important role model? Like most people, I too look up to a variety of world famous celebrities. The life stories and struggles of Muhammed Ali, Mother Teresa and Van Gogh are truly inspirational. However, at a more personal level, I have had several role models, from whom I aspire to imbibe specific qualities. My Mathematics teacher in the 6th grade always had a cheerful disposition; she made learning fun and the students loved her and her subject for this. My grandmother speaks only Hindi but has the ability to communicate with anyone regardless of the language they speak; she connects through her heart. My yoga instructor practices what he preaches. He continually pushes us to experiment with our bodies and food habits but is always the first to test out a new diet, serving as the perfect role model. This list could go on, but I will stop here.
Edited by The Story Exchange