We met our School Implementation Manager (SIM) from Mumbai, Abhijeet Yadav, over coffee and asked him to tell us a little bit about his background. He shared some interesting tidbits about his earlier years of schooling and graduation in the Pink City of Jaipur as well as his move to Mumbai to do his Post Graduation in Marketing and International Business. Speaking of the move, he said, “Living in Mumbai has been a fulfilling journey, but I miss home deeply.” Abhijeet’s immediate family in northern India includes his father, who works in central excise/customs; his mom, who works as a housewife; and his elder brother, who works for an IT company in Delhi. While telling us about his hobbies, including traveling, shopping, adventure sports and food, Abhijeet reminisced for his “home-cooked” meals.
Abhijeet recognized his interest in business development and startups early on and hence joined Dhriti, an experiential entrepreneurship program, after his Post Graduation. He talks fondly about his time in Dhriti and told us how much he learnt during the 2.5 years. He later worked with ATMA, a Zaya partner, before spending some time with a training firm.
Abhijeet told us he came to work at Zaya because of his passion for education industry and because he realizes there is lot of work to be done. He explains that, “with Zaya’s approach to education, the achievement gap is much less compared to rote learning. Zaya is taking the concept of rote learning to a higher level, by introducing technology. The product is extremely innovative and amazing.”And yes, he grinned and told us he does love working on his bean bag at Zaya’s HQ.
When we asked him about his work with Zaya and his work responsibilities, Abhijeet animatedly talked about his duties for customizing and managing the Zaya program in each of his schools. This includes coaching teachers and Teaching Assistants (TAs), providing customer service for product issues, managing relationships with headmasters and reporting back to HQ. Abhijeet is also involved in doing business development for Zaya.
On days when he has a meeting with teachers in Nalasopara, he travels a long way to speak to teachers to get their feedback and plan the curriculum for next two weeks. Using this data, he makes reports and puts them in front of Zaya’s management to take further steps for Zaya’s growth. If there are no meetings in any of his schools, he continues business development from office while eating food and spending time with his friends. “It’s never the same. Being the link that connects consumers to Zaya management is a key role.”
When asked how he feels about being involved with a startup as opposed to other chalked out corporate jobs, he exclaimed, “It’s been a good journey so far! It’s definitely challenging. The systems and procedures are not in place. You see your friends working in a corporate setup where the facilities are much better. But in startup you might have to work without AC, sometimes there is no electricity. Hence infrastructure is definitely not the best part. But having said all that there is a lot of fun involved. You tend to wear many hats and the learning opportunities are unending. It’s challenging and a lot more fun than a 9-5 pm corporate setup. You can be yourself and do what you love doing, bring in different culture with you.”
“I have been lucky so far, I have always worked with startups”– Abhijeet
Abhijeet most appreciates being surrounded by children’s “excitement and energy.” He added, “They have the zeal to learn new things. It makes me happy, like I am contributing for our better future.” Talking about the feedback received from consumers and stakeholders, he says, “Schools have been cooperative and enthusiastic about Zaya program. Business development is a little difficult because the headmasters tend to be busy. Once they are on board, then we set up things to make their life easier.”
If you want to work for a social enterprise that believes every child deserves a world-class education, check out our career page! We are always on the lookout for awesome people to join our team.
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