Haven’t we all, at some point, received questions from our children, like why recycle; why not reduce and reuse? What’s the relevance of gravity? Why do the stock prices of companies go up and down? Why Mumbai and not Bombay? Why not do something good for the underprivileged kids?
And, haven’t we all told them, “please allow me to read more about it and come back to you” and then gone onto YouTube or Google and looked up answers. Parents cannot have all the answers or know about everything all the time. But can help children by enabling access to knowledge-building opportunities.
When Nikita and Labhdi, from Mumbai, realized that kids were full of questions that were out of the school syllabus, and not everyone was giving them satisfactory answers, they took the onus to help them out. They wanted to untangle every query-based knot that developed in a child and ease out their eagerness by giving them answers based on experience and logic.
Beyond Academics was born out of the necessity to help children find answers through fun learning. They saw the immense potential in offering a real-world experience to children, both inside and outside the school.
Nikita, an MBA with four years of work experience in Banking and Finance, and Labdhi, an Engineer and MBA with work experience in Marketing, gave up their lucrative, well-paying jobs to explore and expand this venture. They were so intrigued with how a child’s brain works that they wanted to make learning fun and experience-based for them.
At Beyond Academics (BA), the duo has designed modules focusing on unique outdoor events, workshops, field trips/educational trips, and summer programs for children. The main aim is to provide out-of-classroom experiences in a fun and exciting environment. Their most popular event is One with Nature, where kids and parents go on trips and treks amidst nature and wilderness. They have been conducting One with Nature for over six years and host it across India. The main idea behind this program was to help the parent and child explore and reconnect with nature through various well-curated activities like science & nature, recycling, nature crafts, storytelling, and workshops. Today, more than 2000 families from across India participate every year in this event.
Being women entrepreneurs, Nikita and Labdhi like to collaborate and empower other women entrepreneurs and educators. Maximum of their partners are women, and since they know that every woman is capable of being a step ahead in whatever she does, they took inspiration and gave Beyond Academics the tagline of ‘A Step Ahead’. It means that not only do children get to be a step ahead at BA, but women also are ahead of their league.
Nikita and Labdhi being efficient homemakers as well, often face the challenge of expanding their venture and curating newer experiences. However, they plan to grow their team and work harder to reach newer heights.
BA’s flagship program One with Nature has received raving reviews from parents, students, teachers, and schools alike. They have been recognized in the Best Kids Event category across India by online parenting portal www.kidsstoppress.com for their reputed KSP Awards for over five years in a row. Both Nikita and Labdhi say that “receiving the KSP awards gave us validation that we are on the right track. It is the only Indian award that celebrates excellence in parenting and baby care, our faith in the potential of BA got amplified and our zeal to perform better doubled.”
As we at Woman of Substance celebrate women entrepreneurs on International Women’s Day, are proud of Nikita and Labdhi for the ground-breaking work they do with Beyond Academics. Being women entrepreneurs, we are sure that nothing can stop them from taking a BA to the next level.