Bishopbriggs education innovator presented with business achievement honour

Dr Rashmi Mantri from Bishopbriggs won the Best Entrepreneur award at the Inspiring Indian Women (IIW) She Inspires Awards.

The annual awards celebrate the work and achievements of women of Indian origin across the world.

Rashmi is multi-business manager, IT specialist and educator with a PhD in computer science – as well as the founder of the world’s first online abacus maths learning application.

And being honoured not only highlights her business achievements, but also her commitment to women’s empowerment.

Dr Rashmi Mantri with her trophy at the IIW She Inspires Awards

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As the head of a “99.99 per cent” women-driven workforce, Rashmi continues to provide mentorship to women across all fields.

The awards ceremony, hosted by MP Bob Blackman, took place at Portcullis House on the Parliamentary Estate in Westminster.

Rashmi said: “Women are inspiring in every area; they are very strong. So, when a woman is recognised for her achievements, she can definitely inspire others.”

The 45-year-old started her career as a software developer and IT trainer, making a shift towards youth education when she noticed gaps in her son’s mathematical ability.

When Rashmi’s son Dhruv was in P5, she happened to ask him a simple arithmetic sum, and was “shocked and disappointed” when he couldn’t tell her the answer.

Rashmi set out to help her son by teaching him an alternative arithmetic method, using the abacus model she had learned in her own youth.

She said: “It struck me his inability to compute a simple sum reflected the situation of maths skills in a great many children. I decided to change the way he looked at numbers.”

It worked, and the improvement in Dhruv’s arithmetic skills was so notable his school arranged an assembly to share the abacus technique.

In response to a growing demand for abacus tuition from fellow parents, Rashmi started an after-school tuition programme, founding the British Youth International College (BYITC) in 2015.

Rashmi has since developed, and self-funded, several youth and adult education programmes – covering mathematics, English, programming, and, most recently, cyber security.

What started as in-person classes in Glasgow and Edinburgh has now grown to provide online courses to thousands of students worldwide.

For Rashmi, the success of the BYITC programmes is not reflected in grades, but in the confidence instilled in young people.

She said: “With the Abacus learning application, kids can learn to calculate faster than with a calculator. It’s not just about maths, I call it a brain development tool.

“There is nothing better than providing an education to someone. I am blessed that I am helping children learn new things.”