About Us


We Believe In Empowering Students Through Knowledge

The Keystone academy empowers students to create their own opportunities with knowledge that complements the academic curriculum. With a student-centric pedagogy, we immerse you in learning environments that encourage critical thinking and effective communication. Our wide-ranging workshops, smart sessions, exciting events and trendy contests are powered by the expertise of pioneering educational consultants, academicians and a board of advisors. Organized across the state of Karnataka, these activities are supported by our academic partnerships and initiatives. Spread out across the year, they address a range of student concerns.

How Do We Help?

Using proven methods, we help you prepare for quality higher education by enhancing your analytical, communication, public-speaking, negotiation and executive skills. We accelerate self-development by revealing new perspectives of how the world functions and progresses. Your exclusive membership allows us to assess and fulfill knowledge needs specific to you and meet them with engaging multimedia resources curated by experts. If you are unsure about your career path, Keystone provides you with the clarity required to select the right choice from the vast array of opportunities emerging.

The Bottom Line: We are an academic club that diversifies learning to help students like you create a better future for themselves


Along with a wealth of knowledge and experience, the founding team of the Keystone Academy is driven by its conviction in pedagogy that is constructive, holistic and student-centric.

Darpan Shah


Darpan Shah is the director of The Keystone Academy. Having worked in the education space in various capacities, he is currently on a mission to improve the quality of education & the type of exposure given to students across Karnataka. Having been an entrepreneur, product designer, marketer, trainer and management consultant, he is now applying his learnings to building a community of learners and teachers to empower them with valuable skills and knowledge to deal with the 21st century.

Pooja Joshi D

Faculty for Communication

Mrs. Joshi is a dynamic entrepreneur and dancer who inspires and empowers people to find the best solutions for their problems. Through her dance studio, Beyond Taalas, she encourages people to express themselves to the fullest. She contributes to community development programs, organizes the most fashionable events and concerts and passionately trains engineers, actors, singers, artists, corporate employees and children in dance. A research scholar at the University of Mysore, she approaches teaching with a balance of theory and practice.

Gurulingu P

Faculty for Fianance

A master of accounts, Mr. Gurulingu simplifies the complex world of finance and business in engaging and humorous ways. He has ten years of experience teaching young students the myriad ways of the corporate world. His work with students echoes the belief that finance without strategy is just numbers and strategy without finance is just dreaming. He holds several commerce qualifications including an MBA in Finance from the VTU and his areas of interest include taxation, accounting and investment portfolios.

Kaushik Akiwatkar

Academic lead

Kaushik Akiwatkar is the academic lead of the Keystone Academy and the Dean of Cresta Institute of Management, Science and Arts. As a founding director at the Rishihood University, he has mentored thousands of aspiring students to become impactful entrepreneurs. His zeal for reforming the education system is reflected in his research paper "Improving Quality in Public Schools: Strengthening School Management Committees”, which was published by Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A). He is a valued member of the Shalom Club - an initiative for cultural and humanitarian outreach by the government of Israel - and the advisory board of various educational institutes.

Ashika Appaiah

Faculty for Marketing

Ms. Appaiah is an artist, graphic designer, director, videographer and a senior executive of concept and marketing who also loves to rescue stray dogs. Rooted in the philosophy of constant learning, she is a gold medalist from the University of Mysore. A PhD scholar, she started her multifaceted career as a content writer. Apart from equipping youngsters with the shrewd skills and profound concepts of marketing, she can be found surfing along the west coast of the country.

Aniruddha Padmanabh

Industry Advisor, Key Facilitator

Anirrudha Padmanabh is a thought leader - as the head of The Thought School and a seasoned corporate trainer, he coaches people in the art of thinking for economic, emotional and existential success. He has worked with industry leaders such as 92. 7 BIG FM, The Times of India group, HDFC bank, HUL and GE. With 18 years of general management experience across the sectors of banking, FMCG and media & entertainment, he skillfully nurtures future leaders to realize their potential.

Nisha Ghori

Faculty for Language

Always full of quirky anecdotes and relatable quotes, Mrs. Ghori teaches students French and how not to get into trouble. A globetrotter, she has studied subjects ranging from communications to engineering in Africa and Europe and experienced the exquisite beauty of the French language for 32 years. As an expert language instructor, she has a keen interest in the evolution of language and its role in shaping society. She emphasizes the enhanced interpersonal effectiveness gained through foreign languages through her institute, French Basics.

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