Fatima Agarkar is an Educationalist and is also the Co-Founder of KA EduAssociates. Mrs. Agarkar’s experience spans through 17 years of being in the corporate world – managing content, marketing and research to the education space. She has two educational startups, including the current one, KA EduAssociates.
“The education space has so much potential, and yet there are many ‘gaps’ and challenges. I am truly lucky that I was able to work on projects pan India, learning from fellow educators and most importantly gaining knowledge and understanding the need to create better strategies with the exposure amassed. It is also about problem solving, constantly learning to think out of the box and it involves a lot passion too,” says Fatima. If you’re wondering what it is to be an educationalist, it’s a lot of different things – from understanding macro government and state policies, to shaping up a plan to implement academic programs, skilling teachers, communicating with parents and delivering on promises made to the students. Its constant R&D, taking calculated risks, experimentation, a lot of creativity and lateral thinking.
The idea of starting KA EduAssociastes came to her and her partner almost two and half years ago. KA started off as a conversation about skilling teachers because they identified that as a problem and from there they are currently in 30 cities pan India as teacher trainers. They also have different versions – customized workshops for schools, face to face workshops, on-line workshops; and have set up 4 high schools and 4 pre-schools pan India. They have also designed a curriculum for different clients based on their specific needs and conducted many parenting workshops and have also worked directly with students.
Having said all of this, establishing a business across 30 cities in the country is not a cakewalk. “It is a women-based organization, and the extensive travel takes its toll on the team members as they are also mothers and daughters and have a responsibility at home. Also, running a school is very different from running a startup. Because here you are the accountant and the marketing strategist initially as we remain a bootstrapped company! We have learnt the ropes on the field, and resisted the temptation to become a funded company, and that is also something that puts pressure on us as we have limited resources,” says Fatima. “Having said that, the smiles and hugs that we get from the little kids, and happy smiling faces of parents, as teachers we are able to inspire, all this is hugely satisfying,” she adds.
Her piece of advice to anyone starting out is to remember the 3 P’s – Passion, Patience and Preparation. But most of all one has to be constantly keep learning, observing market trends and engage with associations that can get you over the mark and to always have a lot of fun while you are at it.
She signs off by sharing some words of wisdom, “True leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.”
Find her at: Instagram