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Journey from Mumbai to Scarborough just the beginning for management co-op student

Rohil Kishinchandani is a first-year student in the Co-op Management and Economics program at U of T Scarborough. In addition to starting his own tutoring business he also worked for a film production company in India. (Photo by Ken Jones)

Rohil Kishinchandani’s passion for math comes from the way each equation can take him down a unique path.

“When I’m solving a math problem there’s a certain path you can take to arrive at an answer," says Kishinchandani, a first-year student in the Co-op Management and Economics program at U of T Scarborough.  

"I try to take an offbeat path to solve a problem, and I think that’s what makes math so unique. The satisfaction you get in arriving at the correct answer using unchartered methods, for me, there’s nothing like it.” 

Kishinchandani was able to translate his passion for math into a thriving tutoring business called Mad Over Math while he was a high school student in Mumbai, India. He first started out tutoring his brother, but soon the parents of friends caught on to how adept he was at teaching difficult concepts.

“Where I’m from a lot of parents’ worry that their children won’t do well in math, so I started to get a lot of interest,” says Kishinchandani, who was 15 when he started tutoring seriously.    

His aptitude for math also led him at the age of 16 to help a family friend who was five years his senior to study for a college math equivalency exam. Since he wasn’t entirely familiar with the content that would be on the exam he borrowed the textbook and managed to read it over one weekend in order to understand the concepts.  The rest, says Kishinchandani, was just a matter of applying the same teaching techniques he used on his younger pupils.   

“That was a very rewarding experience because she ended up doing very well on the exam,” he says. “It’s very satisfying to see the expression in your student’s face when they understand a concept.”

Kishinchandani has only been in Canada for less than two weeks but is already impressed by how friendly and helpful people on campus have been.

It’s not the first time Kishinchandani has been away from home. In high school he took part in a student exchange program between where he got to live with a Dutch family in Leiden, located in the southern part of the Netherlands. While there immersed himself in Dutch culture, attended lectures, played sports and even visited the home of Anne Frank.

When the exchange program was finished he then bordered a train to Bruges, Belgium where he met up with the Indian film crew working on a Bollywood film called PK, which later turned out to be the highest grossing Indian film ever made.

Despite his father being the executive producer for the movie, Kishinchandani wanted to take a job as a lowly intern doing odd jobs like delivering scripts and instructions. Sometimes it involved a single piece of paper like a call sheet that could take up to an hour to deliver to each member of the crew.  

“I don’t want to be spoon fed,” he says, “I want to start from the bottom and earn my way up.”

He enjoys Bollywood movies and considers Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara by director Zoya Akhtar his favourite. He also enjoys North American movies, listing The Taken and The Hunger Games series as his favourite English movies.

While the movie industry runs in his blood, he isn’t sure what the future holds. It’s one of the main reasons he enrolled in Management Co-op – to have the flexibility of working and studying in order to discover which industry piques his interest the most. 

“I’m really looking forward to discovering my career,” he says with a smile. “It’s the reason the Co-op program at U of T Scarborough was my first choice.”


© University of Toronto Scarborough