KALOREX GROUP: SUPERNAL NAME IN EDUCATION ENSURING EXCELLENCE
Quality education is the right of each child as well as a demand by all stake holders. It becomes quite indispensable therefore for every school to adopt unconventional methodologies for imparting an exemplary education. The educational boundaries have also expanded to not only providing quality education but also to ensure skill development and employability later, so the spotlight has shifted entirely to the learner and his/her future success.
Students across our nation require an overall personality development along with academic studies. The need of the times is to synchronize the teaching methods with the latest technology so the students can match the standards and get a quadruple boost in their growth and intellect through blended learning methods and applicability in life.
Kalorex Group, a prodigious name in the educational arena, is the brainchild of Dr. Manjula Pooja Shroff, the MD, and CEO of the Group.
The Group caters to the education industry specifically in the K-12 segment and offers a range of opportunities and services to all types and groups of students. The company was incepted in 1996 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and since then it has expanded from one school in 1996 to 40 plus institutions till 2019.
The flagship school under the Kalorex Banner is Delhi Public School (DPS)-Bopal, in Ahmedabad. With that, the Group runs one more DPS in the East of Ahmedabad as well as 5 Calorx Public Schools, located in Ahmedabad, Mundra, Bharuch, Rajula, and Jaipur. Apart from this, there is a chain of pre-schools across Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka, working as a franchise and company-owned models.
To cater to the differentiated needs of students, a school for special learning needs called ‘Kalorex Prerna’ was set up. As a CSR initiative, the ‘Visamo Kids Foundation’ was opened which is a home for underprivileged but bright students, who study in partner schools across Ahmedabad and are offered premium K-12 education and vocational guidance beyond school years too. Vocational and Educational Institute of Calorx (VEDIC), runs under the Kalorex banner, for skill development of underprivileged girls, to train them towards setting up their own business or getting employment.
STANDING APART FROM THE COMPETITORS
The Kalorex Group is different in what it promises to the entire spectrum of students. Premium to affordable education and also free education with skill development.
It has been a pioneer in implementing educational advancement in all its schools. Be it implementing ICT in the classroom more than a decade ago, through wall projectors or giving laptops for students with pre-loaded content, it has evolved in its educational practices with changing times. Irrespective of the Boards that the schools may follow, the indigenous Kalorex Taxonomy caters to all the aspects of a student’s learning and enables the educators to know their students historically and holistically. The Taxonomy helps to include all perspectives of education in the child’s learning.
Academic Excellence thus forms an integral ‘core value’ of the organization.
DAYS OF STRUGGLE
Nothing seemed easy at the time of starting but now when Dr. Shroff looks back, everything seemed easily accomplished. Challenges were always a part and parcel of any initiative but hard work, a motivated team, support from the government, and acceptance from the business community of Gujarat kept the Group going strong. The flagship institute-‘the Delhi Public School’, is still going strong as the best CBSE School in Gujarat. According to Dr. Shroff, small successes kept giving her motivation and encouragement to keep moving ahead and set up many institutions over the years. With a learning attitude and a curious mind, she kept seeking advice and gaining knowledge about the industry to keep abreast with the latest that the world had to offer.
TRANSFORMATION FOR STARTUPS
Dr. Shroff feels that startups are the most encouraging and exciting revolution that has taken place in the business world in India. The Gandhian philosophy of depending on your skills for making a living has been revived with these startups. Young minds are coming up with brilliant ideas and are taking the plunge into entrepreneurship and are experiencing tremendous successes too. Today’s generation wants to explore and innovate and does not want to be tied down by the chains of a 9-5 job. This has created tremendous opportunities for the youth to be their own masters and move ahead with full ownership and responsibility.
WINNING THE FAITH OF CLIENTS
Being in the education sector, the Kalorex Group’s success hugely depends on the trust and faith of the clients that it serves, namely the students and parent community. These are the people who stay with them over 12-14 years, which is a long time in a lifespan. This trust is established by having clear and honest intentions and living up to all the expectations of the clients. To be above the rest and ensure client loyalty, the educators need to upgrade continuously to ensure supreme quality always.
KEEPING ABREAST WITH THE MARKET TRENDS
Dr. Shroff is extremely passionate about education and believes in giving the best experience to her students, parents, and teachers. She travels worldwide and within India, to learn and experience the latest trends in the education industry. She also attends and addresses seminars and conferences with the same objectives. She loves to share her experiences and knowledge with the like-minded educationists and has established good connections with the best in the field. She ensures that she percolates her learnings to her training and development team to transfer the same among the teachers and administrators. She always encourages her teachers and staff as well, to attend forums and workshops continuously to upgrade their knowledge and skills.
PROCESS OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Dr. Shroff has the opinion that with the education sector undergoing disruptions and innovations in every aspect, it is essential to keep track of R&D activities to ensure the correct direction.
So many exciting developments are taking place in the industry through the R&D activities that governments are promoting and encouraging. Data studies and surveys are also helping in analyzing the educational trends and coming up with better teaching-learning strategies from pre-school onwards to keep the learners engaged in the classrooms.
