Fulfilling the aspirations of a young entrepreneur, Mr Suraj Poste
· Franchise-based model launched by Podar Education Network in 2016
· Currently, there are 32 Podar Learn Schools across India.
· Aim to enhance CBSE/ICSE education, promote quality education in semi-urban and rural India
· All-round support to franchise owners, benefits to entire community
Poste Podar Learn School, franchisee of Podar Learn School under Podar Education Network has brought modern and good quality education to the young students of Udgir town in Latur, Maharashtra. The school was recently awarded as the cleanest school by Municipal Corporation, Udgir and shortlisted as a centre for NEET exams due to the school’s solid infrastructure.
Poste Podar Learn School is a franchisee of the Podar Learn School (PLS) model of Podar Education Network (PEN).The PLS model, aligned with India’s New Education Policy, aims to enhance the quality of CBSE/ICSE schools across India and bring good quality school education to semi-urban and rural Indian children. Launched in 2016, this model of Podar Education Network is unique and becoming increasingly successful in rural and semi-urban India. Based on it, Poste Podar Learn School was established in 2018. Currently, there are 850 students studying there.
Speaking about setting up the school, Mr. Suraj Poste, Trustee, Poste Podar Learn School said, “My father is very passionate about education. He had the vision of building a school for children in Udgir. CBSE schools were not present in Udgir, so we thought of starting one as that would help our children prepare for medicine, engineering, and other disciplines. I had roughly 10 acres of land but didn’t know how to develop it. I am young, but Podar group is several decades old, and it certainly benefitted me. It’s a lucrative opportunity for semi-urban and rural entrepreneurs like me.”
Suraj Poste further added that, “Rural areas lack access to quality education, trained teachers and good infrastructure. By bringing high quality education to semi-urban and rural students, Podar Learn School is generating lucrative opportunities for social entrepreneurship and employment. Semi-urban and rural entrepreneurs like me can tie up with Podar Education Network, which is an established and experienced educational institution to set up similar schools in their areas. We are looking at opening more Podar Learn Schools in different districts as well.”
Podar Education Network has provided Poste PLS with every help it required – training, documentation, and simply, ideas to run the school better. The troubleshooting system of PEN is extremely efficient; one email from any PLS franchisee and PEN gets the doubt clarified immediately. This has won them the trust of franchise owners such as Mr. Poste. Another unique feature of this model is the concept of mentor Principals. Every PLS gets a mentor Principal who is an experienced educator and well qualified to solve the queries of the administrators and faculty of the franchise schools.
Every PLS is equipped with innovative teaching content, audio-visual technology and support material, at a uniform level. The same lesson plans, exam papers and books are used across all Podar Schools. That puts a PLS from a rural area such as Udgir at par with other Podar schools in cities such as Mumbai and Bangalore. Complete support, right from the stationery to the access to the teaching content, is provided by Podar Education Network. While students are prepared for the technology and competitiveness of the modern workforce, their extra-curricular talents are also carefully nurtured and multiple talents are celebrated.
“Our aim is to cultivate skilled and productive citizens with a global outlook and PEN gives us access to the infrastructure and the trained teachers to make it happen,” says Suraj Poste.
Suraj Poste’s passion for education and his firm belief in the talent and potential of semi-urban and rural India played a fundamental role in the establishment of Poste PLS. However, along with the satisfaction of pursuing his passion, Poste has been able to reap good financial returns.
“We got a financially lucrative deal from Podar Education Network, as well as all kinds of support. Also, the brand name is so valuable that when we simply announced that we are setting up a Podar Learn school in our area, we got quite a lot of admissions without any significant marketing efforts.” That franchise owners should also gain benefits for their efforts is one of the key ideas behind the PLS model.
While these are fruits of the good times, Podar Education Network has been mindful of supporting PLS franchise owners in challenging times as well. As the Covid-19 crisis grew out of proportion, lockdowns forced schools to close down for many months, impacting both students and the school.
Speaking about this crisis, Poste said, “this was an unexpected, unprecedented crisis and a challenging time, but Podar Education Network gave us continuous support through digital technology, mentoring, and other support to try and minimise the difficulties and losses to both students and the school.”
He further continued, “Podar Education Network’s PLS franchise-model is a great opportunity for everyone. PLS is very systematic, the parents are very happy with the structure, the teaching and learning methods and other activities. For us franchise owners, it is a lucrative opportunity with all-round support, and the satisfaction of seeing our children get good education. It is a win-win situation for all, therefore I encourage everyone who fit the criteria to open a Podar Learn School, and brighten their own future, as well as the futures of their upcoming generations.”
The town of Udgir is benefitting on multiple levels. Thanks to Podar Learn School, Udgir is seeing a rise in employment – not only for teachers, but also for school administration staff, bus drivers, providers of school stationery and other ancillary businesses. Poste PLS and by extension, Udgir, is attracting well qualified and learned teachers and educators to come and settle in the town. Students from all strata and communities in Udgir are now able to access good quality education in their own town without requiring to go to the city. There is no discrimination among student selection; the school takes students on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis.