These women entrepreneurs quit their odd corporate jobs to enter the preschool education sector
Coming from a business family, Pooja midha grew up observing traditional core crafts. She focused on new initiatives, branding and the launch of a new product that the Indian team has built and implemented new cultural integration programs. This “building” of new things extended to his corporate career at Intel. The thrill of “building” quickly became the driving force behind the entrepreneurial leap with Wonderhood and his 10-year-old colleague and friend, Kavitha Mohamad.
After earning a computer science degree from BITS Pilani and an MBA from Wharton, Kavita entered the enterprise sector and was responsible for the incubation and scale-up of several initiatives at Cisco, Intel and Kearney in the United States. United States, as well as for startups in Asia-Pacific. .
Over the years, Kavitha has volunteered in primary schools and for girls’ education.
“One of the first achievements was that children of all ages learn best when concepts are presented using visuals and educational kits. They gain confidence from the start when the topic is broached in their native language. Children thrive when the same concepts are repeated and applied in different contexts, ”she says. His history.
Wonderhood, the early learning startup founded in 2017, initially focused heavily on pregnancy and early childhood.
“The decision to be in this market stems from data points that pregnancy and child have been found to be the most searched medical conditions on Google. With this, Wonderhood wanted to do a meaningful job in this segment by bringing everything together. what future parents and new parents need in one place and making this phase fun and relevant, ”said Pooja.
The first years are important
As the founders navigated the journey, understanding the needs and issues of this segment, they realized that for a future parent or new parent, what mattered more than anything else was the their baby’s physical safety, well-being and growth, and their baby’s mental development. In addition, the aspect of physical safety, which is crucial in the beginning, was quickly left out as soon as the baby reached three months of age and began to reach key physical milestones.
Pooja believes that while the early years are crucial in laying the foundation for a child’s ability to learn, at present very little attention is paid to them with parents relying solely on preschools.
“The mental growth and learning of their little ones is a lifelong pursuit of any parent. From there, the idea for wonderLearn started to take shape and eventually resulted in the solution we have in the market today, ”says Pooja.
Put together by education experts, wonderLearn is a learning program with over 400 toys and activities and over 75 hours of digital content.
“Through wonderLearn, we strive to bridge the gap in the early learning space by bringing together its unique strength in product design and the development of learning content,” she adds.
According to the founders, wonderLearn’s mission is to make early learning for preschoolers and their parents a fun, enjoyable and rewarding experience. It focuses on the 3T model – “Toy-first, Tech-enabled and Teacher-aided” approach to provide high quality learning experiences for children aged two to six.
“Through the learning program which includes toys, puzzles, books, activities, live lessons, wonderLearn helps develop problem solving, thinking skills, sensory and motor skills, social skills, the ability to work and play in groups, listening and understanding and many more.The program focuses on developing all the key skills children need at this early and nebulous stage, ”says Kavitha.
Using the play method as an anchor, the program features learning toys, inclusive content, and a top-notch teaching community.
Wonderhood operates on the D2C subscription model, with its target audience being parents of children aged two to six in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.
The startup provides parents with access to learning toys, digital content and interactive lessons, all bundled together. Targeting three distinct age groups (2 – 3, 3 – 4.5 and 4.5-6 years), it offers subscription models for six months or more. Toys are delivered monthly; teachers are available to facilitate learning and children practice concepts on the digital app. Children can enroll in the program at any time of the year depending on their age.
The founders are seeing unexpected demand for Level III cities and towns, as many young parents moved from Level I cities to their hometowns during the pandemic.
“In this way, we are bridging the gap between towns and villages through our virtual program, delivered by well-trained teachers. Our mission is to break down the long-standing barriers to access between Tier I cities and the rest of India, ”said Pooja.
Entrepreneurs say based on feedback they received, the impact has been twofold
“The children look forward to weekly lessons with the teachers and are delighted to receive our monthly kits. They share beautiful thank you notes with our teachers. Parents, on the other hand, share that their communication and social skills have improved, which has wreaked havoc during the pandemic, ”says Kavitha.
They also claim to be on a high growth trajectory with excellent renewal rates, repeat purchases, 100% customer satisfaction and an NPS (Net Promoter Score) of 4.6 / 5.
The market is vital for all players
As the learning market for this young segment (two to six year olds) is booming, Kavitha and Pooja point out that their unique strengths lie in personalized toys, live lessons with teachers, and digital content. tailor-made, which gave them a clear advantage over others. on the market.
“We can find ourselves partnering with established brands rather than competing with them in the short term. The market is large enough for all the strong players to participate, ”they add.
Wonderhood recently completed a round of pre-seed investor funding – supported by
Pooja Goyal from Avishkaar, Amit Ranjan from Slideshare / LinkedIn, Shalini Puchalapalli from Google, Abhijit Kane from Postman, Varun Aggarwal from Aspiring Minds, Shivani Singh Kapoor from Intellitots / Klay and Ganesh Rengaswamy from Quona Capital. A few other investors have chosen to be anonymous.
The main challenge for them has been to build a remote team. In the future, they would like to expand to other markets around the world.
Kavitha says prejudices and stereotypes exist – partly in the ecosystem and partly in our minds
influenced and inflated by the incidents we hear from fellow entrepreneurs.
“I train to stay open and patient in all of my interactions. Once the story of the startup’s growth takes over, the perception and narrative changes almost instantly. Falguni Nayar from Nykaa set an excellent example in this regard. It’s time for many women entrepreneurs to step in, break existing stereotypes and pay for future generations, ”she says.
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