Harshita Saxena – Franchise Owner, Little Orchids International Preschool
It was mid-2020, when Hyderabad based Harshita Saxena took up the franchise of the well-known Preschool brand, not knowing that she would be at the helm of success in the consecutive years. As a franchise owner of Little Orchids International Preschool, not only she grew her business with impressive figures, but also brought in few innovations in preschool teaching that became very effective and synced well during the lockdown period. This proud mother of two, invested almost a lakh into this new venture in 2020, which has given her a turnover of 22 lakh till date, along with some name and fame.
At the age of 36 with 13+ years of experience in the field of education, taking a preschool franchise was the apt thing she did in her career. According to her,
“I have done masters in commerce & masters in Indian vocal music. I have done my Bachelors of Education & Bachelors in Computer Applications. I have attended many trainings on various pre-primary teaching skillsets & education counselling. I have been working since April 2004.”
As a person of music, she had bagged more than 100 awards from various vocal singing competitions and was also being interviewed by leading newspapers. She takes pride in being the first in the country who started the first live preschool virtual classes during the lockdown phase of pandemic situation by curating the curriculum according to the learning level of kids.
She went on to introduce certain preschool teaching methodology in virtual pre-schooling model. She started this school to help those parents who lost their jobs in the time of pandemic. Free education were being provided to some parents and a very low fee structure for others were kept with monthly payment options. She informs,
“In the very first year of pre-schooling, I had 51 kids at the end of the academic year 2020-21, and currently I am on the count of 134 and approximately 90% of admissions are through word-of-mouth. The count is still increasing and I am also coming up with innovative & creative ideas to improvise our learning platform.”
With a little bit of strategizing she was able to get the traction for her preschool. She initiated a virtual summer camp in March 2020, which was free of cost and full of planned activities that were well structured and chalked out perfectly. As a result, she got to connect with over 800 kids not only from India but also kids from abroad as well. Moving forwards, she went on to conduct various other events & celebrations like Grand Parents Day, Farm Party, Children’s Day, Sports Day, Annual Day, Virtual Field Trip to Zoo, Little Boss, etc. along with the teacher’s felicitation program of her preschool.
In pursuit of making education a fun way of learning for the kids and a great experience for the parents both virtually & physically, Harshita is willing to come up with big educational ventures for pre-schooling kids countrywide for poor & lower-middle-class families who cannot afford high fees but are seeking quality education for their young ones. The planning for the same is in progress. After so many years into the industry, sheknows the nuts and bolts of it and would definitely be able to crack it.
Known for providing exemplary guidance to the kids in a play-way method, her approach towards teaching is experimental, games & activity based teaching which helps the child to learn while playing. Harshita drew inspiration from her mother, who is an educationist too & worked for more than 50 years in the same school. Mr Prasanna Mandava & Mrs Sunita Deevela had been her mentor throughout her journey of entreprenurship. In this period of two years of her journey she went on to meet few more people who inspired & helped her in bringing the best out of her. Names of Mrs Girija Rao & Mrs Jyothi Srinivas would always feature among those. Her family, husband, son, parents, in-laws have always been the pillar of strength who kept her motivated throughout her journey.
Juggling family and professional life itself is a challenge, and with a daughter aged 4 months, things are meant to be difficult. But Harshita sailed through these hindrances through her sheer perseverance. Being a passionate educationist and intense learner, made it easier for her. Apart from that being a team player and gaining love, respect and trust form her employees also helped her to march ahead with ease. While discussing her learnings, she says,
“If we believe in whatever we do and aspire for, then we need to set the desired goals to achieve them and have to work really hard for it. Being a new entrepreneur we have to constantly evaluate ourselves by frequent feedback drives. There will be sleepless nights which you have to devote to be successful in life.”
Being awarded for her efforts, she is now a prominent figure in preschool industry. She achieved 3 awards on the very first year of her functioning & they are – “Global Icon Award – Most innovative educationist for exemplary virtual schooling 2021”, “International Education Award – for Best Inspiring Entrepreneur” and “Most promising & Innovative Humanitarian Educationist in Early Learning”. Next she was recognised as One amongst 100 women as Most Inspiring Women of India. Early this year, she received “India Icon Award – Women icon for Most Inspiring Momprenuer & Educationist for Excellence In Virtual Schooling.”
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