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V D Shah, the Very Detailed Shah

Varshil Shah is nothing like what we NMites expected. I anticipated meeting an aged, white hair professor. The chap strolling towards me is young, in his thirties. V D Shah is a well-known name in our college since a decade, known for explaining the processes, not just outcomes!


We are meeting at his classroom stone throw away from the Andheri Station. A typical day seldom ends before 9 pm (even if the lecture started way back in the afternoon at 3pm), be it a Saturday or even a Sunday - he never ends before 9! We order some food as I set to talk to this one-person army. We are already towards the end of 2023, completing on a first class note. I congratulate him concerning the exam results. The level one results were released last week, post which many claimants will be assured that V D Shah can make all the difference! Surprisingly, this is what Shah himself had to tell:


‘’

Such results makes me feel good, won't lie. But it will be selfish to not acknowledge student sacrifices, and the sleepless nights their family put itself through. Positioning the event narrowly as a success of my institute will be tad unfair. I’m merely not telling this for a modest first impression, but I’ve never used the student scores or even their faces & testimonials in class promotion. My class banners can’t overshadow every ounce of contribution coming from all other sources. Invariably believed in organic ad-free growth through teaching quality since inception.

‘’


I’ve interviewed countless professionals of all ages. But this initial response wins my heart. He could have undoubtedly boasted of the success, where nearly all of his students cleared the recent level one exams, although he wished to remain a soft-spoken coach over a young, aggressive businessperson! I consequently request him to share the learning methods and the list of publications:


You need no more materials. The official institute’s curriculum is the gold standard. Trust me; a dozen elements will cause your education complicated. I look around not only at students but even other coaches falling for short-cut kinda notes, when we have the institute’s curriculum which is pure treasure. From my side, I provide my students accurately whatever is a must - so there are hard copies of the lengthiest question booklet we have created in-house, but I take up all those questions at class. 300 hours of face to face tutoring; there are no compromises - neither in quality nor in quantity ;)


The food has arrived from his favourite Juhu hangout. A veg Super Bowl Burrito and some cold coffee. Students relish delicious food every session. He then takes me around the study rooms; we see the grand canvas behind the sofa set, and then we eventually arrive at the classroom. That's his favourite place. Here, in a splendid spanking training lab, PPTs are no match for the fragrance of the chalk running against the blackboard. With majority of his students traveling from suburbs, he’s set to launch newer training centres.


‘’

Traditional teaching in small-sized batches is the school I belong! I don't believe in leaving students with one-sided videotaped recording, be it missed lectures or repeat sessions - evermore prefer interaction for greater clarification. I’m your old school chalk & board guy in the era of virtual/ hybrid/ and live learning. Weekly testing & face to face tutoring, is what I’ve sworn by since a decade.

‘’


When I question as to why he would keep learners on a waitlist, when his massive space could accommodate double the current capacity, he justifies,


‘’

With every student, I like to devote some time at start of every class. The mentoring & follow ups, which has to happen on a weekly basis. Keeping an eye on each student, & resolving each of their doubts each Monday wouldn't have been plausible if I cater to a hundred students. I ask every learner, after every explanation, if the understanding was crystal clear. No one must feel lost or left out in class. Capping my intake will be in students best interest.

Moreover, I help engineers and graduate freshers with research assignments. Further, I moderate a forum where analysts engage in business talks. Participation & networking will make one connect with my alumni, which is spread across investment banks and equity research houses centred around Mumbai.

‘’


Distinguished for deriving the theorems; simplifying Accounting for engineers and Quant for commerce undergraduates, I demand a demo. Something that has kept me pondering since school days is something as basic as this multiplication rule. Why a negative into negative turns out to be positive?

(Makes a box, four compartments. Writes the following):

+ve : Create

-ve : destroy

+ve : Cash

-ve : Bill

Makes me read:

+ve x +ve = creating cash. A good thing, hence +ve.

+ve x -ve = creating bad :( , hence -ve.

-ve x +ve = destroying cash :( , hence -ve

-ve x -ve = destroying a bill :) , hence +ve

The sense of satisfaction: priceless!

This simplicity appeals me the most.


Overall, it were a pleasant two hours with a personality that turned out to be much deeper and mature than it seemed at the first go. He doesn't have a business card made, so I note his & the website details for filling the gaps in my editorial. As I scribble the word entrepreneur on my notepad, he makes me change it to edupreneur. I guess it comes down to finding something you love to do and then just trying to be great at it.




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