You have been meeting several Enterprising Moms through Famous Parenting.
Famous Parenting Team realized that the story of parenthood remains incomplete unless we bring in passionate fathers to share their experiences.
In an extremely inspiring chat with a focused Father Mr. Parag Chitale, Director, CPLC – the MBA Entrance Training Division of MT Educare Ltd, we find out about an amazing father who is marching on an unexplored path in India.
“An Engineer and an MBA by qualification, he worked with Corporates like Siemens, Citibank and ICICI for a total of 5.5 years before venturing into the field of Education in November 1999. He was the BMS Co-ordinator at N.M. College for 2 years and Faculty Co-ordinator of the Family Managed Business Program at S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research. After teaching at other Colleges like H.R. College, Jaihind College, Mithibai College, MMK College, he set up CPLC in December 2002 to train students for MBA Entrance exams which was acquired by MT Educare in February 2011.”
Read on to experience a story full of dreams, discipline, dedication and sacrifice.
Please connect the dots of your childhood that made you the person you are.
I come from a family of educators. My mother and father are teachers of mathematics. I always saw them working passionately in every area of their lives. They taught with vigour and fulfilled all domestic responsibilities with cheer. We enjoyed long summer breaks travelling extensively with them which was a great learning experience for life. I was very active in co-curricular activities and extra-curricular activities in and out of school. My group of friends in the building was huge and we celebrated all festivals, organised sports tournaments and lived life to the fullest. At the same time, I never lost hold of my studies. My childhood was full of an array of sports activities, studies and travel.
How has your formal education shaped your life?
My elder sister pursued Medicine and I became an Engineer followed by an MBA from JBIMS, Mumbai. My formal education disciplined me and gave me a great sense of achievement when I secured 4th position in merit list of 12th Grade Board Exams. My management education widened my horizon to understand work and life better. I started my corporate career and then moved to my passionate calling i.e. education.
“Technology can enable people to find their true voice. Technology, if used for self-growth, can offer avenues to women which were unavailable earlier”. Your comments.
Technology has influenced lives of everyone in myriad ways. At MT Educare, we have Robomate+ for entire study curriculum in video format. This product has been a game changer for students like my daughter who can study anywhere, anytime. Technology has helped women educators to use their knowledge from the confines of their homes also.
How has your Fatherhood contributed to you as an individual? Has it influenced your area of work as well?
I have been a very involved father since the birth of my daughter Diya. I never looked at it as a mother’s role to raise an infant. I spent a lot of time with her when she was a toddler as my work place and residence were in the same building. We connect at a deeper level as I was passionate about sports and she has taken to Table-Tennis like fish to water. I learn new things from my daughter every-day as her determination and ability to handle pressure surprises me every-day. What she can do at a young age of 13, I could never imagine to do even half of them.
How did you discover your daughter’s passion to play Table-Tennis? Tell us more about her journey as an aspiring table tennis champion till now.
I continued our family tradition of long group vacations even after my marriage. Whenever we stayed in any resort we generally had a Table-Tennis Table to play for leisure. Diya would watch me and other friends play. When she was 7, she came to me on one such vacation and showed her interest to play. Barely reaching the height of the table she tried her hand and enjoyed. She expressed her wish to join a coaching class for Table Tennis. As I was an avid sports enthusiast, I readily enrolled her at Khar Gymkhana, which has the best facility for Table Tennis in Mumbai, for classes on alternate days. Within a month, her coach called me and insisted to increase the coaching sessions to five days a week. I agreed and she played her 1st District Ranking Tournament in no time. She won her 1st Bronze Medal at an age of 8 and there was no looking back. At the moment, she is ranked No. 3 in India in under 15 (U-15) category and stands 78th in the world in international ranking.
When we started out, it was easy and small. As she picked up the game and improved very fast, we got serious. She went to China two years ago for a 25 days camp. She played against 10 players of China and beat 7 of them. We realized then that Diya needs to focus on her game with all possible facilities and exposure.
Please share your experience with sports authorities and overall scenario related to promoting talent in any sports in our country.
In India, Mr. Sachin Shetty is her coach who travels with her to Germany for almost 5 months every year. Since she has been training in Germany under Mr. Peter Engel for some years, we managed to bear the expenses and then we heard of Olympic Gold Quest. We sent her profile to OGQ when she was 11. They said that they will consider her next year. True to their word, they took Diya under their wings as a Junior Athlete from 1st November, 2015.
Since then, OGQ monitors her dietary and nutritional requirements and gives all possible support. As OGQ is founded by Like Minded and Passionate Sports Persons they understand the need of starting early and contribute to shaping up of the career in a prudent manner.
She has been undergoing mental conditioning with her coach Dr. Reema Shah for last 2 years while Dr. Chandan Poddar works on her physical training. We all are passionately working to make Diya a champion for our country by making all the international exposure and facilities available to her. She is also being mentored by the legendary Table Tennis player – Kamlesh Mehta from an overall perspective.
In this entire journey Table Tennis Federation of India, Maharashtra State Table Tennis Association and Mumbai Suburban District Table Tennis Association have been very supportive at all times.
How does Diya manage her studies when she travels extensively?
Diya is a student of Arya Vidya Mandir, Bandra and the school is extremely supportive of her aspirations. Though she takes all the scheduled tests and exams, she skips school when she travels for training and tournaments. At that time, Robomate + helps her immensely as she studies through these videos to stay in tune with her studies. Since her mother Reshma travels with her constantly, she helps Diya in studies, managing her fitness level as well as her mental strength.
What prompted you to take this unconventional path?
There are many people who question my choice and express astonishment on taking a road less travelled. I am aware of the worldly wisdom which approves only conventional choices. I consider it as a great gift of God that Diya recognised her passion at a very early age and we have been chosen as facilitators in helping her realize her passion. Each day she practices in order to make her country proud. The battle has just begun. I am completely aware that the gap between Best Indian and Best World players is not significant till U-15. The gap widens as the age increases because the world champions play internationally with good team members. We will try our best to not let this gap widen in case of Diya.
Talk about three people who have had the most profound influence on you.
My parents had a deep influence on me when I was young. When I was passing through a troubled professional phase, an Ex-Student of mine (Kunal Vadhani) really inspired me to get back from self-doubt. The way he was handling his own problems made me pull myself up. My wife Reshma and my daughter constantly inspire me through their focus and consistency. Reshma sits and watches Diya train every-day. She loves fitness and enjoys the process of Diya’s training which is not easy on a regular basis.
Your philosophy of life in a sentence.
Follow your passion, but first discover what it is.
Tell us about your future plans.
The future plan is to win the highest possible medals at international level in table tennis. Diya’s training and consistent performance is our priority for coming few years.
What would you like to convey to those fathers who act as a passive parent, restricting their role to only financing their children.
I can’t relate to such fathers because I have never been one. I always wanted to be a part of my daughter’s world. Fatherhood is an integral part of who I am, and I am proud of it.
You can also check more details about Diya on www.diyachitale.com.