FKS, started on February 8th 1997. It started with 20 students on a 4,000 square
feet rented space with one teacher and five support staff.
Shailaja has a skill in finding real time solutions to problems faced by people,
and her ability to understand children. Her childhood was spent as an uncared student
at school. She concluded, "If this is not what I want of a school, there must be
others too who feel the same way as I do." The answer was FKS.
The first major hurdle came in 1998 when Shailaja was asked to vacate the rented
premises during an academic year just when her father passed away. Nothing deterred
her, in no time another building was rented and the school shifted despite all pressure.
From here she operated the nursery and Playgroup. By 1998, Shailaja had eight teachers
and 80 students. More and more parents were convinced by her operational style
and F.K.S. They saw the school as "parent friendly" and "child focused."
F.K.S GETS RECOGNITION
Even in 1998, she had parents from Chennai and Nasik enquiring of franchise of FKS
Shailaja faced the dilemma of whether to grow vertically or horizontally. She chose
a vertical growth. By 1999, Shailaja was ready with Standard I. Now the challenge
was not getting parents to believe in her style but recruiting the right teachers.
Children got enrolled as word spread by "word of mouth." By 1999, Shailaja knew
that she had "arrived." Then eventually the challenges of procuring land, setting
up buildings etc were encountered one by one. In her own words "This is not a problem,
it's a challenge, let's look for alternatives"
THREE CHEERS TO THE TEAM:
Dr. Ratnaja Goggula faculty at ICFAI along with her student participated in a case
chase competition held by ISB in association with Wadhavani centre in a CASE CHASE
competition. They had to submit live cases of entrepreneurs. Dr Goggula saw Shailaja
as a social educational entrepreneur. As many as 160 cases were presented from all
over India. Of these 30 were selected in the second level and finally 15. FKS case
study was one of these. These cases are uploaded in EUROPEAN CASE CLEARING HOUSE,
which is a laboratory for cases. Business schools take up these cases in their curriculum
as and when they require them.
Shailaja Rao, Teacher, director and founder of FKS, received the Rotary Vocational
Excellence Award in 2000 from the Rotary Club of Bhagyanagar for outstanding service
and exemplary standards. The award recorded that she was a living example of courage,
determination, conscious idealism and positive leadership.
I am deeply grateful and am indebted to my wonderful colleagues and parents who
have stood by our tryst. I am sure change is permanent and unstoppable; we at FKS
will constantly put in the best we know at any moment. We are ever willing to do
our bit for we believe "BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE AROUND YOU." ---- Shailaja