Managing Director, Ryan International Group of Schools
Profile by Dr. Jeanette Pinto
An outstanding educationist that India can be proud of today is Grace Pinto, the Managing Director of the Ryan International Group of Schools, and over one hundred schools in the country. Having started with a single school, it sprouted into the St. Xavier’s Group of Schools, and now graduated to the Ryan International Group, operating under various Boards, and offering variety of curriculums. They have pioneered national and international events, which have become a benchmark in the segment of global education.
She is a charming lady; “grace” personified, welcomes everyone with a big smile, and is warm and gracious. She loves to be with children, and is proud of their achievements. The Pinto couple have two lovely daughters, and a son named Ryan. She is a family oriented person, and spends much time with them.
I asked Grace what motivated her to work in the field of education, to which she replied; “Nearly four decades ago, my husband Dr. Augustine F. Pinto, set up a school with a vision and passion to enable every child around to have access to education, and to equip children with life skills and empower them to be socially responsible leaders. I joined my husband on this education life journey as a natural progression to nurture the seed God planted in our hearts”. With success and God’s blessings, they have established school after school in different states of the country.
It surely is a herculean task to handle and manage so many schools, how does she do it? Firstly, Grace is blessed with talents, and a good personality. She mentioned that being at the helm of affairs to manage the many schools demands a lot of sacrifice and time. There are multiple roles she needs to perform simultaneously. It is challenging, and often she finds herself multi-tasking. She is grateful to her army of committed and dedicated teachers and staff, and immensely appreciative of her family members who support her on this ongoing journey.
Over the years, the Ryan Group has been recognised with over 110 awards and accolades at national and international levels. The Guinness World Records was presented to the group of schools for the highest charity donation. Also, the group has been rewarded more than 8 Limca Book Records for its activities in media, sports, and education. There are several other awards too that they have received.
As a philanthropist, Grace has plunged herself into many areas of social outreach. Her several initiatives include adoption of orphanages, blind homes, homes for the elderly, reaching out to differently abled children, children of widows, women empowerment programs, village adoption, hygiene programs, health camps, environment awareness, and providing relief and rehabilitation measures for disaster- affected communities. She does not miss any cause that needs attention. Recently, the Ryan’s Food Bucket Challenge initiative successfully collected over 700,000 kilos of food items, and distributed it to over 200 NGOs in India.
Grace has received several accolades for her multi-farious involvements. The highlights being; she was one of the five Speakers at the Presidential National Prayer Breakfast at Washington D.C. in 2010 – “it was probably the most memorable moment in my life”, she said. She is one among “100 Women Achievers of India” felicitated by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee. She received “the Pride of India – Woman of the Year” Award by Lord Raj Loomba, UK Parliamentarian. Indeed, the list of achievements is long, and that makes all of us proud of her.
Grace is a woman of deep faith. In all her endeavours and successes, she gives ‘glory to Jesus’. She has a powerful message to gen next. She urges them to be willing learners of life, and respectful towards others. “I want them to be humane, empathetic, and responsible leaders of tomorrow. Anchored firmly to values and faith in God, one can face the challenges of times. Do not forget to count your blessings and contribute to the progress of our society, and the nation at large”.
Grace has her family ancestry rooted in Mangalore. She is a woman of strong determination, and committed to the cause of education. Her life has been a testimony of ‘Leadership in action’.
She has done her family, the Mangalorean community, and the country proud. Kudos to Grace!