Kalorex Group has an incubation center where talent is recognized and nurtured. The opportunities for growth and development are given to potential leaders, and they are groomed to take on leadership positions. Regular ideation and brainstorming activities with core team members provide new perspectives to old practices to be re-designed and implemented more effectively.
“I also believe in ideating for new ideas from my team members to get a new perspective for growth and development.” Dr. Manjula Pooja Shroff
THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT
Employee satisfaction forms the crux of any enterprise. Kalorex offers various policies and employee benefits which ensure retention and satisfaction of its staff. The Group also offers professional development and leadership programs and has set processes to ensure that the internal talents get recognized and promoted within the Group. ‘Living in the Gap’ is another Core Value that the organization believes in. Continuous learning on the job and updating academic and administrative skills is a well-implemented practice. There is a system of awards and rewards in place for quality and performance where employees are recognized and appreciated at the group level for good work. Every project has its motivational practices for its staff to keep them excited and happy about their work. A humanitarian approach is one of the core values that the group promotes. Employees feel free to share their professional and personal problems and are helped in the best possible way.
FUTURE FOR ENTREPRENEURS
Being an ‘Edupreneur’ herself, Dr. Shroff believes that entrepreneurship is the way ahead, especially for the young generation. But there can be no compromise on gaining the education and qualification for it. It is empowering to generate employment and also to make money. The future is already in the present as far as entrepreneurship is concerned. There are numerous case studies where a small idea or investment became successful. These cases have encouraged people to explore their potential and
get into entrepreneurship. The education sector has also done its bit in providing professional courses and degrees to cater to this need.
INITIATIVES BY PRESENT GOVERNMENT
Talking about the initiatives that the government is taking, Dr. Shroff emphasizes that very proactive steps to invest in the education sector are being taken. Delhi is an example of the positive changes that are brought by empowering the school leaders to take decisions as well as the introduction of the Happiness Curriculum to take care of the social and emotional wellbeing of students. There are many awareness campaigns by the government towards the safety and security of children in school. The Kalorex Schools have been partaking in most initiatives and are at par with other schools if not ahead.
Similarly the draft ‘National Education Policy’ has taken inputs, suggestions, and ideas from all the levels of professionals from the field of education and policy-making towards bringing out radical changes in the educational scenario and progressively upgrading the system. They too have been instrumental in giving their inputs to ensure the radical changes in the final policy.
Dr. Shroff loves the outdoors and is quite passionate about a healthy lifestyle. She goes for adventure sports like mountain treks and river rafting. To be fit, she enjoys cycling and participating in cyclothons as well. She is also quite a spiritual person and finds her peace in doing meditation and yoga. She loves spending quality time with family and going on vacations with them.
Talking about her role models, Dr. Shroff is quite impressed by the powerful women who have made a difference in the world because of their passion and intellect, and who have always inspired her. To name a few are Mother Teresa, Michele Obama, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, who are leaders in their fields if not necessarily in business. There is a lot to learn from successful businesswomen like Kiran Majumdar Shaw, Indira Nooyi and even Shehnaz Hussain who have been pioneers in being successful Indian women. Over the years as the Group has expanded, so has her enthusiasm and zeal to keep moving ahead. Every start is tentative with unsure steps but confidence grows as targets get met and dreams turn into reality.
The magnate says, “Even if some projects are not successful they will not stop me from planning new ventures, and I experience the same sense of excitement and trepidation just like for my first project.”
ACHIEVEMENTS AND MILESTONES
Starting with one school and growing to 40 plus institutes in 24 years is something she is proud of. DPS Bopal, in Ahmedabad, has been a front runner in quality education in the state of Gujarat. Over the years, the 10th and 12th board examination results consist of city toppers across all the subject streams.
Kalorex students have also been making a mark on national and international levels in the co-scholastic areas too. Students excelling in Sports, Music, Dance, Art, Innovations, etc. have been encouraged and have brought laurels to our schools.
Kalorex alumni are spread wide across the world and are well placed in their professional spheres. Alumni connect activities are organized on an annual basis to keep connected with their almamater. There is a long list of academic awards that Kalorex schools keep winning year after year for providing quality education.
The Group is celebrating its silver anniversary this year.
FUTURE PLANS FOR THE COMPANY
Dr. Shroff strongly believes that unless they don’t innovate and upgrade they will not progress. With educational reform on the way, there ought to be continuous effort to be above the regular and conventional practices. Keeping this in mind they plan for the expansion in the pre-school as well as K-12 segments. They intend to make their presence in other southern and western states as well. They are also exploring more ways to engage students constructively on the campus by offering them services which they seek outside school. Making the school campus all-encompassing is the way ahead.
“Everyone needs to recognize their potential and explore possibilities. This is the age of disrupting and innovating. Out of the box, thinking is required for breakthroughs to happen in your business as well as in any profession that you may be in. Treat each failure as a stepping stone to overcome hurdles and learn to deal with them. Become leaders in your field to facilitate transformation and growth.” Dr. Manjula Pooja Shroff