Born on 9 December 1959 in a business family, Mr. P.K. Gupta graduated from Agra University. He started the business of scientific equipment and machinery in the name of Instruments India, a partnership firm.
Mr. P. K. Gupta, Chancellor of Sharda University and the Founder Chairman of Sharda Group of Institutions is among the leading educational reformers who have given a new direction to the teaching methodology practiced across the country. Sharda University is set to achieve new heights in the teaching world with its global outlook and international faculty. Mr. P. K. Gupta has a new dream of making Sharda University a world class global University to focus on entrepreneurship and to venture beyond convention.
In 1980, he became an entrepreneur and started his own business of manufacturing and supplying of engineering equipments to various Educational and Research Laboratories. Slowly and steadily, he spread his business from North India to South India encompassing each and every corner of the country. Since the business required a lot of travelling, he observed his co-passengers to be students who travelled from North India to the South India for their education. In those days, students had to struggle for admissions in the engineering colleges due to which they travelled to South India. He also observed the poor education infrastructure and facilities present in North India which led to a struggling education for the young minds. This observation made him think that why could not the education be made available in North India.
Bringing his dream into reality, in 1995, he established the Sharda Education Trust under which he opened up an engineering college by 1996 in Agra, well known as Hindustan Institute of Science & Technology. In 1997, he opened up a second college for students of management and computer science by the name of Hindustan Institute of Management & Computer Studies.
He himself appointed various faculties for the colleges. In the interviews, he used to question them on very basic insights of engineering and he observed that majority of them could not answer some simple queries. He then realized that it was not the fault of the teachers that they could not answer, but it was a drawback of the teaching system. It was based on theoretical teaching rather than application based learning. The examination system too, only tested the memory rather than testing the intelligence of the students.
Thus, the teachers were also incorporated to the theoretical knowledge of the classrooms and were unexposed to the practical knowledge prevailing outside in the market. This teaching pedagogy hindered the development of talent and natural curiosity of an individual student. An education system which would inculcate an application based approach in the young students enlightened the thought of opening up educational institutions which would focus more on nurturing the talent and develop curiosity of young individuals. Looking at the huge response and demand for colleges, he opened up Anand Engineering College in 1998 and Babu Mohanlal Arya Samarak (BMAS) Engineering College in 1999.
During the admission process for colleges, he happened to notice the dismal ratio of girls to boys taking admissions in the colleges. Mr. P.K. Gupta then realized the custom of not providing higher education to a girl child was still prevailing. Parents belonging to rural and semi-urban areas were more focused on the education of a male child. The thought that educating a female who is also a mother and the child’s first teacher, was still far away to be realized by the rural and semi-urban population.
He was very devoted to his mother Mrs. Sharda Gupta, as she had inculcated all the values and ethics within him. He then decided to grant 90% scholarship to girls whose family could not afford to pay their tuition fee. With this step, 70% admissions were given to girls in 1999. Since then, he made it a point to give out donations and charity only for the education of girls.
In 2000, Anand College of Pharmacy was established to diversify into other areas of education. By 2005, the first of its kind Faculty Development Institute was set up in the Greater Noida Campus. This establishment was started based on the vision of shifting the management from theory based learning to application based learning. The change was witnessed within the classrooms but the traditional examination system created a resistance in realizing the vision.
Thus, the need of a fully innovative system was felt and the idea to set up a University began to come into existence. In between 2005 to 2008 few more colleges were added into the group under different disciplines like, Hindustan Institute of Dental Sciences, Hindustan Business School, Hindustan Institute of Technology, HAERT, and Hindustan Institute of Allied Health Sciences & Research. With a view of providing health facilities to the population, a 500 bed Multi-speciality Corporate Hospital named as Sharda Hospital was set up in 2006 in the 63 acre campus on Greater Noida. In addition to the various educational institutions, Mr. Gupta has also set up Maxwel Hotel Private Ltd, Agra; Sharda Hospitals Private Ltd., Agra; Sharda Software Solution Private Ltd., Delhi; and Maxwel Products, Agra.
In 2001, Mr. P.K. Gupta was bestowed with the Udyog Ratna award and a year later with the Uttar Pradesh Ratna award.