Passions: Shruti Singhal believed in swimming against the tide. That is how the city-based investment banker decided to get into alternative education
Coming from a conventional Marwari family, Shruti Singhal, always dreamt of swimming against the tide. Her passion was to study and make her own identity in the society. She grew up in Mumbai, studied commerce and MBA in Finance from Thunderbird University, USA and then worked in investment banking in Mumbai. Our IT city became home for her after her marriage to a city-based techie in 2010.
“Luckily for me, my father was vey supportive. I am the first in my family to have completed my MBA. Initially, jaws dropped as most girls in my community are married off very early. But my father and now my husband have supported me.”
Shruti also dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur. So, she quit her job in investment banking and started iLeap with her friend and educationist – Noopur Kanchan.
“Children are so involved in routine study for their exams, that they needed something more to make their education more holistic and rounded. I always dreamt of being an entrepreneur and I love children. Noopur and I started the academy first in Mumbai. She is the educator and I am the entrepreneur,” explains Shruti.
Describing iLeap Shruti said, “It is an integrated learning enrichment programme for children; an afterschool programme where we focus on skill development. It is open to children aged between two-and-half years and 14 years of age. We work with general knowledge, English language skills, and creative writing.
“I am from a corporate background while Noopur comes from an education background. We pooled our talents and shared our knowledge with the children as we want them to have leadership qualities and the power of knowledge. We have combined our experience and created modules for children according to their age groups. Every module is changed and upgraded according to the current affairs.”
Noopur and Shruti have created a comprehensive skill programme for children according to their age after “months of research.” Now in its third year, iLeap has centres in Indiranagar and Jayanagar, with the third opening in Whitefield.
“We have seven teachers and work from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Children come in post 2 p.m. The curriculum is different and has nothing to do with the school syllabus. Our programme is individualised with a focus on developing the child’s vocabulary, comprehension skills and general knowledge,” says Shruti and adding that the classes are activity based.
“There are no exams or homework. We use power point presentations, videos and quizzes as teaching aids. The child can come in as per need – twice, thrice or four times a week.”
Maths Shruti says is a different ballgame. “We train children for competitive examinations.”
Shruti has another dream to create financial literacy among women. She plans to organise free programme in this aspect so that “women can invest smartly and also save.” Those who wish to contact Shruti can e-mail her on singhal@iLeap.in.
This column features those who choose to veer of the beaten track.