One of the most exciting organizations working in the area of Education in India is the Ahmedabad based Educational Initiatives (EI).
I have had the pleasure to meeting and discussing education with two of its three founders Sridhar Rajagopalan and Sudhir Ghodke who (along with Venkat Krishan) left MNC jobs to work in the area of Education. before EI three co-founded, with Sunil Handa, entrepreneur and popular speaker on management and education, the Eklavya School in Ahmedabad. This school set in 22 acres in the outskirts of Ahmedabad is interesting in many ways: it is one of the few schools that has fields and open spaces commensurate with the number of children being schooled, makes effective use of the research thrown up by Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory and has a good Teacher Education programme on its premises.
Sridhar and Sudhir are both bright and passionate about Education. Its difficult not to come away inspired from a conversation with them.
Their organization, Educational Initiatives, runs India’s leading standardized testing service, ASSET. I have seen several standardized tests; the other leading test provider in India is Macmillan (in association with the University of NSW) but the ASSET rest is remarkably superior. It is authentic – contextualized to the lives of Indian students, clear in its questioning and responses expected, inexpensive, and throws up fantastic action-oriented data for teachers and administrators.
In the past few years, EI has quietly been doing a host of other good work. There is work with the government of Andhra Pradhesh and Harvard Universtiy, Teacher Training, School Camps and a new offering called Mindspark, an after-school prgramme that teaches kids Math and Science. What I like is that the team seems to be getting a balance correct- doing great work on its flagship offering (ASSET), doing good and meaningful research and still capitalizing on opportunities like the After-School space through programmes like Mindspark.
I caught up with Sudhir Ghodke and Sridhar Rajagopalan for a candid chat.
EI now spans a gamut of spaces: teacher development, curriculum development, Science & Math Training through franchisees, Test Administration and of-course ASSET. What would you say is your core competency and going forward, what would your company like to be known as? In terms of ‘product mix’ how different in would EI be 5 years from now?
Continue reading the rest of the interview over at my old blog, right here. The post seems to be having trouble communicating with WordPress. Thanks!