Nishtha Shukla Anand – Holding up Half the Sky


It’s an undeniable fact that women as educational leaders have much better chances of getting our country to a gender-neutral state and towards becoming a superpower. Women have started taking up pivotal roles in the education sector, bringing a welcome change to the repetitive methods and processes. These changes have highlighted powerful educationalists and leaders who have acted as tools in the pursuit of changing the whole educational landscape. Personalities like Nishtha Shukla Anand of Shoolini University and many more are the ones responsible for bringing a reduction in inequalities, by functioning as thorough role models to future generations.

Giving equality to women in terms of education & empowerment in India has been of utmost importance for both the government & civil society. As is evident, educated women can play an important role in the development of the country. However, as a society we are striving relentlessly to give what women deserve. Shoolini has a high female to male ratio and several women in leadership positions.

Operating as the director of Shoolini University, a research and innovation-led hub that kindles great ideas and inspires creative thinkers and innovators, Nishtha is one of the most vital individuals belonging to the long list of leaders, heading the parade at the institution. Believing in the fact that – “Education is key to India’s growth”, she finds joy and happiness in serving society by converting students into tomorrow’s leaders. Students of Shoolini University are today placed with leading companies like Abbott and Microtek in leadership positions.

Additionally, having been a part of the journeys of many such students who have achieved great things in their respective fields and lives, she is a lively person filled with cravings to learn about new avenues and in turn, preaching it to others, as a capable head.

Apart from being a trustee member, her roles push her to get involved in marketing, PR, communication & digital outreach. She also functions as the messenger of Shoolini University, ensuring that all the internal members of the family work continuously towards quality education of students.

When institutions communicate the right things, great things can happen”, she stated. She told us how she, along with the whole team at Shoolini, aspires to inspire students and everyone present on campus to dream, break the rules, shatter the norm and aim towards the extraordinary.

Empowering generations

As a woman entrepreneur in 2021, Nishtha stays well in-sync with the communication & tech of today’s world. With this, she has been a trendsetter in changing the dynamics of the digital economy – especially of the education sector. As a professional, she understands the needs of Gen Z and motivates all the endeavors at Shoolini to be more experiential and exploratory. With this, she makes the whole experience for students more challenging and interesting, each day.

Heading communications, Nishtha has created unique communication models that have helped students and faculty stay connected. She also believes that the right communication reflects directly on the culture of the organisations. Therefore, she keeps a close eye on the ethic, cultural, gender, and economic aspects of communication. She believes that it shapes up the student community, who are the heartbeat of Shoolini University. She feels communication keeps the university tied together, which is important in these times of high uncertainty.

Under her able supervision, Yogananda Series of webinars became highly popular at the university, where some great speakers from India and across the globe participated to give students an insight into the real world. Personalities like Kiran Bedi, Yuvraj Singh and so on, took part in this event and it helped students get a global perspective of their respective subjects.

Furthermore, as one of the founding members of Shoolini University, one of her key roles has been to create the right platforms for students and faculty to talk about their achievements not only in India but internationally as well. She also always emphasizes the importance of family for a professional who wants to dream big. Personally for her, closed-knit near and dear ones have played a big role in helping her become what she is today. She says they continue to be someone who she can lean on – anytime.

Lastly, being a keen academic from her early years – her love for education led her towards pursuing BA (Eng.) & M.A (Eng.) from Lady Sriram College & Journalism from Xavier’s Institute of Communication. Also, as proof of her hard work and dedication, she has won many awards and laurels throughout her career, among which – Google’s Woman Entrepreneur of the Year & Manthan award for a ‘sustainable workplace’, are a few.

As a person who always believes in pushing girls to stand head-to-head with men in all walks of life, she has an open message to all the girls. She says, “Based on where they are and what they do, women have to be creative in the way they expend their time. You want to ensure that everything you do is aligned with your larger goals. As long as that happens, bend the rules to ensure that everything you do is aligned to your larger goals.”