Hard work matters but smart work matters more in any profession

PaGaLGuY is kick-starting a new series on people who have made it big in their respective professions – those who have come up by sheer grit. We get cracking on the series with an article by Ms Neetu Singh, who is the last word in SSC coaching in India. Read on… 

Over the years, I have earned the reputation of being this super aggressive person who trampled upon everything that is considered ‘competition.’ The fact is that I am aggressive, and when it comes to getting work, definitely. 

When in college back home,  in Jharkhand (then Bihar), I gave tuitions to earn my pocket money. It was sometime then that my father died unexpectedly.  I was the youngest of six children and the shock hit me bad. I thought then life ended for me. My brother, who was in his late teens took over my father’s responsibilities and became a man overnight. And we all (six of us) siblings made sure our studies would be unaffected and we would study further despite all odds.

So I continued to teach and also study. I studied law and later became a lawyer. I loved being a lawyer  and fought a few good cases. However, somewhere at the back of my mind, the lure to teach took over. I felt then, that being a lawyer would not enhance my overall growth and I would probably spend the coming years fighting more cases and bigger cases, nothing more.

I hence decided to go back to my first love which was teaching. I started my first coaching centre single handedly. As demand grew and students started coming in numbers, I opened a few more and  my siblings  joined me on the job..

Ever since my father died unexpectedly, we all realised the fact that anything can happen anytime, what keeps people going is sheer hard and smart work.

I worked hard and opened more branches. My siblings continued to help me run them. Besides my siblings, my own family has always supported me. They have also inspired me.  My husband is an ace mountaineer and has climbed practically every mountain in the world, including Mount Everest. My son is part of Limca Book of Records for being the youngest to get to the Mount Everest base camp.  All these people and their efforts have always been a source of learning for me. 

And being the only woman in the profession at such a top post is not exactly pleasant.  As a lady I am not forgiven for a lot of things, for which a man at my level would be.  I tell my staff that the best thing going for them is that their boss is a lady – so they will not be exploited! 

I am not ruthless but definitely sure of what I want and how I want it. I am convinced that students have to be coached in a certain way to achieve good results.   To further my cause, I have also written books on SSC – some of these are Plinth to Paramount, English for General Competition, Arithmetic for General Competitions and  few others.

I have recently started coaching in other streams such as BBA, BCA, CLAT, GMAT, MBA and  fashion designing and I expect the number of students we have (presently  30,000 plus) will also increase. And that means better infrastructure, more faculty and innovation. With my new venture K.D Campus, I have added Charity to business as I believe Charity must come out of business and not business out of charity.   

People work in my company as long as my students like them and they do justice to the job. That’s the prime responsibility of my staff. The students have to be happy with the way the teachers teach, their attitude and behaviour. There’s a proper mechanism in place for students to approach me and provide feedback about the teachers.

One thing that I would like to tell students is that they have to be good in what they do.

Excel in the job given to you or the talent you have. It is easy to be mediocre or just good but to be excellent in what one does, is what makes people different. Even if you are working somewhere, make sure you are the best person for the job. Work hard and look at having mastery over your job. Hard work is fine but if the hard work just makes you one of the many people who go to work and come back in the evenings, where does that get you? Smart work matters. Be good in whatever you do, in fact, be the best in whatever you do. Target your goal and focus on the syllabus otherwise you will be studying everything under the sky and reach no where. You have to make a mark for yourself –  aim for the highest.