Paromita Sengupta (Bengaluru)
Highly articulate educator and serial entrepreneur Kavish Gadia is the founder-CEO of Gurugram (Haryana)-based Stones2Milestones Pvt. Ltd (S2M, estb.2008, headcount: 300). This edtech start-up offers schools, teachers and parents diagnostic, affordable and research-based English reading and literacy solutions for children in the 5-12 age group.
Through its globally benchmarked flagship fREADom mobile app — a vertically integrated pedagogy stack for learning English as a second language — launched in 2016, young learners can improve their English reading, writing and conversation skills. S2M also offers live online artificial intelligence-powered and faculty-led fREADom English classes which has signed up 250,000 registered users. Among them are 100 budget private schools and the DPS, DAV, Shri Ram and Jain pan-India school chains.
In addition to master-minding the business operations of S2M, Gadia also runs the K-12 Amrit Vidyalaya, Kalol (Vadodara) where he was a volunteer teacher for 15 years before acquiring the school in 2015. Since then apart from translocating this co-ed state board-affiliated English-medium school to a new 5-acre campus which hosts over 400 students and 40 teachers, Gadia has also upgraded the institution by integrating high-quality academic education, community service linked real-life learning and values education to nurture global leaders.
Newspeg. In November 2020, S2M celebrated its 12th anniversary by raising equity funding of $2.5 million (Rs.18.25 crore) from New York-based Unreasonable Capital and its lending partner Goldhirsh Foundation. Simultaneously the company acquired Chennai-based MultiStory Learning Pvt. Ltd — a boutique children’s literature content company.
History. Born into a traditional Marwari business family in Siliguri (West Bengal) and raised by his grandparents in remote Jhunjhunu (Rajasthan), Gadia is a business administration and finance postgraduate of the Devi Ahilya Bai University, Indore and IIM-Lucknow.
At age 18 while he was an undergrad student, Gadia dabbled in equities and commodities trading, import-export financing and promoted a boutique investment bank (Resurgent India Ltd). After his postgrad studies at IIM-Lucknow, he acquired three years working experience at KPMG before deciding to quit corporate life in 2008 and “follow his heart” by promoting Stones2Milestones, focusing on making a “profitable impact” in society. In 2015, he sold Resurgent India and bought Amrit Vidyalaya with the sales proceeds.
Direct talk. “Empowering children has been the goal of my life. When I was at IIM-Lucknow, I realised that access to opportunity differentiates the rich from poor. Stones2Milestones was born out of a deep-rooted desire to create opportunities for children. For eight years, S2M served as a research lab where my team collaborated with Ivy League Stanford and Carnegie Mellon Universities to develop our full-stack fREADom app which empowers children to learn English language skills early in life. Currently, users can subscribe to the app free-of-charge with only live classes chargeable at Rs.200 per class,” says Gadia.
Future plans. “Recently, we started pilot projects in South Korea. We have also drawn up a blueprint to extend our English language learning services to students and youth in the 12-20 age group. Also on the agenda is replication of the Amrit Vidyalaya model across rural India within the next decade, if not earlier,” enthuses Gadia.
Power to your elbow!