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Transforming Lives: The Leadership Journey of Thomas K George at LEAD College

LEAD College of Management—nestled in the vibrant city of Dhoni, Palakkad is not just a mere educational institution but a dynamic hub of learning, shaping the future leaders of tomorrow.

LEAD is the culmination of a long-standing dream to establish an educational institution that surpasses conventional learning while revolutionizing the management education sector with modern practices to create an environment that molds a student into a holistic being able to put learning into action and create an impact towards betterment.

At the helm of LEAD stands an idealistic leader—Thomas K George, the Chairman and Director of this prestigious institution. With a keen understanding of the needs of the industry and a passion for nurturing talent, Thomas has steered LEAD towards unprecedented growth and success.

When and why did you start your business?

Establishing an MBA college was driven by societal needs and the deep passion of the chairman, Dr. Thomas, to be an Edupreneur with a difference. One primary motivation was to address the growing demand for skilled business professionals in an increasingly complex and competitive global economy.

MBA programs equip students with essential skills such as leadership, strategic thinking, and problem-solving, which are highly sought after across industries. By training future business leaders, an MBA college significantly contributes to the economic development of the region. It fosters entrepreneurship and innovation, driving job creation. Dr. Thomas believes, “An MBA college can shape the future by empowering students with the skills necessary to navigate and succeed in a dynamic business environment.”

By offering comprehensive MBA programs, the college aims to prepare students to meet the challenges of the modern business world. The focus remains on nurturing talent that can lead with vision and integrity, ultimately benefiting both local and global communities.

Driving Economic Growth

LEAD is the brainchild of Dr. Thomas George—a professional life-skill trainer for various Engineering & MBA students in and around Kerala for years. Dr. Thomas’ training of students at various levels in a culture obsessed with measuring talent and ability opened his sense of creating an institution that gives importance to the inspiration that might lead to entrepreneurship, social commitment, and values.

According to him, inspiration awakens new possibilities by allowing one to transcend his ordinary experiences and limitations. Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility and transforms the way one perceives his own capabilities. The idea of starting a business school in a three-tier city of Kerala was conceived, germinated, nourished, and became a reality in 2011.

The Vision Behind

Dr. Thomas’ extensive experience in training students, in a culture focused on measuring talent and ability, inspired him to create an institution emphasizing inspiration, leading to entrepreneurship, social commitment, and values.

Dr. Thomas believes that ‘inspiration awakens new possibilities by allowing one to transcend ordinary experiences and limitations.’ This philosophy guided the creation of LEAD College, where the idea of starting a business school in a three-tier city of Kerala was conceived, germinated, nourished, and became a reality in 2011.

Overcoming Initial Challenges

The story of LEAD College of Management began in 2010. The college applied for an MBA program with 60 seats and extended to 120 seats in 2011. Initially, affiliation was not granted, but by late 2011, the college received affiliation for 120 seats.

Acting on newspaper reports from the University of Calicut indicating an MBA college was to be sanctioned in Palakkad, the institution recruited faculty members, admitted 120 students, and began classes. By November 2010, they realized that 120 students would not be able to write their first semester MBA examination at LEAD College due to affiliation issues.

Commitment to Students

Out of the 120 students, 58 chose to remain at LEAD College despite the challenges posed by external rules and regulations. LEAD College displayed remarkable magnanimity and large-heartedness by providing free boarding, lodging, and food to these students, without charging them for their academic pursuits.

This prompt and generous response in handling an unexpected crisis highlighted the college’s dedication to its students’ welfare. The efforts paid off as all 58 students passed with high marks and achieved a 100% pass rate, marking the beginning of LEAD College’s journey in 2011.

Thomas and his team at LEAD College encountered obstacles and setbacks along the way. Despite facing criticism from contemporaries, they remained steadfast in their faith and belief in their educational system. Their resilience in the face of adversity ultimately led to the success of LEAD College.

Growth and Accolades

Today, LEAD College of Management is preparing for the decennial celebrations of its first graduating batch. The college is a non-autonomous affiliate of the University of Calicut, AICTE-approved, and both NAAC and NBA accredited. It is undergoing the second cycle of NAAC accreditation in 2023-2024. Additionally, LEAD is ISO 21001:2018 certified and GSAAA accredited and has undertaken green, energy, and environmental audit certifications.

From an initial 58 students in 2012, LEAD College now has approval for an annual intake of 300 students, including an additional quota for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS). The campus currently houses 600 students, supported by 40 faculty and staff members. This significant growth reflects the college’s commitment to excellence and its role in fostering future business leaders.

Resilience and Results

One pivotal moment in Thomas’s journey to success was the introduction of innovative teaching methods and the integration of technology into classrooms at LEAD College of Management.

