How Rennu Dhillon built Genius Kids from scratch
In an interaction with Entrepreneur India, Dhillon shares her views on venturing into the education space, her plans to enter the Indian market, transforming the education space in India and what all steps needs to be taken to bring such a significant change
Rennu Dhillon founded Genius Kids Inc & Genius Kids Development Inc. in 2011 in the US. As the Franchisor of The Lil’ Genius Kid, she is responsible for the development, training and implementation of the in-house curriculum. She has developed numerous learning sites and mobile applications for children and families to access excellent learning programs.
In an interaction with Entrepreneur India, Dhillon shares her views on venturing into the education space, her plans to enter the Indian market, transforming the education space in India and what all steps needs to be taken to bring such a significant change:
What inspired you to venture into education sector and establish Genius Kids Inc and Genius Kids Development?
Children are not given the opportunity to develop who really they are. Therefore, they should be allowed to invent. Everybody is inborn genius and I do not consider that brilliance and academic skills are based on IQ (Intellectual Quotient). All are born with the same brain and the question is how you use it. It is all about believing that every child is a genius and no child should be compared to any other child because everybody is special. It allows every child to have the potential to be what they want to be and how they want to be. We have 300 students in our organisation. Right now, we are based out of California, San Francisco in the Silicon Valley, where we started three years ago as a Franchisee and now we are mushrooming from there. So, my whole theory and plans for expansion is to maintain quality and now I am ready to come to India and set up my strategy in India.
Do you think that expansion through franchising can harm the quality of education?
I am not very much focused on increasing the number of schools. For me, it is not about the numbers or quantity but quality matters for me. I assure that every single school has quality education and excellent results, which I expect in India also. So, I am not in numbers’ game. There are so many competitors like 400 franchisees or 300 franchisees, I don’t care. Genius Kids can open one and it could be the best one and it could open 100. So, it is really about quality.
The sector has been increasingly commercialised, do you think that the quality can be maintained for long term?
It depends upon the mentality of the person getting into it as the franchisor. Franchisors are here only to make money and if they use the pre-school market for that, then the quality cannot be declined. One can maintain quality and make money simultaneously in the education sector.
Genius Kids has students from 0-6 standards, would you also like to incorporate the students from higher education sector?
We already have higher education students in the US, but what we want to bring in India is, students from 0-6 standard because the rest of your education is regulated and I do not want to get into the regulated curriculum.
The sector so far has been recession proof, but do you think it will remain recession proof in future also?
The child care is like food, it is a necessity. It will always remain recession proof. Every parent wants their child to learn because schools have become very competitive. So, the sector will remain recession proved.
How do you see the opportunity in terms of growth in the education sector in India?
I think people are going to realise that the play school and non-branded schools are not going to work. The problem in India is the focus, which is on academics and not on personality. We need to build personality. Today, everybody is talking to end corruption, so it is very crucial to educate children at the age of 2 about honesty, morals and values, then only corruption could be mitigated. Genius Kids teaches two year old children about confidence, morals and values. Besides, we educate girls so that she can own a company.
What will be your message to the young girls who want to become entrepreneur like you?
I have done it single-handedly as a single mother. I was married at the age of 24 and got divorced at the age of 28. If I can do it without any support, no family, no parents around, and if I can do it with two little babies, am sure any women can do it. And I really appreciate my family because my father never discriminated between son and daughter. I believe in myself. For me, success is one failure after another, one should not give up. It is not easy to succeed, you need to fall many times because when you fall and pick yourself up, you will definitely learn to move on.
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