Being a parent you always tend to look out for something unique for your child to engage. Something that will stimulate the young mind in a more positive and a constructive way, rather than having them spend hours in front of a television or a computer screen.
The Lifestyle Portal then caught up with Rashmi Bagri, the Founder of The Curious Mind. A Masters Degree holder of Educational Psychology and Counselling, Rashmi has been involved in the field of training and education for over 15 years now. It was by chance that we met Rashmi and came to know about her venture The Curious Mind – a learning based enrichment centre for children.
We share her entrepreneurial journey and what makes her work stand out from the rest. Read on…
How did it all begin?
Rashmi recalls, “After having completed my Masters, I moved to Kolkata and joined an NGO where I would counsel school students on academic and behavioural issues. Having spent close to a year there I then moved on as a Counsellor for a drug rehabilitation Center where I was counselling substance abusers and alcoholics.” Fresh out of the University this work experience was a huge eye opener for her. Even though it was a short stint, it was an enriching experience.
However, she got this wonderful opportunity to train engineering students on Spoken English and that’s how her journey as a “Trainer” began. She further continues, “I realised this is what I wanted to do. The turning point for me was joining the prestigious IIM Ahmedabad as an Academic Associate in the Communications Area. After that, I joined Cognizant Technology Solutions as their in-house trainer. From then on it’s been a long and beautiful journey as a “Behavioural Trainer.”
It was during this course of her career, that Rashmi launched The Curious Mind after she became a mother. For Rashmi, teaching comes naturally to her and she always taught her daughter through play and activities. As her daughter grew up, Rashmi kept experimenting with creating teaching aids for her until one fine day she started The Curious Mind – an after school enrichment programs for children.
What is The Curious Mind all about?
The Curious Mind as the name suggests is for little curious children. The Curious Mind is an after school enrichment centre. They conduct skill development programs for children ranging from workshops on Life Skills using LEGO bricks to teaching writing skills. At the Curious Mind, they also work with parents through workshops on phonics, inculcating reading habits in children, and counselling. What’s more, they also organise learning based activities and events for children as well.
The need for soft skills & behavioural training
After having worked in the corporate sector for a while now, Rashmi strongly feels that there is a lot of argument in the industry as to whether it is possible to enhance soft skills in a few hours of training, especially when one considers the fact that a person has lived with those traits all his life.
She explains, “To this, the answer is harsh but really — a professional who wants to do well in his/ her career does not really have a choice. In the initial years of your career, your technical abilities are important to get good assignments. However, when it comes to growing in an organisation, it is your personality that matters, more so in large organisations where several people with similar technical expertise will compete for a promotion. Training on soft skills becomes all the more relevant in a country like India where the education system does not delve into personality development.”
She shares that how as an entrepreneur it’s always a roller coaster ride. You always have to start with every client and every opportunity. It’s a one-woman army doing everything right from marketing to accounts to training. However, though it has its own challenges it does give immense satisfaction to be your own boss.
The balancing act
No day is the same for her; while some days go in training, some in meeting clients and most of her evenings are spent in classes for children. Weekends are the busiest with either work at home or some self-development sessions.
“Balance is difficult without any support especially if you are from a nuclear family. So the only strong support I have is my passion to keep on doing and creating new courses or content and yes my husband who helps me juggle all the different roles I play,” smiles Rashmi.
What makes her work so unique?
My USP is my passion, my curious and creative little mind. I also very strongly believe in quality so I keep very limited engagements to be able to do justice to my work. I design and develop all my programs, which is where a lot of thought goes into its creations,” adds Rashmi.
Various services offered:
Rashmi lists out some of the offerings in her line of work:
Behavioral training programs like:
1. Time management
2. Working in Teams
3. Communication skills
4. Business writing
5. Conflict Management
6. Assertive Communication
7. Customer Service
8. Personal Effectiveness programs
9. Self-development programs
Skill Development programs:
1. English Language programs
2. Personality Development
1. Creative Writing
2. Develop love for Reading
4. Life Skills using LEGO bricks
5. Social Skills
6. Young leaders program
Visions and inspirations
Rashmi’s inspiration is her zeal to keep doing better and better and that will create her future. She envisions to make a difference to her participants through her training and teaching. She also plans to launch a Curious Mind app where parents can find all solutions related to behavioural issues, which will also include other aspects such as reading and writing.
For her, the journey of an entrepreneur is always a roller coaster ride. However, it’s always a learning to become better. The response has been wonderful. People have shown trust in her and her work.
She plans to expand her work and is looking for a collaboration for The Curious Mind. Rashmi signs off by saying, “We will soon be working with some schools as a part of their after school activity partners.”
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