Kalorex Group: A Bonafide Change Agent in the Education Sector

Dr. Manjula Pooja Shroff    ,MD & CEO
Dr. Manjula Pooja Shroff

In the modern world, education is widely considered as a fundamental resource pertinent for the development of an individual and a society. As a consequence, in various countries, basic education is not only looked at as a right, but as a duty and governments are expected to ensure access to basic education to all citizens. India, a developing yet prosperous nation, is no different. With over 250 million students enrolled, India is home to 1.5 million K-12 schools, out of which government or public schools make up a whopping 75 percent. However, with higher attainment levels and learning outcomes, a majority of Indians prefer sending their children to private institutions. While private schools makeup a measly 25 percent of the total school count, they enrol over 40 percent of the total student population across the country.

With a plethora of options to choose from, it becomes a parent’s responsibility to pick a school that would not only impart world-class education to a child, but also ensures his/her holistic development. Aimed at shaping national assets with strong values of dedication, devotion and compassion through all round development of children is the Kalorex Group. Running and operating over 40 institutes that consist of K-12 schools, preschools, along with special focus institutions, the pioneer in education is the brainchild of Dr. Manjula Pooja Shroff (MD & CEO), a firebrand Edupreneur. A bona fide change agent in the education sector, Dr. Manjula has long been on a quest to make quality education accessible to children from every strata of the society. Kalorex today successfully runs Delhi Public School, Calorx Public Schools, Calorx Olive International School and Kalorex PreSchool. Aimed at students with special learning needs and financial handicap, the group has designed Visamo Kids Foundation and Prerna School. Adding to the roster of institutes is also VEDIC – Vocational Educational Development Institute of Calorx, which is aimed at providing vocational training to unskilled women. Prioritizing inclusivity and quality education, Kalorex is ably shouldering the responsibility of nurturing well-rounded individuals, equipped with the tools to thrive in the real world.

Breaking Confines of Privilege to Taste Freedom
On first encounter with Dr. Manjula, one is bound to be taken in by her affable smile and expressive eyes, but what one doesn’t get a sense of is her rock-solid grit and conviction towards her goals. Known for breaking conventions and stereotypes, Dr. Manjula was born into a royal family of Orissa. Although, privileged in the material sense, her early life was devoid of freedom which ultimately resulted in her strong urge to create an identity for herself. Leveraging education to her advantage, Dr. Manjula earned a graduate degree in Management Education Program, IIM Ahmadabad and a Postgraduate Degree in Political Science from Utkal University. Having already madeup her mind to pursue the rocky terrain of entrepreneurship, Dr. Manjula dove headfirst into the education sector.

Her first project was to build and run Delhi Public School in Ahmedabad. “Back in the day, Gujarat as a state was lacking in terms of quality educational institutes. Since, the state had largely been business oriented, the cosmopolitan culture was missing and I chose to address that very adversity,” narrates Dr. Manjula. Following the successful launch of DPS, Kalorex managed to alter the very educational landscape of the city and the state and set
various benchmarks in terms of educational institutions. There has been no looking back since. Under the strong guidance of Dr. Manjula, Kalorex has established over 40 educational institutions and is rendering quality education to children across the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

"A bona fide change agent in the education sector, Dr. Manjula has long been on a quest to make quality education accessible to children from every strata of the society"

Research & Technology Backed Pedagogy
Nelson Mandela once rightly observed in one of his speeches, “Children of today are the leaders of tomorrow and education is a very important weapon to prepare children for their future roles as leaders of the community”. Believing in the same principles, Dr. Manjula ensures that every Kalorex institution empowers its students to not only succeed academically but also develop critical life skills. Following a research & technology based pedagogy to educated students. Kalorex’s taxonomy is meticulously formulated with the broad objective of developing sound communication and people skills in students. Irrespective of the educational board followed by the school, Kalorex works towards inculcating these skills through various methods for which teachers are periodically trained.“Our teaching approach involves the latest pedagogy and best practices available in the world, which are incorporated in our classrooms,” adds Manjula.

Veterans in ensuring quality education, Kalorex also endeavours to make its students competition ready. Inculcating in students the importance of hard work and focus, Kalorex students have excelled in various state, national, as well as international examinations. Driven under Dr. Manjula’s watchful eyes and insightful idea, Kalorex has been creating a breed of students who are ‘Glocal Learners’ - combining the elements of Global attributes with Local values.

