Raghavendra Rathore: Man Behind Gurukul School of Design
What was the inspiration behind Gurukul School of Design? How did the idea of starting a fashion & design college come to you?
The importance of education to me has been brought in to my life by a couple of incidents that took place over two decades ago, when I was a young student. I had the opportunity of meeting an individual, who partly helped me sustain a world class education in New York, some 25 years ago. His support with a condition to help others garner quality education in the future, led me to conceive setting up a design college some years ago. It has taken some time but I started this journey by creating products people liked and then setting up a brand, with culture as its core.
My father Shri Swaroop Singh, too had a very strong influence in awakening my sense of moral responsibility of by “giving back”. Education to me is the best gift one can give an aspiring young mind. Both my parents had sensitized me to have a conscience at an early age- this integrity has been lying latent till now and with the somewhat skills that I have acquired over the journey of my profession as an entrepreneur, I’m growing in enthusiasm to turn to this new benevolent direction, in my life.
The thought behind Gurukul is to bring about a change in the way of teaching- a more rooted and practical approach to design. What I realized is the present curriculums only focus on developing the skills of design. I believe, it is important to understand the business behind the design, in other words and education must span across, the business acumen, the ability to market your idea and most importantly be able to set up a start-up soon after graduating. Making students into entrepreneurs and brand savvy brand marketers through a unique program is what we will be emphasizing at the Gurukul School of Design.
According to me right now we are going through a silent revolution in the country where in we are shifting from a manufacturing to a design-oriented outlook. The shift created will require huge talent in the future and we need to be prepared to optimally leverage this design revolution.
Why did you decide to open Gurukul School of Design in Jaipur?
The location of the campus in Jaipur, will give students immediate access to handicrafts, endless textiles & rare techniques, which makes this region a global cultural hub. The hustle and bustle of a large city which is always a distraction, will be replaced by the serene and calmness of the Gurukul methodology. The aim is to provide a new way of “thinking design” and provide a sound and a holistic education. This will be imparted by a very specialized and select team of faculty sourced from across the globe, their ability to understand the Gurukul methodology is astounding and the enthusiasm very rewarding.
What does GSD intend to offer to students in terms of education, will western ideology of designing be a part of it? What would be the teaching methodology?
The Best of all the cultures has been thought through in the creation of the special program designed for GSD
What is the USP of Gurukul, which differentiates it from other design institutes?
At GSD, the aim is to not just create a designer but a successful brand. The deeply rooted Indian Gurukul way of learning juxtaposed with new global commercial wisdom, will be the key differentiator and disruptor for Gurukul School of Design. The Gurukul School of Design, teaches the value of Indian culture through its interpretation of the Gurukul way of life and imparts specialized knowledge to students to become entrepreneurs, as soon as they graduate. The institute will build a “valuable” brand via modern communication skills, emphasize the business hemisphere so that design students can read ‘balance sheets’ and more importantly value the immense knowledge of our heritage and the rich resources.
Tell us about the faculty and teachers
The faculty is a mix of professionals who have had the experience of setting up their own business and have a unique way of delivering a lecture or a course. Most of the faculty is international, who have been selected on their superior understanding of the Gurukul methodology of teaching. They have been sensitized to propagate the message and the vision of designer Raghavendra Rathore, for the next generation. All pitfalls and the difficulties that designers have had in their journey of becoming brands has been assessed and carefully architected into short courses which is part of the four-year program.
Furthermore, the faculty may not necessarily be fashion design teachers but real-life executioners. It is very important to have students interest in what they are being taught, programs will evolve with continuous inputs from the students and faculty. Imparting unique knowledge is the key foundation of the GDS School of design.
What do we expect after 4 years of the course from students
We will absorb some of the students in our company based on their overall merits and they will be on contract to work on live assignments. The other thing that is different in the program offered at GDS is a single course that covers, all the elements of design, sharpens your abilities in brand communication and a course in the business of fashion, which helps the student understand the perils of setting up your ‘own brand & company’.
What will be the different types of courses available to the future designers?
A special curriculum has been designed meticulously by myself and international & local experts. The program stresses on deeper maturity of design, the ability to visualize and market a creative idea with modern communication tools, the business acumen behind the idea and importantly via the Gurukul way of life.
The courses will span over four years, taking the students through a journey which will introduce them to a fascinating volley of unique & short courses. These design hacks will strengthen their foundation of design and skill sets which will come very handy later in their lives. It is my understanding that the fashion landscape is evolving rapidly, therefore it is imperative for students to be agile, knowledgeable, pragmatic and have the intuitive ability to take a U-turn if or when necessary, negotiate vigorously, adapt to a changing situation without hesitation and be able to communicate their creative vision clearly, in the noisy business of fashion.
What will be the admission process?
The admission procedure is purely based on their present skills & creative abilities and a home exam.
Any scholarships or collaborations
Collaborations with industry partners are going to be an important part in the third year, by then we also would like to have a scholarship fund
When will the first batch of GSD begin
Are there any expansion plans for GSD in future?
Future to me is now
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