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“The pursuit of excellence is a never-ending quest. It is not a disgrace if dreams remain unfulfilled, but it is, if we have no dreams to dream.”  - Late Dr. Stya Paul, Chairman, Apeejay Stya Group

Dr. Stya Paul, Founder Chairman of the Apeejay Stya Group is an eminent industrialist, educationist and philanthropist. Though he suffered physical handicap caused by polio at the age of two, he overcame his disability and humble beginnings, to become one of the most respected men in his nation. Born in 1919, Stya Paul moved with his family to Lahore, now in Pakistan, when he was a child, to join relatives who had set up a small workshop to manufacture steel items. The families later moved back to Jalandhar (in Punjab, India) to start a small factory. The business started prospering and by the mid-1930s, they had expanded the product line to include several steel items. By the onset of the Second World War, they were well-established in the business and had employed about 100 people in their factory. Stya Paul did very well in school in Jalandhar, even though he had to study by lantern light at night as the family could not afford electricity. He performed well enough on his matriculation exam to win a merit scholarship to DAV College, Jalandhar, where he displayed extraordinary talent in mathematics, securing first position in B.A. honors in the subject as well as a gold medal. He became a university record holder for several years in the State of Punjab. This led him to enrol in a Mathematics course in Government College in Lahore, where he placed third in the university's final M.A. exam in 1941. (He had navigated his sprawling university campus on a manually powered tricycle, and only later underwent an operation in the United States that enabled him to walk with callipers). He also played an active role in the country's freedom struggle and even went to jail. When his father passed away in 1944, Stya Paul took on the dual responsibilities of running the family business and overseeing the education of his siblings, including the higher studies of two of his brothers in the United States (he had already lost his mother at a very young age). He, along with his brothers, developed his father's small business into one of the biggest industrial houses in the country, diversifying into shipping, pharmaceuticals, construction, hotels, trading, tea gardens etc. Today, he is the Chairman emeritus of the ‘Apeejay Stya Group'. After completing his Post Graduation, Stya Paul had sought a lectureship in a college in Punjab, but was rejected because of his physical handicap. However, his passion for education remained undiminished, and he was deeply concerned about the lack of quality schools in post-independent India. This prompted him to launch the Apeejay Education Society in 1967, with a small school in Jalandhar.

Today, the society runs 13 Schools and 13 institutions of higher learning spread over 25 campuses, with more than 32,000 students on roll. All the Apeejay institutions are guided by Dr. Stya Paul's vision of value-based holistic education, focusing on acquiring thinking skills and ‘learning how to learn for life'. His vision of excellence in education is truly global, transcending the confines of state and country. Stya Paul, by virtue of his strong will power, calibre, strong dedication and leadership quality, has occupied a pivotal position in his community throughout his career. He served as president of the Engineering Association of India, the Federation of Engineering Industries of India and the Northern India Chamber of Commerce. He also played key roles in the Rotary Clubs in Jalandhar, Delhi Midtown, and District 301, and has served for several years as Chairman of the Handicapped Committee of the Rotary Club of Delhi Midtown. Throughout his life, he has helped hundreds of needy people secure jobs and scholarships. The college that had turned him down for a lectureship early in his career because of his physical handicap, later elected him president of its governing body. The Thames Valley University, London, recently awarded Stya Paul a Ph.D. honoris causa for his valuable contribution in the field of education. Even at his advanced age, Stya Paul retains his zeal for hard work and remains involved in the day-to-day running of Apeejay Institutions. He retains a love of Urdu poetry, spiritualism, philosophy, mysticism, music and arts and has compiled his favourite verses and quotes into the book Reflections in Time. He also publishes a quarterly family magazine called Chang Calling.