Unconventional Methods to Key in Parents & Students Alike
The visionary educationist also staunchly believes in making learning engaging and fun in order to motivate children to look at studying as an enjoyable activity and not as a compulsion. Kalorex utilizes techniques such as active learning, student engagement, incorporating physical space into learning activity and more in order to hold students’attention. Kalorex conducts an excellence program that has been designed to ensure that each & every member of the Kalorex teaching community is well equipped to make learning exciting, engaging and fun for students.

Working towards amalgamating theoretical knowledge with practical implantations, Kalorex ensures that its teachers act as facilitators to empower the students to make the best use of the knowledge at their disposal. The schools leverage widely utilized futuristic approaches such as blended and flipped learning, which have been accepted worldwide. “We believe that conventional knowledge can also be imparted at home, so we focus on using unconventional methods that can enable our teachers and parents to facilitate and monitor the desired learning outcome,” explains Dr. Manjula. This approach has brought about a major change in the attitude of the parents since they feel involved in the child’s academic activities and are cued into all academic aspects through a portal where Kalorex updates every activity performed in the classroom.

A Tech Foot Forward
With digital trends gaining momentum by the day, the education sector also stands to gain ample leverage by incorporating tech trends in its functioning. A future-ready organization, Kalorex has since its inception been receptive to adopting tech-savvy approaches such as smart classrooms, smart boards and several other cutting-
edge technologies in its learning techniques. An all-encompassing ERP platform allows teachers to plan lessons, track student development, student mapping or any other requirement that she has for functioning in the school. The ERP platform also enables parents and students to access learning material and assignments. Enabled with a communication system, the platform helps every stakeholder communicate with one another seamlessly.

Kalorex also leverages technology and educational tools such as Google Drive, Google Platform and others to strengthen the learning process. The educational institute ensures that each teacher receives the required training to be able to make optimum use of technology tools at their disposal.

Inclusivity is Paramount
The very objective of imparting basic education is to level the playing field for everyone and rendering every child the same opportunities to make it big in life. Extending this ideology into her educational institutions, Dr. Manjula believes in making education as inclusive as possible. Kalorex was a pioneer in identifying learning disabilities as a deterrent for various students and thus founded Prerna, a school for students with Special Learning Needs (SLN). “While it is very easy to identify a physical disability, learning disabilities are more complex and have not been addressed enough,” explains Dr. Manjula. Therefore, Prerna functions with the belief that every child has a potential to learn, where he/she is accepted, understood and supported in the way he/she can learn.

The school majorly addresses dyslexia and enables students to become a part of the mainstream. The students receive vocational guidance through aptitude tests and counsellor suggestions. The special school also renders training programs for teachers aimed at teaching methods and handling learning disability. A true proponent of inclusivity, Kalorex also employs specially-abled individuals as teachers, several of whom have been a part of the Kalorex family for almost two decades.

To give the opportunity of quality education to the marginalised students, Dr. Manjula setup the Visamo kids’ foundation in 2001. This provides a foster home facility to school going students, who are admitted to the best English medium school in the city. These students can peruse academic careers and pursue professional goals later. Another initiative of Kalorex is the Vocational Institute of Education and Development (VEDIC), which provides skill-based training to young women for them to earn a living.

Having successfully created and run various educational institutions, Dr. Manjula is today regarded as a game changer in the Indian education sector. The lady with a heart of gold and spirit of titanium is relentlessly working towards creating institutions that not only empower students, but also facilitate the holistic development of the teachers employed with Kalorex. A proponent of leading a healthy life, Dr. Manjula inspires her teachers to adopt fitness and a life of balance. With a strong backbone of well-trained teachers, research-based pedagogy and unconventional learning approaches, Kalorex is committed towards creating strong individuals capable enough to build a stronger nation.

Dr. Manjula Pooja Shroff, MD & CEO
A recipient of several awards, including the prestigious Secular India Award from the President of India and the Woman of the Year award by the American Bibliography Society, North Carolina, Dr. Manjula is an edupreneur par excellence. Regarded as a change agent for schooling in the state of Gujarat, she is a Postgraduate from York University and Executive alumni from London School of Economics. She also holds a Postgraduate Degree in Political Science from Utkal University and is a Graduate of Management Education Program of IIM, Ahmadabad.