Dr Chenraj Roychand, Chairman, Jain Group of Institutions, shares his insight on expanding the reach of schools and higher education institutions in India
Please share the journey of Jain Group of Institutions that started from single room college to a number of institutions?
Jain Group of Institutions began as a single room college with a handful of students in the year 1990 inspired by the thoughts of Swami Vivekananda. As a young businessman, I was searching for a larger meaning for life and a chance meeting with the books and philosophies of Swami Vivekananda transformed my entire perspective about living and giving. Since 1990, it has been a roller coaster ride with its share of challenges and celebrations. I vividly remember those days where technology was nascent and social networking only meant family celebrations and festivals. During those founding days, I pretty much had to done almost all the hats concerned with conceiving, establishing and executing the setup of my institution.
How many schools are there under the umbrella? How do you operate these schools?
In all, there are around 36 schools catering to different strata of society. Our flagship school is the Jain International Residential School located at Bangalore offering national and international curriculum to students across the globe and we also have Jain Heritage a Cambridge Schools and Jain Public School in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Vizag, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Hubli, etc. The fundamental philosophy of these schools revolve around enabling students to learn, explore and imagine. All these schools are promoted, managed and operated by Jain Group of Institutions. At present, our schools are in their consolidation phase and the next leg of expansion will commence in a couple of years wherein we will be launching around 200 schools across the country by 2020. The strength and the pursuit of excellence in school education at Jain Group of Institutions are derived from our opportunity schooling segments which is called Jain Vidyaniketan. This is a concept wherein young and deserving children from the rural India are educated at Re 1 per year. Presently, we have two such schools operating in Bangalore (Kanakapura) and Amethi (UP). We will be educating around lakh of students under this model in the years to come.
Our schools are in their consolidation phase and the next leg of expansion will commence in a couple of years, wherein we will be launching around 200 schools across the country by 2020
How challenging is it to find skilled management team, especially for the education vertical?
In my opinion, the challenge is not in getting skilled human resources but the real challenge lies in nurturing, maintaining and enriching these resources. Today the entire economy is dynamic and versatile and there is no dearth of opportunities for skilled personnel. At Jain Group of Institutions, we engage our team of thought leaders by a simple three steps formulae that is Autonomy – complete empowerment; Collaboration – absolute team work; and Engagement – long-term perspective planning.
What would be your suggestion for those who are planning to start a new educational establishment?
Today a private school is as good as setting up a new industry or a company. It involves all the three phases of strategy, planning and operations. The key difference been the schools of today is to deal with developing young impressionable minds as against developing a product or a service. The only word of caution which I would like to add here is that one must remember the stronger the start, the greater the finish.