Running a business in India is not an easy feat and running a daycare is definitely not a child’s play. Braving multiple licenses, procedures and challenges without compromising the needs of the school and her beloved toddlers, the woman of substance – Pooja Goyal, emerged a winner.
I vividly remember the day I first met Pooja. She overturned my preconceived notions about entrepreneurs with her orientation towards a value-driven business. As an entrepreneur working in an ecosystem that thrives on numbers, coming across as someone not prioritizing profits was hard to believe. Never a one to follow the herd, Pooja had her plan sorted from day one. A plan, where ethics preceded business and children preceded everything else.
In the last four years of our association, I had put forward a variety of communication hacks for Intellitots. Rather than jumping on every exciting offer, she ensured that the idea is in line with her values and beliefs. Don’t be mistaken, Pooja like every other businesswoman wanted to grow and expand but not at the cost of her school or students.
The business was bootstrapped from the beginning and not even once does Pooja felt like raising external funds. Raising money, unlike many entrepreneurs, was never the end goal of business for her, but creating a sustainable business that solves a real problem was.
Being a parent of a toddler myself, I didn’t think twice before enrolling my son in Intellitots. Not because I know Pooja personally or I’m not open to other schools. It’s a simple reason of trust. This is one school which reinforces my belief in education with the environment it has created for its children. If that’s not an attribute or the making of a successful entrepreneur, then I don’t know what is.
When it comes to lessons learned, there is one thing every entrepreneur could borrow from her experiences; her decisions to always stay true to her values. Values are that integral part of a business which is formed much before you lay the first brick of your foundation. They’re one such aspect that would support you when it’s sunny and keep you afloat during a storm.
Today, as Pooja and Priya Krishnan from Klay are joining their hands together for a new start, I wish them luck. I’m certain that they will continue to scale new heights and conquer the world of education for the better future of many children.