Birla Public School (BPS) organised a reception in honour of Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairperson of Aditya Birla Group, one of the largest conglomerates in India.
Birla, who is in Qatar on an official visit, is also the chancellor of Birla Institute of Technology & Science, and chairman of the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad.
Kumar Mangalam Birla with HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani and other dignitaries. PICTURES: Thajudheen
Birla School patron HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, Indian ambassador Dr Deepak Mittal, BPS chairman Gope Shahani, the BPS Board of Directors, invitees, staff and students of the school were present on the occasion.
Speaking to *Gulf Times on the sidelines of the event, Birla said: “This is my first visit to Qatar. Qatar is an interesting country and we are very keen to explore business opportunities here in Qatar.”
A cultural programme by the students
“However, there has been nothing specific as of now,” he added. “We are in discussions and it is a little early to comment. We are looking at various things here in Qatar.”
Speaking at the event, Birla said that it was a great moment to visit the school, which his grandparents had set up in collaboration with local partners.
Kumar Mangalam Birla is presented with a memento
“There are about 50,000 students at various schools set up by my grandparents. My grandfather used to say that the school in Doha was the best school he had set up,” he said. “After coming here, I can see why he felt that way."
“The quality of education is what shapes the minds of our children. With 7,500 children, Birla Public School is a huge institution even by global standards,” Birla added. “I believe that the ability and quality with which their minds are shaped, you are creating leaders of tomorrow, not just citizens of Qatar and India but true global citizens.”
Children presenting a song
“Such institutions are required in every part of the world that can unleash the true potential of the next generation and help them realise their dreams and aspirations,” he explained.
Birla was accompanied by his son Aryaman, who is also a cricketer and had been a member of one of the Indian Premier League teams.
“It is a proud moment for all of us to have Kumar Manglam Birla among us,” said Dr Mittal. “Birla Public School has been making a wonderful contribution to education and community development.”
“Your presence as a business icon in Qatar will further boost bilateral relations between India and Qatar, which will deepen further the already strong and robust relations,” the envoy added. “We are also working on to have a cricket league here in Qatar.”
BPS founding chairman Dr Mohan Thomas said: “It was a very emotional moment for me and the founding directors of BPS to host Kumar Mangalam Birla at the school.”
“We had worked very closely with the founders of Birla institutes, Basant Kumar Birla and Sarala Birla, the grandparents of Kumar Mangalam Birla,” he added. “His visit to the school is an inspiration to us, and he is very impressed by the standards and achievements of the school both at academic and co-curricular activities.”
School director Dr Lukose Chacko shared his thoughts about Kumar Mangalam Birla in a short presentation and spoke about the achievements of the school, while BPS academic director/principal Harish Sanduja highlighted the performance of Birla students at the national level over the past few years.
There was also a cultural programme towards the end of the event.