Born in a traditional Royal family in Odisha, Dr. Manjula Pooja Shroff had a very conservative upbringing. Due to this approach, girls at her age had the privilege of attending modern schools and receiving a good education; still, higher education for them was considered unimportant as they were expected to get married at a very young age. However, Dr. Manjula was always passionate about higher education, and she finally convinced her parents to pursue her dreams. Now she holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from Commonwealth University, London, a Post Graduate Degree from the York University, and is an executive alumnus of the London School of Economics. Dr. Manjula also holds a Post Graduate degree from Utkal University has completed her Management Education Program at IIM, Ahmedabad. She is also an erstwhile recipient of the ‘Secular India Harmony Award’ by the former president of India Shri Shankar Dayal Sharma.
Having taken inspiration from her own learnings, Dr. Manjula is a lifelong advocate of good quality education. She is the MD and CEO of the Kalorex Group, which is well known for providing quality education. The name of Kalorex Group symbolizes professionalism and excellence in schooling. It is often recognized as a leading group focused on innovation and technology in education.
Dr. Manjula’s professional journey started at a young age when she moved to Ahmedabad. She was the first person to bring DPS to the State of Gujarat under the aegis of the DPS Society. With DPS, Ahmedabad’s wait for a good CBSE school ended, and it soon received wholehearted acceptance from society. Currently, Kalorex has two Delhi Public Schools in Bopal and East Ahmedabad areas and Calorx Public Schools at Mundra, Ahmedabad, and Bharuch under its umbrella. The group also runs the Calorx Olive International School, a full spectrum IB school. On the other hand, the Kalorex Pre-School chain is a fast-growing preschool chain, making its presence felt in many cities of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka.
“The far-reaching, life-changing impact that teaching as a career can make is incomparable to any other career. So, we need students to look at teaching as a challenging and rewarding career and aspire to become teachers. If you wish to make an impact, you must aspire to become a teacher.”
The group’s other offerings are an e-learning platform named eKal Academy, which helps learners of all age groups to subscribe to online courses for live and self-paced modules. Lastly, the Yali Adventure animation series for preschoolers and preschool kits are the latest addition to the Kalorex Group’s product offerings. Standing by her promise to cater to every section of the society, Dr. Manjula started projects like Visamo Kids Foundation and Kalorex Prerna, which work for the welfare of underprivileged children and students with learning difficulties respectively. Additionally, the Kalorex group works towards uplifting unskilled women by providing them with vocational training from VEDIC, a Vocational Educational Development Institute of Calorx.
Keeping it Going
Dr. Manjula says, “The business I am in, engages my stakeholders for 12-14 years, and it is a big responsibility to deliver quality.” When she sees some of her students getting placed in the best companies across the world and others starting their own enterprises, Dr. Manjula knows she is in the right space. This wholesome feeling of contributing to the success of her students and giving them a secure future through a sound foundation keeps her motivated to reach out to more learners of all ages and demographical locations. Dr. Manjula thinks if she can shape even a single young mind and instill proper values with integrity, she would feel her purpose has been fulfilled.
With the emergence of the pandemic, Dr. Manjula believes people need to think ahead and be prepared for all kinds of emergencies. She says, “It is the teacher who delivers, and all transformational work is done by them. They have to stay one step ahead all the time. They have been a challenged lot, and during pandemic times, they have been the most stressed, having to cope with home, family, and students all under the same roof.” She also explains up-skilling and upgrading are extremely important for everyone in each area of their work. So, giving teachers the needed opportunities for professional growth has been a vital aspect for Kalorex Group.
As the MD & CEO of the Kalorex Group, Dr. Manjula is connected to her staff through ‘Me-Time sessions,’ where she helps her staff by giving tips to elevate them to a higher level of energy and consciousness. Kalorex also empowers its employees to make decisions in their own work area with complete autonomy.
Kalorex group has been a progressive organization and has been ahead of its times in incorporating the latest technologies and methodologies in its systems. The organization is looking to expand in the digital learning space in a much bigger way over the next few years. It is also tapping the preschool products market and might dive much deeper to create preschool content.