Making a mark in the world of technology, coding and computer science wasn’t easy for Dr Rashmi Mantri, educator, director and founder of UK-based Edtech company BYITC (British Youth International College). Rashmi, a PhD-holder in computer science is another example of how it is to be a woman entrepreneur and a mother in the world of technology and computer gig. For most of her life, she has worked as an educator at various IT corporations and universities in Scotland teaching young kids to adults. However, it was not until one sudden day when Rashmi, asked her son, Dhruv, a simple math question and he wasn’t able to solve it at level Primary 5.
“At that time I decided to teach him Maths using a very humble tool called the Abacus. One can calculate faster than a calculator after learning maths the Abacus way,” says Rashmi to News18. Following a viral video of Dhruv practising abacus on social media, the feedback blew up Rashmi’s social media feed. “Many of the parents came rushing in, saying ‘Teach my child please, is this real?’ And that was the beginning of BYITC,” says Rashmi.
The Edtech institution started as a registered organisation in the United Kingdom in 2016 and became the first and the only one in Scotland to have its centres right before the coronavirus pandemic. The institution now offers to teach Abacus maths, English, coding, teachers training programme among other various courses, both online and offline.
Something else that set Rashmi to take up the venture is the “gap in the primary education sector”, especially in the UK. “I left my job with a genuine motive to help develop the kids’ overall academic performance. However, with the positive results and due to high demand, it soon turned into an educational institution,” recalls Rashmi.
The ‘mompreneur’ looks forward to heavily invest in youth learning courses and then introduce them in India as all the online offerings, mission and values “well support Digital India Vision”. “Seeing our success in countries like the USA, UAE, Europe, Canada and Australia, we’re all set to launch our courses in India in the second week of March,” tell Rashmi.
However, the journey of Dr Rashmi Mantri was fraught with gender-centric struggles, that made her walk extra miles to prove her worth. “It was tough and tech is considered to be men-centric but many women before me have worked hard and broken through the proverbial glass ceiling. Personally, I too had to work extra hard to get a PhD in computer science, and only then it got easier to command respect with my peers in the industry. Still, a lot of work needs to be done to ensure gender equality but we are on the right track,” states Rashmi.
Rashmi recalls how initially it was tough for her to juggle between work and home. “Firstly, for any woman, it is hard to balance work and house as the expectations from the female partner and a mother are always high.” But with time, patience and perseverance, it was not too hard for the young mother to break the gender-walls and perception.
“The harder the struggle is, the glorious the triumph is” — with this guiding motto in life, Rashmi believes her Edtech will soon prove to be instrumental for the enhancement of the Indian education system.