Manoj Nayak, Founder of SoA Group of Institutions
A low-key nonetheless an immensely successful educational entrepreneur, Manoj Nayak(The Selfless Edupreneur), founder of the SoA Group of Institutions grabbed spotlight recently. The SUM Hospital owned by Nayak entered into a tripartite agreement with the Odisha health & family welfare department and Coal India Ltd (CIL) subsidiary Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) for setting up a 500-bedded hospital to exclusively treat victims of Covid-19 pandemic.
Nayak has exuded his large-heartedness yet again by rallying around for a humane cause. His(The Selfless Edupreneur) magnanimous step will etch his name in the annals of history.
Known to be a reclusive man with robust political connections especially his liaisons with the who’s who of the incumbent BJD, Nayak(The Selfless Edupreneur) built a sprawling educational ecosystem that conflated quality and affordability.
He had humble beginnings. An alumnus of NIT, Rourkela, who graduated with BTech degree in electrical engineering in 1982, Nayak(The Selfless Edupreneur) started his career as a faculty with the College of Engineering & Technology (CET), Bhubaneswar.
He later earned a PHD in computer science from IIT, Kharagpur. A student is known for his rapier wit, Nayak always had the flair for academics and research.
But he nurtured bigger ambitions- to serve people with his noble entrepreneurial spirits. While he was still an academic professor at CET.
Nayak floated the Siksha O Anusandhan Trust and also founded the Institute of Technical Education & Research (ITER).
Now, he is it, chief trustee. The trust manages and runs 10 educational institutions and two state-of-the-art super speciality hospitals.
However, Nayak does not meddle in the affairs of the management. Nor does he foist his thoughts on the running of the multiple institutions unlike some of his more publicity mongering peers do.
Nayak, however, has smartly dissociated himself from the board of management of the university preferring to work behind the scene.
The official website of the Siksha O Anusandhan University does not even mention Nayak’s name.
Nayak started the SUM Hospital in 2006 on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar and a few years later founded a medical and dental college. Until recently, the hospital provided consultation and beds to patients free of cost.
He even sent vehicles to nearby villages to ferry patients to the hospital. It is now one of the prominent hospitals in the city with a huge footfall.
Like other Odia entrepreneurs who started media houses for saving their backs in times of distress, Nayak(The Selfless Edupreneur) too owns television channel News 7 and Odia newspaper Prameya that made quite a splash and put him in the powerful league of media barons in the state.