"Never give up hope. Chase your dreams; never doubt your capabilities to come out a winner. Struggle hard and chase hard to achieve your dreams"
It always crosses your mind when you think of sending your little one to a structured environment; it is only obvious to be skeptical about the preschool you pick for your child. These little sponges tend to adapt and make the most out of the academic, social and developmental skills.
And to make sure that the first set of a structured environment is from a foundation that provides the right platform to learn is particularly vital. And one such platform is brought to you by Canvas International School, an exemplary preschool chain in Jaipur, other cities of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh. They take special care of every child and create a path filled with fun and learning to help the little ones' transition to formal schooling.
The zeal to build a strong and skillful future generation to lead India onto the path of immense success and a dream to entrepreneur her way into progress came to HemaHarchandani, Founder and Managing Director, Canvas International School and she chose to enter in the education sector and laid the bricks of her foundation in 2016.
BEARER OF THE BEACON
One of the visionaries and an inspiring woman entrepreneur, HemaHarchandani has served 15 years in corporate and had always wished to make an impact on the nation's future by building a strong foundation for today's children. She with her vision of "Thinking Big" always emits perseverance, passion, and hard work. As a young leader of one of the fastest-growing preschool chain in North India, HemaHarchandani believes that she is supposed to lead the way into the path for constant innovation that will help establish Canvas International expertise in early childcare education. Canvas today is for all those seeking quality early childhood education and nurturing children is making confident strides into the future all because of Hema's diligent and assertive guidance, nudging it forward.
In an enlightening conversation with Hema, The CEO Magazine grabbed the opportunity to know more about the school, its journey, plans and more;
The CEO: What problem does your company solve and how are you different from others.
Hema: Here at Canvas, every child has its individuality and is accepted and appreciated for their uniqueness. Thriving for creative and innovative teaching techniques makes us stand apart from the crowd. We have developed and adapted the PSED (Personality Social and Emotional Development)a technique of teaching for the overall development of the child. We believe that the right kind of education at an early stage helps a child to become a better individual and a better social being.
The CEO:What was the challenge at the initial phase of your entrepreneurial journey?
Hema: There was a total lack of clarity in set procedures, there were no SOPs, but with time procedures evolved as were deemed fit. Because of the lack of clarity, the initial journey was not smooth. Every day was a new challenge, funds and resources crunch was there too. A shortage of funds for an entrepreneur is still a manageable variable because this is within his/ her means. But the shortage of good working hands that live up to your dreams is left to chances. Lucky are those entrepreneurs who get their team at an early stage of their entrepreneurship journey. At an initial phase, success was to arrange for resources, the basic ingredients, to establish that once the initial framework was set to measure success shifted to measuring performances.
The CEO:How big is the market opportunity?
Hema: The market size can be estimated from the demographic pattern of the locality. Local demographics matter more in deciding market size. Overall, there is a huge supply, demand gap in the quality education domain. This gap is more pronounced in the pre-nursery level because most parents do not understand that the success of building blocks to a successful career for a child lies in a string pre-school phase.
The CEO:How did you arrive at the sales of your industry and its growth rate?
Hema: The sheer perseverance and zeal to achieve desired growth through a franchise model was the main idea when we started to expand. We follow the principle of setting up the home brand first and chalk a blueprint. Once the procedures and modalities were standardized, other schools under our umbrella found the blueprint easy to replicate.
The CEO:What brings the parents to you, what do you offer?
Hema: Parents look at the comfort of sending their young children to school. Their comfort comes from the fact that 1. The schools are located in the vicinity of their residence. 2. They look at the security systems in the school 3. They look at the faculty in the school 4. They also look at the approach that each school adopts in its vicinity. The PSED approach which is developed by Canvas is now well accepted and hence there is a good opportunity.
The CEO:What have you learned about running a successful business?
Hema: No path to success is easy. I belong to a family where business runs in blood but when you get into it the reality bites. Adapting to fast-changing scenarios and learning and work with others and keep them motivated is an important lesson. The other important aspect is financing. Money is not easy to come by; every penny counts.
The CEO:Throw light on your team and area of expansion?
Hema: Canvas team is a combination of educationists and administrators. They are all here because they love children and have a common goal of creating a better society. Based on financial requirements we would be expanding across the country. I am still in the expansion phase. At this stage, I am building the organization culture. Previously, I used to do the things myself now I delegate and monitor. I empower others and encourage them to take decisions in the interest of the company. In this process, many times I need to intervene and take corrective actions. So now, people are learning and have a strong sense of belongingness which ultimately keeps them self-motivated.
The CEO:What was your journey like to get where you are?
Hema: The journey was exhilarating but tough. There are sweet memories of hard times. What you think may happen doesn't happen and therein lays the entrepreneurial journey. We have achieved set goals for the past 3 years and we are on track to achieve our goals for the next 2 years strongly. I have learned self-discipline, during the crisis, if you have conquered your initial reactions; you have won half the battle. Initially was impatient and slowly I started to learn to develop a high EQ. This was difficult but is an essential requirement for being a successful entrepreneur.
The school has had a long journey and in this journey, we have been able to add several feathers to our cap. Among all the accolades, achievements and milestones, here are a few to list: Exemplary work in the field of education 2019, Education Icon Awards 2019, Women Achievers Awards 2019, Global Education Awards 2018, Rajasthan Education Excellence Awards 2017 and many more. Hema is now positively looking forward to the booming preschool industry with the CAGR growing at 20%, she intends to grow at double the rate and make the most out of opportunities.