Name: Pooja Goyal
Business: Intellitots Learning, a preschool for an early childhood education
Location: Gurgaon, India
Reason for starting: I draw a lot of energy from children, my family (which includes my Intellitots family) and nature. I very frequently tell myself that ‘all I need to know, I can learn from children’ – be it the art of negotiation or problem solving or leadership or perseverance or communication. It is no surprise then that I chose to be an entrepreneur in the field of early education which allows me to be close to children and gives me the flexibility to spend time with my own two daughters. I have worked as an engineer with corporate companies for many years, but I have always been an entrepreneur at heart.
My first entrepreneurial venture was back in 1999 in the Bay area with a software company called Ellianz. I learned a lot from that experience–particularly about the importance of starting small but thinking big–even though the company folded. I worked in the US for almost a decade and then moved back to Noida, India in 2007. As a mother of two young kids trying to balance full time work and family, I was shocked to find childcare infrastructures woefully lacking there. This opportunity was too great to miss. Shivani, my business partner, had also moved back at about the same time; we found ourselves at similar stages of our lives, passionate about similar issues; and Intellitots was born. The education field offered us a platform for significant impact. We were both convinced of the importance of early years and the impact these years have on the child as an individual, family as a unit and society at large. The desire to find meaning in what we do was definitely the biggest impetus behind Intellitots.
How do you define success? I measure success by the positive difference that we make in children’s lives one family at a time. A kid’s smile and a parent’s reassuring words are what drive us. My day may be full of stresses, but I find peace at night knowing that we’ve made a difference in a child’s life. When parents tell us stories about how their children now love to read or are confident or love coming to school, I feel that I have been successful. I have sparked a love of learning. Our clients say they can’t imagine a better place for their child than Intellitots.
Biggest Success: Our biggest success is yet to come. The education system needs to change significantly. It is a very tall order and a lot of work needs to be done towards that.
Who is your most important role model? My parents. The biggest lesson that I learned from them was that there is no substitute to perseverance and hard work. This lesson has served me well.
Edited by The Story Exchange