Thorro Learning - Our Story

Introducing Dr. Murali  who founded Thorro in 2015. He is deeply passionate about hands-on education for K-12 kids, and has spent more than a decade each in the business and academic worlds. He was previously at McKinsey & Co where provided management consulting services to Fortune 500 companies and has advised Governments on their national strategy for economic development. For over a decade he was involved in Nanotechnology research at Georgia Tech as a research faculty and a PhD graduate. He has authored a book and many peer reviewed publications on Nanotech and Semiconductors.  

Why did you start Thorro Learning?

Dr. Murali: Over the last decade or so, both in the business and academic worlds, I’ve noticed that recent college graduates come in with significant gaps in their knowledge and don’t have a well-rounded view of the world. Some of them were really specialized in one area but did not have a holistic approach. 

But according to Adam Smith, isn’t specialization good for the economy?

Dr. Murali: Yes – specialization is good only if we know how the broad basics in other areas; especially important is how to apply these principles to real world applications. 

Can you give me an example?

Dr. Murali: Sure – I interview candidates regularly for various roles in my company. In a few case interviews, they need to calculate the gasoline budget for a trucking company. For this they need to know the price of gasoline. Candidates assume anywhere from 10 cents to a few hundreds of dollars per gallon of gasoline. In fact a few candidates did not even know the units of measurement. And these were students from premier institutions. At first I thought that perhaps there were a few students who never drove and thus did not need to know about these facts. But over time, I started seeing such examples in other areas as well – from converting inches to centimeter to basic estimation exercises.

Really? So how does all this relate to Thorro Learning?

Dr. Murali: I realized that some of the most fundamental concepts are not clearly understood by recent college graduates and asked myself what I can do immediately. I felt that the best change has to come from the middle and high school itself, rather than waiting till college. Thus I decided to launch Thorro Learning.

So how do you plan to supplement the current education system?

Dr. Murali: By focusing on a few concrete skills. One of them is the skill to learn – how to learn new concepts. Kids struggle with learning independently. My own kids, when they were younger, found independent study sessions very challenging; they routinely resisted learning independently. Perhaps they got used to someone teaching them and expected to be taught everything.

Why is that such an issue?

Dr. Murali: In life, we come across so many problems that no one else has tackled. Then there is no one to turn to. But if we have the skill to solve problems, we will be more confident in tackling challenges. This way, our society as a whole would move forward in its knowledge rather than being limited by what we already know.

So is Thorro about Problem solving?

Dr. Murali: Yes – Thorro Learning is about the ability to solve challenging problems, the ability to be creative, to also develop business and communication skills – this is the essence of what we are trying to do.