About Us

Avid Learning is Essar's cultural philanthropy arm and India's leading arts and cultural programming platform. Founded in 2009, over the past decade and counting, Avid Learning has presented over 1600 multiverse and hybrid programs, domestically and internationally. Together with its online platform –  AVID Online, launched in 2020 – Avid Learning has reached 1.8 million interested learners, globally.

With a vision to democratise the arts, create new audiences, and deepen engagement in India's burgeoning creative sector, Avid Learning thoughtfully curates diverse events that embrace the spirit of collaboration.

It brings together the best of Indian and international think tanks, artists, intellectuals, cultural experts, and policymakers across a variety of multidisciplinary genres and new-age topics in Visual & Performing Arts, Literature, Culture & Heritage, Education, and Design & Technology.

Through engaging formats like panel discussions, workshops, master classes, roundtables, lecture demonstrations, festival platforms, symposiums, multidisciplinary performances, and walkthroughs, Avid Learning strives to impact cultural policy and pedagogy and enrich the creative sector in India thus, remaining firmly rooted in the arts and cultural ecosystem.

Avid Learning is at the curatorial helm at the Royal Opera House, Mumbai - India's only surviving Opera House since it was reopened in 2016. Avid Learning also regularly collaborates and partners with the diplomatic core in India, NGOs, innovative initiatives, and leading institutions like the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and many more.

In all its efforts, Avid Learning stands true to its motto that #LearningNeverStops



Avid Learning strives to enrich audiences and create unique learning experiences by curating insightful and engaging events that bring together the best of the arts and culture in Mumbai and beyond.


Avid Learning began with an aim to make the arts and culture more accessible and attractive to everyone and provide an unparalleled platform and opportunity for creative changemakers to showcase their talent.



Avid Learning prides itself on achieving excellence, constant learning, teamwork and delivering the best in all its endeavours while always being environmentally conscious.

Our Team

Mrs. Madhu Ruia

Founder and Chairperson

Madhu Ruia has been integrally involved in the Essar Group's CSR initiatives which include educational and environmental projects. Being a trained sitarist, and an exponent of Sanskrit literature she is an advocate of the Arts and Culture and a believer in continuous learning. To bring both these passions together, she started Avid Learning, a unique initiative which not only serves as the cultural philanthropy arm of the Essar Group but has grown into a premium cultural platform.

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Asad Lalljee

SVP, Essar Group and CEO of Avid Learning | Curator, Royal Opera House Mumbai

Asad Lalljee is SVP, Essar Group, CEO of Avid Learning, a public programming initiative and creative platform under the Essar Group, and Curator of the Royal Opera House, Mumbai. Asad brings several years of advertising, publishing, marketing, and business development experience, both in international and domestic markets. Prior to relocating to India, Asad worked for 14 years as one of the ‘Mad Men’ advertising executives on New York's Madison Avenue. He was with McCann-Erickson, and earlier with Hill Holiday, a subsidiary of advertising giant IPG. Under Asad’s leadership, Avid Learning has distinguished itself with a wide variety of arts and cultural programming and is currently India’s leading cultural hub. AVID has grown its curatorial practice by leveraging international cultural collaborations through the diplomatic core and partnering with the existing ecosystem by creating opportunities at some of the country’s largest cultural platforms including Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF), The Serendipity Arts Festival and The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. In 2022, Asad was co-opted as a member of the Kala Ghoda Association’s Executive Committee. He has been appointed as a member of the advisory board of the Mumbai Urban Art Festival for the year 2022-2023. In 2016, Asad was appointed curator of the newly restored Royal Opera House, Mumbai for which he has successfully designed an avant-garde series of programs. With Asad’s guidance, the Royal Opera House, Mumbai has re-established itself as a performance space of international quality, a cultural venue par excellence, and a prime example of restored and renewed city heritage. In 2018, Asad was inducted into the prestigious FICCI Art and Culture Committee as a distinguished member. FICCI is the largest and oldest apex business organization in Indian business with a glorious history of nine decades. Asad has co-convened foray conferences for FICCI’s Smart Cities, Art Cities IP in Mumbai, and Bengaluru. In April 2020, he launched AVID ONLINE as a response to the pandemic and successfully presented 240 programs by March 2021. His curatorial choices demonstrate his passion for technology and new media. After introducing the Mumbai audience to the world of NFTs, Asad took Avid Learning to New York, where he kicked off Engendered, New York’s three-week-long exhibition by moderating a panel discussion on ‘State of the Contemporary: NFTs and the Global South.’ It was followed by moderating the opening session of Jaipur Literature Festival’s, New York edition: ‘Digital Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and the Cyber Future.’ Asad’s creative strategy has led to AVID developing a robust social media presence transforming it into an integral channel for learning. Asad holds a B.A. in Economics from St. Xavier's College (Mumbai) and an M.A. in Global Marketing Communications from Emerson College (Boston).

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Dhwani Vyas Rele

Senior Project Manager

Ayeshah Dadachanji

Senior Project Manager

Sagar Bhagat

Senior Project Manager

Zahabiya Patharia

Social Media & Project Manager

Shantanu Sharma

Project Manager

Manohar Jha

EA / Admin / Accountant

Vikram Solanki


Mahendra Tambe

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