This decision, coupled with a focus on experiential learning, marked a significant shift in the institution’s approach to education. By forging strong partnerships with leading companies, and providing real-world exposure through internships, live projects, and guest lectures, Thomas ensured his students received practical industry insights.

Despite facing doubts and criticism, Thomas remained steadfast in his commitment to providing top-notch education. The turning point came when the first batch of students achieved 100% placement, validating Thomas’s approach and silencing the critics, cementing LEAD College’s reputation for excellence.

Strategic Initiatives

To grow our business,” says Thomas, “we employed several strategic tactics focused on delivering quality education and enhancing student employability.” Central to their approach is offering current, value-added courses that equip students with today’s job market skills. They integrate various activities and gamification techniques into the curriculum for engaging and practical learning.

Actively involving students in corporate programs is a key strategy. Furthermore, they strengthen academic-industry connections not just through seminars but also by involving students in organizing large-scale events.

This hands-on experience helps develop critical skills like decision-making and understanding industry needs, ensuring students are well-prepared for the workforce. This comprehensive approach significantly contributes to business growth and success.

Personalized Support, Professional Results

We differentiated our business from competitors,” explains Thomas, “through key strategies focusing on maximizing student outcomes and creating a supportive, empowering environment.”

Firstly, they offered top-notch placement opportunities with high returns on investment, ensuring graduates quickly found meaningful employment. Their individualized approach to understanding each student’s strengths allowed for tailored support. They fostered a friendly, inclusive campus culture where students felt supported, with a dedicated faculty providing personalized mentorship.

Empowering students by involving them in decision-making processes, equipped them with essential leadership skills and practical experience, setting them up for success in their future careers. This unique approach not only sets them apart but also ensures students thrive academically and personally.

The Path to Success

LEAD is a gateless institution that has opened doors for hundreds of aspiring students to enter sunrise industries with attractive packages, earning a reputation for nearly 100% placement in top-notch organizations in India and overseas. It’s an ideal place for those who value academic freedom, student-friendly norms, interaction with supportive faculty, and industrially experienced seniors.

With a focus on 360-degree learning, evolved syllabi, global standards, and personality development, LEAD offers promising career opportunities. With about 700 students in a 100% residential campus, it stands out among management institutes in Kerala.

Initiatives like LEAD-BI and LEAD IEDC promote an entrepreneurial spirit, nurturing startups and shaping the next generation of entrepreneurs. LEAD aims to transform young talents into job creators, reinforcing its identity as the ‘Leadership and Entrepreneurial Academy, Dhoni.’

Nurturing Responsible Citizens

The institute has had a significant impact on the community and industry,” states Thomas, “by providing opportunities for students from middle-income backgrounds to access quality education and achieve success.”

Their focus on helping individuals from common backgrounds reach their full potential has created a ripple effect of success, benefiting not just students but also their families. By offering better placement opportunities, they ensure their impact extends beyond the individual to the entire family unit.

Dedicated to equipping students with the skills and mindset needed to thrive, they emphasize holistic personal development. Through their comprehensive approach, they provide valuable support, teach resilience, and instill a sense of responsibility, aiming to shape students into not just employable individuals but also responsible citizens. Their goal is to empower students to navigate life successfully, fostering a community of individuals who contribute positively to society.

A Glimpse into the Future

The future plans at LEAD College include:

  • Ensuring placement packages of not less than Rs 12.00 lakhs per annum for approximately 80% of eligible students.
  • Facilitating placements in top-notch companies, including Fortune 500 firms.
  • Achieving diversity among students and faculty by inviting individuals from across India and overseas to join LEAD.
  • Securing accreditation from both Indian and international organizations/accrediting bodies.
  • Working towards becoming a private university within the next 10 years, offering a range of multidisciplinary courses.
  • Establishing a separate entity dedicated to entrepreneurship, fostering innovation and business ventures among our students and alumni.

The Entrepreneur’s Mindset

Based on Thomas’s experiences, aspiring entrepreneurs should:

  • Hustle and Network: Success requires relentless hustle and effective networking. Being the smartest or hardest worker isn’t enough without hustle. Identify challenges and push through them. As Thomas learned, hard work alone isn’t sufficient.
  • View Your Business as a Workhorse: Instead of treating your business like a “baby,” see it as a workhorse meant to provide for you. This shift in mindset can change how you manage your business. Ensure your business is profitable and sustainable by conducting thorough market research and planning beforehand. Your business should work for you, not the other way around.

By embracing these principles, aspiring entrepreneurs can navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship and build successful, sustainable businesses.


Personal Information

Name: Thomas K George

Position/Title: Chairman and Director

Company Name: LEAD College of Management