BANGALORE: Candor International School, India’s first Green School, started admission last August and has students from different parts of the world. With state-of-the-art infrastructure and open spaces, the school is one of its kind in the city of Bangalore and provides several unique learning avenues right from primary, middle and high school. Suresh Reddy, Chairman of the School who is based in the US speaks to Vyas Sivanand about the initial idea behind the school and how it has shaped up.
How did the idea of Candor International School come up?
My entire education took place in India and after my Bachelor’s, like many amongst us, I too went to pursue the American Dream. Initially, I went through a lot of struggle to get a job. Finally when I did, I did not look back. But I was always nurturing an Indian dream too during the process and day by day it was beginning to get stronger. I eventually started my own firm in the US. It was a recruitment agency which mainly attended to students from India and other countries who came to US like me and were struggling to get a job. Today the agency is well-established and we provide human resource to many big companies based in the US. But my Indian dream was getting stronger and stronger. I wanted to give something back to the society and because I was passionate about education, the dream took a concrete stand towards establishing a quality educational facility. The dream took shape two and half years ago with Candor International School.
But has the dream shaped us the way you wanted?
I am 100 per cent satisfied with the way the school has shaped, but there are certain issues typical to India that demands for a little struggle. Otherwise, parents are quite satisfied with the school and its practices. So I would say that the dream has come through in the initial stage itself.
How was the initial struggle while starting the school?
We procured 20 acres of land here in Bangalore. It took us about an year to build the brand that is Candor. We conducted a lot of research in terms of our branding, educational offering, infrastructure, mission, vision, etc. We even thought of going for a franchise model, but I was not too convinced about it. After going through immense hardships in terms of acquiring all necessary clearances and permission, we started admission last August. Today we have children from 15 countries.
How did the focus towards space and environment come to you?
While providing education, I was also keen on ensuring a proper environment. India as a country has progressed in many areas, but in terms of environment and awareness, it is still nascent. The west is far ahead in this aspect. Having been exposed to the western countries and their keenness to protect the environment, I wanted to build a facility that was friendly, environmentally.
What according to you are the main strengths of the school?
The main strength is the space that we have created for the school. Out of the 20 acres, we have used only 15 per cent for the school, rest are open spaces. It is a world-class infrastructure that we have here complimented well by a strong faculty and service. We have a strong parent-teacher-student interaction using the online medium which again has been well received.
According to you, how different is the education practice in India compared to the US?
I am quite satisfied with the education system, but the only problem comes with the methodology of teaching. Here, there is still more stress on rote learning which is not ideal for the requirements of the real world. In the US, the teaching is long term and is more practical for the requirements of today. At Candor, we have been influenced by this thinking and are ensuring that children learn by being involved in actual processes rather than just memorising.
What are your expansion plans?
We want to expand across the country with about 10-15 branches. We will be looking at major cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Delhi. The plan is to have a spread in these cities by 2015. There are many people approaching us for the same. In the later stage we will be moving to small towns of the country.
How do you leverage your US base to market Candor?
Marketing is mainly through the internet. Apart from that, in the US we have several associations like the Kannada Association and the Telugu Association among others. They conduct meetings once a year.