Arise ‘n’ Shine was established in 2003 by Mr. Raj Ganesh the CEO of the company in Great Lakes Michigan, North America. The school was initiated to develop and deliver educational programs for preschool, primary and secondary levels, based on each student’s strength, their learning style, to meet global standards and expectations. The school launched its India operation in 2009 with centers operating successfully in Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka and scheduled to spread out PAN India.
Tell us about the journey of your business? What were the challenges that you faced?
Arise ‘n’ Shine started in North America in the year 2003.We were in search for a perfect preschool in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for our first daughter, Nivetha. Out of sheer determination and finding no answer to the burning question, we decided to dip our toes into the homeschooling business.To start a preschool in the United States, we had to obtain a state license which turned out to be a tedious process. By the time we got it, my daughter outgrew her preschool age.Finding other families in the community who decided to embrace the same alternative we took our very first step into her entrepreneurial journey. Thus was born Arise ‘n’ Shine International at our basement in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2003.
After stepping into the Entrepreneurial shoes, there was another incredible journey waiting to commence. Just like in every vacation, we were travelling to India this time as well. After successfully establishing our start-up, this visit was a blend of anxiety and excitement for us. But the teaching at some schools on this side of the Earth was like a cul-de-sac. There is a huge gap between the Indian education system and the practical world. There is a greater emphasis on rote learning. There is no focus on social and emotional development of the children. Keen on passing the hybrid curriculum to India, we packed our necessities to navigate to our very own Garden of Eden.The burden of the decision was high but it was the biggest opportunity in hand to bring a change into the education system. So we buckled up and launched our first Center in 2009 in India. Life slowly changed, aspirations grew and the crave to give more to the community elevated. Today Arise ‘n’ Shine has spread its wings at multiple locations touching the lives of several children across communities. These efforts have also been endorsed by Education World and Times of India over the years. What started as a campfire in Ann Arbor is turning into a wildfire!
Tell us about an accomplishment you are most proud of?
Currently we have 20 Preschool Centers and 25 My Bee Club After school Centers across Tamil Nadu and a center in Bhopal. We have also integrated School of English and Emotional Intelligence programs at some of the regular schools in the city as part of the curriculum.
What is unique about your business and where do you see yourself in next 5 years?
Unlike the preschool market, in the My Bee Club after school foundation program there isn’t a structured player who provides solutions around foundational programs using learning styles and emotional intelligence. The term emotional intelligence is still a new terminology for most school heads.
These foundational programs are not taught at the regular schools. There is a need to bridge this big education gap. We designed the curriculum to focus on the social and emotional development of the children when building their foundation. We have designed activities, assessment tools and the reward system in the curriculum. At every 1.5 km radius you have a minimum of 10,000 children in the age group of 3.5 to 12 years. My Bee Club is designed to mentor this age group. Currently we have about 25 centers. In the next 5 years, we look at growing to 250 – 300 centers across PAN India.
What do you look for in an employee, and what are your responsibilities as an business owner?
In an employee, I look at the following qualities: Ethics, Character, Passion, Flexibility and Adoptability.
I am the CEO of the company, primarily involved in developing strategies, programs, road maps and building successful teams at Arise ‘n’ Shine.
How much do you think that social media helps you to work more effectively in knowing your audience or knowing what’s new in the market?
Social media is changing the way we do business. This platform helps us to position our brand and network with specific target audience from across the globe. Each company should have a social media strategy as part of their marketing. This is a cost effective digital marketing method that helps to increase your businesses visibility and engage with broad audience.
What would be your suggestion to the budding entrepreneurs?
You get your inspiration from the problems or gaps. It’s identifying problems with existing products or services. Ideas are tough to come by, at least good ones are. But problems, they’re everywhere! Almost every product or service you use on a daily basis was created to solve a problem. My Bee Club was launched to nurture children on the foundational programs using learning styles and applying the components of emotional intelligenceThis method of teaching helps children to develop a strong self-esteem and unleash their full potential. The missing piece in the Indian education system is most schools focus on academics and overlooking the the social and emotional health of the children. We have designed activities, assessment tools and the reward system to bridge this gap.