Bansal sir, that?s how VK Bansal is fondly referred to, not just by his students, but by most people in Kota. And, most of them also know how a mechanical engineer happened to foray into teaching, which almost gave him his second life.
Born in Jhansi in 1949, Bansal went on to graduate in mechanical engineering from Banaras Hindu University with honours in 1971. Four years later, he was diagnosed with incurable muscular dystrophy. Allopathy, homeopathy and naturopathy failed him too. He was at the time working with JK Synthetics in Kota. ?It was clear that mobility will continue to be a concern for me. That?s when a doctor from London advised me to consider teaching, as it doesn?t involve any mobility. I could also earn this way.? he recalls.
He began by teaching children of his colleagues and superiors in JK Nagar, the residential facility for employees of JK Synthetics. He soon got popular as a teacher and students started pouring in from the main city as well. For 10 years (till 1991) he worked in the mornings at JK Synthetics and taught at home in the evenings. From subject tuitions he gradually moved to IIT coaching. It was in 1985 that his first student got selected for IIT.
He took voluntary retirement from JK Synthetics in 1991 and took on teaching full time. The journey since has been long and eventful; 2,175 of his students got selected in IITs last year. Today, he employs 140 teachers and has an Rs 100-crore turnover.
In fact, while it may be tough to crack the IIT, it isn?t any easy to crack the Bansals? coaching entrance either. Approximately only one-fourth of the students who apply for the coaching institute qualify.
Last year, over 19,000 students took coaching at Bansal Classes, including foreign nationals from UAE, Indonesia, Bhutan, etc. In fact, most of these students come from across India?-the ones in secondary and higher secondary shift base solely for coaching and take admissions in schools in Kota. Some opt for the two-year course, others for one and some even for the three-month crash course. The fee ranges from Rs 47,326 to Rs 68,500. ?Selecting students is a tough task. We make the selection on the basis of the capacity and capability of students and groom them thereafter. Unfortunately, we have to say no to a lot of students,? says Bansal.
Till recently, Bansal Classes were only held at Kota. The building in Kota looks no less than a grand college, has AC classrooms and proper uniforms for its students.
The Ajmer and Jaipur branches opened in due course when Bansal?s daughters got married and settled there. They are very much involved in the enterprise, as is his son, who teaches with him at the Kota centre.
?Math runs in my family. I have passed on my expertise to my children as well,? he jokes. So, did he ever anticipate that teaching would turn out to be such a big success story? ?All I believe is that if you put in honest, hard work, results are bound to follow sooner or later,? he says. A philosophy he has proved himself.