Seeking Transformative Impact
“The most challenging part of the role was to have clarity of thought around our vision”
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Ambitious but practical, this is among some of the advice Kruti Bharucha had for herself when she began her entrepreneurial journey with Peepul. The education non-profit was founded in 2017 with the vision that every child should receive education regardless of background or circumstance.
Through partnerships with State governments, Peepul runs three exemplar schools in Delhi that directly impact 800 children and work on capacity building with 450 government teachers in Delhi indirectly impacting 16,000 students. The Peepul impact is not limited to one geographic location and has impacted 25,000 schools and 40,000 teachers and education officials leading up till the district level in Madhya Pradesh, through training and School Quality Assurance programme.
The company’s revenues grew from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 3 crore over the last year and is expected to grow to Rs 9 crore by the end of 2019. It is projected to be a Rs 25 crore company by 2023 with 250 employees and presence across four geographies.
Pivot To Entrepreneur
The year 2013 was decision point for Bharucha. She was in the running to become a managing director at CEB, where she had spent nine years climbing the corporate ladder. Instead she decided to become an entrepreneur. “When I founded Peepul, the most challenging part of the role was to have clarity of thought around our vision and execution. We had to be ambitious but practical,” Bharucha remarks.
The Way Forward
“Our focus and determination to work with the government and not run as islands of education excellence is a crucial step in ensuring long-term sustainability. Additionally, we are focussing on multi-year partnerships with our funders and donors. This will not only ensure business sustainability but also improve impact and efficiency,” says Barucha.
Peepul intends to codify the model and plan for replication in other States, with the help of Centre and State governments. “We believe that bringing about a systemic reform, with the support of the government is the most effective way to create a long-term impact on the education sector. For the work we do in education, my constant message is that incremental improvements and programmes will not transform the Indian government school system. Our programmes and focus needs to be on transformative impact,” she adds.