Meet Amol Arora, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Shemford Group of Futuristic Schools. He is the man responsible for having mapped its extraordinary growth since its foundation. With over 100 branches across 18 states, the Shemford Group of Schools has been felicitated for falling in the category of ‘Most Schools Launched in the Shortest Time by the Limca Book of Records 2013’. Furthermore, it was felicitated by ASSOCHAM, one of India’s apex trade associations, as the ‘Best School for Innovation & Value-based Education’ at the Education Excellence Awards in July 2018.
Since its inception in 2009, Shemford has raised the education bar by offering students the best-in-class education that transcends the traditional boundaries of classrooms and textbooks.
The Man Behind the Mega Business
A veteran in the education industry, Amol has over 30 years of school management experience and 25 years of school franchising experience altogether. At the cutting-edge group of schools, Amol spearheads business development, marketing, IT structures and new innovation.
After completing his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Delhi College of Engineering, Amol went on to secure a post-graduate degree in Educational Leadership & Management from the University of Nottingham. He also holds an MBA degree from the University of California, Irvine. Starting his career as an assistant software engineer at Tata Consultancy Services, he went on to become a director and trustee at Shemford Futuristic School, Pinjore, a legacy created by his parents, in 2002.
It was there that he learned the ropes of the business and developed a deep passion for spreading education through franchising. A highly driven individual, Amol believes in challenging the status quo for the greater good of students and their overall development. Under his leadership, the group of schools expanded its reach across India, Nepal and Bangladesh. An acclaimed speaker, he has been a part of over 250 prestigious ed-tech conferences across the world. He has also won numerous awards, including the Outstanding Edupreneur Award by EdTech in 2018.
Amol is an avid reader and loves to travel too. He is also a sports fan, and loves coaching his son’s football team.
When I was a teenager, I used to help my mother with the technology and marketing-related initiatives of SHEMROCK Preschools. Even when I was pursuing my Engineering and Masters, I was actively involved in the operations of the preschools. After completing my education, I joined TCS but my love for the education sector remained the same.”
Later, Amol moved to the States but even then wasn’t happy with what he was doing. It was his boss at his then job who told Amol that his interest and passion lies back in India and solely in the education industry. He could tell that it was what Amol loved doing the most, not for the money or the fame – but just because he was so passionate about it. He never intended it to be his career, but soon realized that it was his true calling.
“Most people go through their lives without realizing what they actually wish to do. I was fortunate enough to realize my priorities at the right stage of my life.”
At last, Amol decided to follow his heart, returned to India, and joined SHEMROCK Preschools. He later went on to launch the SHEMFORD Group of Futuristic Schools.
The Challenges Behind Setting Up the Education Franchise and The Support Rendered
“Entrepreneurship is a very tough journey. We have to face doubts, challenges at every step. So, the best way out is having a clear mission and finding your true passion.”
Amol recollects talking to his father once about the franchise enquiries for SHEMROCK Preschools. During that conversation, he realised the potential for growth in the early childhood education sector and decided to come back to India. This was a life-changing moment for Amol.
Amol’s parents have always been supportive of him and have encouraged him to explore different avenues and follow his dreams. “I was fortunate enough to receive such incredible support from them”, says an ever so grateful Amol.
Taking The Franchise Forward
Our schools have a philosophy that studies should be play-based and exciting. When we ask children whether they enjoy coming to school, the answer is always a loud and resounding, “Yes”. I could see parents and children giving standing ovations at school lectures and I get overwhelmed by their reactions.”
One time, Amol shares, that a parent who was working in Kolkata, wanted to move to Vardhaman because his family lived there. However, his son refused to move to Kolkata as there was no SHEMFORD Futuristic School in the city! “Now when you hear something like this, it makes you feel like whatever you are doing is worthwhile.”
“I have also seen parents coming to school on a Sunday just to show their children that the school is closed. This is enough to motivate me.”
One of our biggest achievements is that we have been able to educate more than 3,50,000 students. “It feels great to know that we have made such an impact”, says the proud and passionate entrepreneur.
At Shemford, Amol’s vision is to continue expanding the footprint of his brand, spreading his unique model of education. He envisions establishing 10,000 schools by the end of 2025. In the long term, he also plans to take the company across borders to the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Amol believes that his system of education is refined and revolutionary and is currently setting up new schools almost every week! Currently, they are well-established in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. The aim is to extend the brand of ‘SHEMROCK & SHEMFORD’ to other countries outside South Asia.
Advice from The Bold to The Budding
The daring, dapper and driven Amol leaves us with a few bold and brilliant words of advice that he hopes the youth of today will incorporate in their life’s journey and follow their dreams –
“It’s very important to live the goal, the values that you have created for yourself. I strongly believe that people regret the things that they have not done, more than the things they have done. If you have found something that truly inspires you, motivates you, and does not let you sleep at night, follow it.”