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English focused edupreneur: Kavish Gadia

EducationWorld March 2021 | People
Kavish Gadia
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!

Also read: Technology trends impacting the education industry in India

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