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Priti Agarwal: An Award-Winning Edupreneur Bringing International Educational Paradigms to North India

Priti Agarwal: An Award-Winning Edupreneur Bringing International Educational Paradigms to North India

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One of the many reasons why women are often juxtaposed with Goddess Durga is their ability to excel in multiple things simultaneously. Be it a home-maker mom who does magic in the weekday mornings or the iconic business women of our country, only the context differs. So is the story of Priti Agarwal, the award-winning Founder & CEO of Kangaroo Kids and Billabong High International School Kanpur, the first woman to trade on the floor of the UP Stock Exchange (Kanpur). A lawyer, educationist and an entrepreneur, she has earned a prominent place amongst the leading businesswomen and social workers in Northern India.

While cutting her teeth in the world of business by managing family business and its legal affairs, the mother in her got inspired by her daughter’s progress at Kangaroo Kids – one of the presently leading chain of preschools and play schools in India – which was still in its early stages in Bombay, and she decided to take the concept to Kanpur. Making significant investments in developing her educational vision through coaching parents and developing teachers alike, whilst also capturing the imagination of young minds, Priti has cut-through the century-old rote-system based education system, and championed highest quality international education in UP/North India. She went-on to expand the franchise, developing new buildings/infrastructure, and extending the school to three new campuses in Kanpur. Affiliated with Cambridge CAIE, Kangaroo Kids Kanpur and Billabong High Schools today have become one of the best international schools in North India/UP with the frequent footfalls of visiting faculty from some of the leading schools in the world. CEO Insights engages in an exclusive conversation with her.

You have lived in different geographies like Kanpur, Mumbai, London, Netherlands, Dubai and Manchester. Why Kanpur?
I saw the dire need to promote educational excellence at its grass-root level – schools – to nurture cultural sensitivity and global perspectives that would prepare individuals for success in the world.
Most importantly, the vision is to ensure that the excellence in education is not tied down to the place you are born or what your parents can afford – to ensure that competence and ability rule the roost. Billabong’s education prepares young people for fulfillment in a world that demands flexibility, creativity, resilience and critical thought.

How has been your journey so far? What were the major challenges that you encountered while changing the paradigms?
Aristotle rightly said: ‘we are what we repeatedly do’. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit. A habit is an intersection of knowledge, skills and desire. I have never seen my journey in terms of challenges, but as possibilities and opportunities. Hence, to surmise your question, life is but a possibility and your mind has to reach the destination first before you do! So here I am!

I saw the dire need to promote educational excellence at its grass-root level – schools – to nurture cultural sensitivity and global perspectives that would prepare individuals for success in the world


How is your curriculum different?
Our school offers both a Cambridge and a CBSE curriculum, along with Vocational Education in Food & Nutrition, Design & Technology, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence courses. We encourage our students to commit their free time during the school vacations to interning in the vocations of their choice and have a plethora of world-class partnerships that they can choose from. We value our enhanced co-curricular program and collaborations that focus on developing life skills and broadening learning environments. We ensure that the co-curricular program embraces digital and other technology related aspects as well. We encourage philanthropy and are committed to alumni engagement to
create lasting relationships. We also actively engage with the educational community on national and international levels.

Where is Billabong positioned in the current education industry of India, and what are your thoughts on the present and future scenarios of this space?
Billabong is positioned more in the league of creating opportunities of excellence in education by providing the very best curriculum and co-curriculum to create 21st century citizens. We do not look upon the other schools as competition. We are our own competition, and we need to raise the bar each year to keep bettering opportunities and academic possibilities for our students.

Family plays an important role in every person’s life. How has been your family support in this journey?
My family is my bedrock – my mother, my spouse and children have not only been supportive, but have never let me feel daunted in the face of adversity. Their support is the reason I am where I am today! Thanks to the digital revolution and the internet that geographies have ceased to matter. Everyone can achieve beyond what they can dream without the constraints of travel – I am a living testimony to this mantra.

Priti Agarwal, Founder & CEO
An insightful leader & forward-thinking edupreneur, Priti has joined UCAS and is a part of the Global Career network of UCLA. She has recently implemented the RULER (Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing and Regulating Emotions) program in her schools in association with Yale University.

Location: Kanpur
Favorites:
Hobbies: Traveling & Reading
Food: Indian Cuisine
Awards & Recognition:
•National Education Leadership Awards 2018 in the category of commitment to Excellence in Education

•RashtriyaShikshaRatan Award in recognition of sterling merit excellent performance and out-standing contribution for the progress of Nation & Worldwide

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