Founded in April 2016 by Anmol Arora, Piccolo Early Learning Centre is a Montessori based Preschool, Daycare, Enrichment and activity centre in association with European Education Group. Anmol started this venture with an aim to deliver quality in the field of education.
After a thorough study of schools in Delhi and abroad, he collected educational materials and concepts that promises to give a new meaning and dimension to preschool education along with keeping all safety measures necessary for our young children in mind. Piccolo’s facilities include the undermentioned:
• Classrooms are attractive and equipped with carefully designed materials and activities from which children can choose and is facilitated to move from activity to activity.
• The student adult ratio is 15:3 so as to give maximum attention.
• To develop healthy eating habits and table manners the company provide nutritious meal planned by a nutritionist. Because the startup firmly believe that a healthy mind resides in a healthy body. The children are served to their full satisfaction. The major benefit of this arrangement is that the children who normally do not eat at home, starts eating in their friends company.
• Your child’s security is of prime concern. To ensure the same, the school has been put on CCTV surveillance with Live feeds.
• Government approved GPRS enabled Echo Cabs are used as transport to pick and drop children from their houses by police verified drivers along with female attendants. Medical kit and water is also available in all cabs in case of any emergency.
• RFID tracking system for marking attendance.
• Anti -Bacterial vinyl flooring and Air purifying plants in the environment adds to making Piccolo a safe and secure environment.
• Screening of all children by Child Physiologist.
• All staff trained to give First aid.
In an exclusive interaction with Chahat Jain of BWBusinessWorld, Anmol Arora, Managing Director, Piccolo Early Learning Centre, shares details about his startup.
1. After pursuing business management, typically, people opt for positions in blue chip companies. Instead of following the obvious path, you decided to start a preschool¬ of your own. How did the idea come to your mind?
The idea of opening an early learning centre developed subconsciously within me, when I used to watch my niece and nephew travelling to far away locations due to a crunch of good centres catering to children as young as 6 months to 6 years.
While pursuing my business management from The University of California, Los Angeles, as part of my project, I got the opportunity to visit a few early learning centres wherein I got ample exposure to superior world class education. This new perspective gave me a sense of direction, and that in turn prompted me to start Piccolo earlier this year.
2. Early learning centres are mushrooming today. How is Piccolo different from the rest and adding value to kids?
Piccolo Early Learning Centre is a place that provides an array of activities to children in the age group 6-15. We believe providing children with the exposure to the finest equipments and techniques right from early years under the guidance of in-house trained staff. We at Piccolo believe in creating a boundary-less environment and letting them make independent choices, thereby exploring new challenges created by facilitators. We consider parents as partners rather than clients and want them to enjoy every moment of their child’s time spent at Piccolo through innovations like live CCTV footage and real time information and communication through the Piccolo mobile app and social media.
3. The business of playschools is cash intensive especially in today’s day and age where managements across all schools are trying to give the best to their children. In this context, would you want to share your fund raising experience?
My father Mr Baldev Raj Arora and my uncle Mr Kishan Lal Arora have been in the business of real estate and construction material for the last 54 years. Together they formed the K.B. Education Trust which funds Piccolo Early Learning Centre.
4. How do you plan to handle competition?
The sole focus of the management of Piccolo is to deliver good quality education at a reasonable cost. If we maintain our standards, it will reflect in our results thereby resulting in positive parent feedback. We believe the best advertisement our school can get is through the “word of mouth’.
5. Given that there is a problem of plenty in this bourgeoning preschool business, could you throw some light on the challenges you faced? What are your expansion plans?
We faced many challenges during starting up and now, in finding people dedicated towards delivering quality, be it designing of the infrastructure or selection of Montessori trained staff. The biggest challenge for us was to get the school up and running before April session. Going forward, we definitely look forward to ramping up the number of centres. We are ready to collaborate with like-minded people, give out franchisees and take Piccolo Early Learning Centre to a new level.
6. How do you plan to transform young minds through technology?
We strongly believe in Montessori Method of teaching, which is based on self-directed activities, hands-on learning, art and craft and collaborative play. Hence, we have well equipped classrooms and well chalked out timetable. Multimedia is only used to reinforce concepts occasionally.
8. What is your Marketing strategy? How do you plan to create your niche market?
We are catering to young children and their parents. Parents feel satisfied when they see the holistic development of their child. So our only strategy is to create an environment full of love and learning.
9. How do you ensure child safety in school?
The infrastructure is built keeping in mind the security and safety of children. We have recently launched Piccolo mobile application wherein the parents can view their child through live CCTV footage during the school hours. Our cabs are government approved and GPS enabled. All over staff is police verified. Entire staff has undergone first aid training so as to handle any kind of emergencies. We give great importance to hygiene therefore all the materials are disinfected regularly.
10. How do you engage parents in various learning activities?
Relating to parents and drawing them in as partners is challenging. Most parents want to be engaged in their child’s learning, and many are able to establish and maintain ongoing and productive communication with teachers on regular basis. In order to effectively engage parents, it is important to know their concerns with regard to their child’s learning and transition from home to preschool. To understand parents’ concerns and being proactive in addressing them in a positive way, we do conduct special days.