Education is the backbone of growth of every child, and a good education ensures that these students become great leaders and achievers in their field. We got a wonderful opportunity to interact with Ms. Sudha Gupta who is working towards grooming these future leaders. Her name needs no introduction, She is the founder of Mother's Pride - a chain of 100+ preschools and also established Presidium Senior Secondary school. As a renowned educationist, she has authored 1000+ articles and books on parenting, featured in multiple newspapers, magazines, and recipient of several awards in the fields of education.
The very thought that only happy and motivated teachers make the education rewarding for children, resulted in her starting 'The Knowledge Tree' - an academy imparting skills development for teachers.
Ms. Gupta, also works for social causes focussed towards empowerment and growth of people with special needs through her NGO Sparsh. Infact, she was one of the prominent guests on the occasion of inauguration of T20 Cricket World Cup for the blind, which India won early this year.
It was an honor and a humbling experience getting to know her, about her journey in the field of education entrepreneurship.
Tell us about yourself, your family, background as an educationalist: education and experience. What are your specialties / expertise?
I grew up among academicians and professors, and hence education has always been in my blood. My father was working with the NCERT and I lived in the NCERT campus for 17–18 years before my marriage. I have always wanted to do something in the field of education.
When I was searching for a playschool for my own child, I realised the pitiable state of playschools in the country. That’s when I set out to do something.
I turned into an entrepreneur and established Mother’s Pride in 1996. I wanted it to be a playschool that every parent would love to send her child to. We brought in scientific approach, specialized staff, R&D, and emphasis on child psychology.Ten years later, we founded Presidium, the school that raises future leaders. At present we have 105 schools, 40,000 students, and 3500 staff members. The expertise I have gained, as an educationist, entrepreneur and manager, is something I picked up during this entrepreneurial journey of more than 20 years.
Why did you choose this career in the education sector? Why did you choose this specialty?
Like I said, I have always wanted to do something in the field of education. It’s something I feel deeply passionate about. Education is the single most effective tool to transform society. Just about every stride that our nation has taken can be traced back to education. Further, in India, we have the tradition of respecting teachers. Frankly, I couldn’t think of a better sector to be in.
How do you handle workload stress and emergency situations?
If you love what you do, every challenge is an opportunity, and things like stress and emergencies will not bother you much.
Further I have a loving, supportive family to fall back on. And we have a reliable, hardworking workforce that always rises up to every challenge.
Any hurdles/obstacles you faced in pursuing your dream and how you overcame some of those?
Like every entrepreneur I have struggled during the initial years. When I started Mother’s Pride, it was a one-room operation in PaschimVihar with a handful of students.
Starting Presidium meant setting up a senior secondary school from scratch, and that was not easy either.
The faith I had in what I was doing, and the support of my family helped me tide over every obstacle.
Describe your most successful accomplishments.
Mother’s Pride is today India’s most loved preschool. It’s the institution that transformed early education, and changed the way our society looks at preschools. Presidium is the fastest growing educational institution in North India, and the most awarded school, globally. Positive Parenting, our ongoing initiative to educate parents about parenting skills, is hugely successful, and has benefited thousands of parents so far.
Over the years, we have also won quite a few prestigious awards, both nationally and internationally. The prominent among them include:
The Emerging India Award for the Most Promising Enterprise of The Year, received from the then Hon’ble Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, organized by CNBC;
- The Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur Award by FICCI
- The No. 1 Teachers Training Provider in India Award for Presidium, conferred by Grand Jury at World Education Summit
- The White Swan award for one of the World's Greatest Brands & Leaders 2015-16 India UAE Africa by URS International
- The Majestic Five Continents Awards for Quality and Excellence in Berlin
Can you also tell us briefly about your work towards Social causes?
We also support Sparsh NGO, which runs Sparsh Special School that helps underprivileged special-needs children become self-reliant, productive members of society.
(Her contributions to social causes have been greatly acknowledged far and wide)
Ms. Sudha Gupta inaugurating the T20 Cricket World Cup for Blind
What are the key challenges in this field for women? What are your personal challenges?
As our workforce comprises of mostly women, I can say with some authority that education, as a profession, is not particularly discriminatory to women. The challenges women face are the challenges everybody faces – related to training, technology adoption, etc.
My own personal challenges are the high standards and targets I set for myself.
How do you manage a balance between personal and professional life or as a working mother.
If you are passionate about what you do, you will not find your work life to be stressful or demanding.
Also, I never let my professional life get in the way of my personal life. I make sure that I get to spend quality time with my family, and fulfill my every responsibility to them.
Further, I have an extremely supporting and understanding family who has always been my strength.
Lastly, what is one advice that you would like to give young women out there who are thinking of taking any profession?
Believe in yourself. Don’t give up on your dreams. Be passionate about what you do, and let every obstacle that comes your way only strengthen your resolve.