How Kinderdance Has Been Able to Make Great Strides In India How Kirthana Ramarapu, the master franchisee for US-based Kinderdance International has expanded to over 15,000 children learning at its centres.
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Is Dance-based Kids' Development Still a New Concept in India?
Dance-based education has been a part of modern western intellectual tradition. However, recently it has been incorporated into the Indian curriculum. There has been a paradigm shift to include it into curriculum for young children and a realization as to how music, movement and dance helps develop a child mentally and physically.
How Do You Evaluate the Development?
Kinderdance is a 40-year old program with proven methodology behind it. We have been trained to assess a child through our lesson plans. The intense trainthe-trainer program helps build our early childhood specialists to individually attend to every child. Teachers are trained initially about the pragmatic science involved and then they go through a core program training to view the child's progress in a holistic manner.
Why Didn't You Set Up Stand-Alone Centres?
Our expertise in dance and movement curriculum planning is exclusively for schools and helps us associate with them directly. It is a win-win situation for all. We do not focus on standalone centers as it takes away the essence of return on investment due to very high real estate investments. Our franchisee model is simple with low investment and low overhead costs by piggybacking on existing kid-friendly infrastructures like preschools, day cares, crèches, fitness centers etc.
How Do You Categorize Age-appropriate Educational Concepts?
Age groups are categorized using the early childhood developmental milestones. Kinderdance focuses on ageappropriate programs - Kinderdance and Kindergym for three to five year olds, Kindertots for twoyear-olds, Kinder "Dance With Me' for fifteen months to twenty-four months, Kindercombo for six to eight years,Kindermotion and Kids Yoga for three to twelve year olds. A lot of in-depth thought process, research and development have gone into creating our curriculum. We have strict guidelines to compose music, choreograph a particular dance and skill in a progressive manner in which the child will develop physically, cognitively, emotionally and socially while blending educational concepts. Kinderdance also enhances kids' creativity.
How the Growth Has Been for Kinderdance India?
Beginning with two children, we now have more than 15,000 children learning at our centres and over 50 associates. Currently, we are aiming for a quantum leap with the marketing activities for branding and awareness.
What's Your Vision for Next Two-three Years?
We want to empower more than 150 women entrepreneurs. We will continue to associate with more schools in tier I cities, while expanding to all tier II cities. We want to introduce e-learning projects for faculty and include all Indian Art and Dance forms in the worldwide Kinderdance curriculum. We are also planning to raise funds to reach more children across all cities, increase customer base through franchising and direct association with educational institutions.
(This article was first published in the March issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)