Dinesh Victor: Making A Difference In Society With Skill-Based Programs For Children | CEOInsights Vendor
Dinesh Victor: Making A Difference In Society With Skill-Based Programs For Children

Dinesh Victor: Making A Difference In Society With Skill-Based Programs For Children

   Dinesh Victor,     Founder & Managing Director

Dinesh Victor

Founder & Managing Director

Each kid is unique with her/his potential to be a winner. There are hundreds of skill development courses for school children which ensure the objective of making the child achieve excellence not only in academics but also in another walks of life. One skill development program that stands out is the Abacus based Mental Calculations AMC. AMC training is known for its potential to enhance various cognitive skills including mathematics, working memory and numerical magnitude processing.

In India, AMC programs started garnering attention among parents and schools in the late 90s and early 2000s. SIP Academy, founded by Dinesh Victor in 2003, is among the pioneers in the domain. Along with Abacus based skill development programs, SIP offers a range of programs for children between the ages of 5-15 years.

The founder of SIP academy is an alumnus of IIT Mumbai and IIM Ahmedabad. In an exclusive interview with CEOInsights, Dinesh takes us through his professional journey, entrepreneurial journey with SIP Academy India, and much more.

Tell us about your professional background and experiences. How has been your journey so far with SIP Academy India?
I did my engineering from IIT Bombay in 1988-92 and then went on to do an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad in 1992, and graduated in 1994. After my MBA I joined Godrej's FMCG division as a product manager. I was instrumental in the launch of Godrej hair dye ratchet and its growth of the same which built a market share of ten percent within a year of its launch. Then I moved to Chennai as an Area Sales Manager for Godrej. After working with Godrej for three years, I garnered an interest in the finance sector and started working with ANZ Grindlays bank which was later acquired by Standard Chartered bank. I worked there as a Relationship banker dealing with highpriority clients and then got promoted as head, South India region for mortgages.

I always had this urge to do something different, and then in
2002 I finally took the plunge into entrepreneurship. I started a company with a few of my friends, Genius Education and Learning System (GELS). The company primarily focused on the education sector and developed skill based programs based on Abacus training. We were a few of the early-comers in the domain. After having a disconnect in the vision of the company with other partners, I decided to leave and start on my own.

Our aim at SIP academy is to make a significant impact on enabling children to realise their mental potential

I started SIP Academy India in August 2003. Some of the people I worked with in my stint with GELS decided to support me in my new venture. SIP Academy not only trains children in skill development but as an allied out come, helps women to become economically independent by being business partners, franchisees & trainers. In the last 19 years, the academy has trained close to a million students. And now we have a presence in 23 states, 300+ cities, 300+ Schools and have more than 850 franchises.

Could you talk about the learnings and experience that you had acquired from IIT Mumbai and IIM Ahmedabad and how you apply them in your current role?
The education system in IITs and IIMs is meritocratic. So to score higher you have to work hard, there is no other alternative. This philosophy is one key thing that I have acquired from these institutions and now apply to my work as well. I have tried to ensure that the work culture at SIP academy is driven by meritocracy where hard work is aptly rewarded. The second thing that I learned, especially at IIT Bombay is the importance of objective decision making based on the data available to you.

I got to interact with a diverse set of people during my stint at these institutions. When you interact with such a diverse set of people, you get to learn a lot of different perspectives and approaches. Because of this, I have tried to ensure that the workforce at SIP is diverse so that we can look at problems from different perspectives.

Define SIP Academy India as an organization and where is it positioned in the industry? What is the unique proposition that your organization offers to clients?
SIP Academy is in the after school education space for children within
the age group of 5-15 years. We run various programs for skill development for these children. The programs that we run are highly reevant for children in the school as well as in their extra curricular activities post-school. We run an Abcus program that helps develop the child's arithmetic skills, concentration and many more. We have an art program Global art to develop and bring out a child's artistic and creative potential. The last one is Mi Kids which is designed to impart speaking and reading skills to young learners.

Our aim at SIP academy is to make a significant impact on enabling children to realise their mental potential. What differentiates us from other companies in this domain is that we offer a money back guarantee in our SIP Abacus Programme if there is no significant progress. We measure the growth in all our courses quantitatively and this helps us track their progress.

Reflect on some of the major challenges you have experienced in your journey so far? How did you overcome them and what did you learn from them?
In the initial stages, when we were getting started, Abacus-based programs were not known to anyone. At the same time, we needed to onboard franchises to open centres to deliver these programs. This was a dual-edged challenge of creating the demand for the courses and also creating a support and supply system to deliver the programs. We worked a lot on creating awareness among parents and schools for the program.

We had to set up a process for daily operations for the franchises to ensure that the quality of the program delivered is the same across all the centres. We made sure that we hired the best trainers and also provided regular training programs to these trainers to upgrade their knowledge.

Before the pandemic, all our programs were delivered offline at the franchised centres. The covid-19 pandemic forced us to move these programs online. Because we never have run a program online and we were always running in classrooms, it was a huge challenge for us to convert the entire system to run online.

Dinesh Victor, Founder & Managing Director, SIP Academy India
Dinesh is a marathon runner, voracious reader & chess enthusiast. He is extremely communicative about the spirit of entrepreneurship and his venture, SIP Academy India which he established in 2003.

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