The Khan Factor – Anjum

The Khan Factor – Anjum

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it,” says Maya Angelou, the American poet and memoirist. Here’s one Hyderabadi woman achiever who believes in living by that Mantra. Not content with being just the daughter in law of Hyderabad’s First Family of Real Estate and Infrastructure – the Babukhans – Anjum has emerged as one the city’s most respected educationists and philanthropists. In an exclusive one-on-one with RITZ, the graceful Anjum speaks on her family and endeavours. 

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To be born into an illustrious family and build on its strengths is one thing, while to be married into one and create one’s own identity is another. While Salman Babu Khan, a Management Graduate from Chicago belongs to the former category, his wife Anjum belongs to the latter. Salman’s grandfather, Khan Bahadur Abdul KarimBabukhan, the doyen of the clan, established a highly successful business empire in the 1930s which was expanded further by Salman’s father, BasheeruddinBabukhan.

 The Arts College of the Osmania University, Hyderabad House, the Delhi Palace of the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Deccan towers, the Mogul court, the Babukhan estate, the AsafJahi Towers and the Babukhan Millennium Centre along with over 20 major projects that dot the city today are a few of the monumental marvels the family has created. His father also forayed into politics and had held important portfolios as a Cabinet Minister in the 90s. Salman, on his part, has successfully led the Babukhan enterprises into the next millennium besides making his presence felt at the Round Table, YI and CII.

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Anjum was a Psychology Major from the Loyola University in Chicago when she got engaged to Salman. She was always keen on being associated with the education sector. So she pursued her Masters in Educational Administration and Instructional Leadership, soon after their engagement and started working in Springfields School after marriage, which was established by her father-in-law. After 7 years, she started Glendale Academy, her own institution in 2003.

“My father-in-law, late BashiruddinBabukhan, always wanted to create a state-of-the- art institution and leave that as his legacy. Even though the family had a name in real estate, he always thought of empowering others and giving back to the society. He was into philanthropy and charity until his last breath. The last place he visited before passing away was Glendale. He was really proud of me for making his dream come true. Having been a successful businessman, politician and philanthropist, he always attributed his success to his alma mater. He wanted to do the same thing and create leaders who would make the world a better place like he did,” shares Anjum.

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“My in-laws and husband have been ever supportive, encouraging and proud of everything pursue, by God’s grace. They helped me settle in wonderfully.  There is a beautiful synergy in our family that supports one another and what we contribute to the society. Glendale Academy is the biggest example. It was my father-in-law’s vision and dream and my mother in law’s dua (prayers) and blessings, which helped us build Glendale. My husband carried out the entire physical project from building to landscape architecture to handling the logistics and government permissions; and then I did everything else from helping design the concept, logo, stationary, curriculum methods, pedagogy, training of teachers, procuring the best international resources, inputs on the interiors, to our entire school programs… Glendale represents us in more ways than one. We wanted to create proactive, productive and value-enriched peaceful global citizens,” adds the poised lady. The school attracts the future heirs of several high profile families even though it’s not intentional.

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Countless personalities have inspired AnjumBabukhan. “I love to learn from everyone and synthesise those experiences into my life,” she says. Her passions include anything nurturing, rejuvenating, spiritual and enriching. She loves spas and travelling. “I feel so nurtured and restored when I go to a spa! I love learning new things to enrich myself. Of course travelling is wonderful! My husband and I love to take a restorative break as well as visit new lands not explored before. My spiritual book club is very special too and I have learnt and grown so much as a person – whether it is from the Power of Now by Eckart Tolle or Soul to Soul by Gary Zukav. I would much rather enjoy an intimate lunch with a friend and have a satiating conversation instead of attending a social do with small talk. I love nature and all natural things from aromatherapy to zinc,” reveals the educationist.

Anjum strongly believes that she has a lot to offer teachers and education leaders. She wishes to publish her book and video that is a neuroscience based guide for educators. She wrote it several years ago but didn’t have time to launch it yet. “I would love to take my Edvantage Teacher Leadership Institute to the next level in the future. There is definitely a need for this,” she says as she signs off.