Hyderabad: The Narayana Group of Institutions was shattered as the news broke of the tragic death of Nishith Narayana, the director of the group, on Wednesday.
Nishith became director in June 2014, after his father and founder of the group of educational institutions, P Narayana, plunged into politics and became a minister in the Telugu Desam Party government in Andhra Pradesh. Officials of the group said that Nishith played a crucial role in expanding the education empire built by his father to other states.
After three-and-a-half decades building the Narayana Group, Mr Narayana shifted to the political arena and is currently Municipal Administration and Urban Development minister.
He has said he did so only after his only son agreed to take over the reins as director and assist his sisters, P Sindhura and P Sharini, who are on the board of management.
Staff say that Nishith was the guiding and motivational force for the group after Mr Narayana left the chairman's position to enter politics in 2014, and was easily accessible to the staff.
The Narayana Group of Institutions has around three lakh students and 30,000 teaching and non-teaching faculty on its rolls in over 500 institutions - schools and professional colleges - spread across 13 states.
Nishith did an MBA degree from the National University of Singapore Business School.
“He was active in the administration and management of the Narayana Group even when he was pursuing an MBA in Singapore. He used to come to Hyderabad every Friday and stay the weekend. He used to hold meetings with the core team on Saturday and Sunday to review the progress of the institutions and the expansion plans,” said an administrative officer of the Group.
A faculty member said that Nishith took over when the group had almost reached saturation point in the Telugu states and he devised plans to expand the group in neighbouring Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and West Bengal.
“The group was confined to providing coaching for engineering and medical entrance exams earlier. He was instrumental in diversifying the group to other fields like coaching for UPSC Civils, CA exams etc,” the faculty member said.
He also planned the group's entry into professional colleges. "The Narayana group had only one professional college till 2009, which was the medical college in Nellore. But he wanted the group to set up more professional colleges in other sectors due to which the group has now nine professional colleges,” the faculty member said.
Nithish's sister P Sindhura is married to Puneet Kothappa, who is now the president of the Narayana group. His other sister P Sharini is married to the son of AP minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao.
Narayana staff remember nishith as a kind individual
Nishith was one among the five directors of the Narayana Group of Institutions. He took charge of the management three years ago.
On Tuesday night, he had chaired a meeting of board members and principals at the group’s head office in Narayanaguda. Wednesday, he’s no more.
Employees remembered Nishith as a kind individual and said, except for the age difference, he was no less than their former boss, Minister Narayana, in all respects. Akber Pasha, AGM of Narayana Group, said he knew Nishith since his childhood as he was associated with them for over 15 years.
“He was a kid when I joined the group. He would play around with us. He has grown up as a person and as a leader. After he became director, we addressed Nishith as Sir, and he addresses all the employees elder to him as Sir,” he said.
Merc had 3 pending challans for speeding
The Mercedes Benz which was damaged in Wednesday’s accident had three pending challans for speeding from January 2017 on and around the Outer Ring Road. According to police records, the vehicle was registered in the name of Nspira Management Services Pvt Ltd. A total of Rs 4,305 was pending against the vehicle.
Jan. 24: The vehicle clocked 150kmph on a 120-kmph stretch near Himayatsagar
March 1: Caught doing 154 kmph on a 120-kmph stretch near Himayatsagar
March 11: Caught doing 125 kmph on ORR which has a speed limit of 120 kmph.