My name is Abhijit Dabhade . I was born in a Maharashtrian middle-class family in a small city Nashik to working parents – my father retired from a central government hospital and my mother as Principal from a government school – perhaps unconsciously the foundation of education as a career waylaid then!
Like every child I too wanted to be everything that fascinated me! Sometimes a fireman, sometimes a doctor but as I grew through college I desired to be in a socially inclined profession – but what I didn’t know. I started my career in media but eventually found my interest in the education field. As usual, my middle-class parents too wanted me to be a doctor, more because my elder brother had already graduated as an engineer. To utter dismay and frustration of my father – I refused to sign on the government medical college admission form for an MBBS I was getting admission into. I told him I don’t think I have the patience to operate humans, I might end up killing them on the operation table rather than healing them….As I entered the gates of Fergusson College, Pune to do my graduation in Chemistry – I started to understand myself better and then eventually went on to do double masters in marketing management as well as mass communication from the Department of Communication Studies, University of Pune.
Came to Mumbai, started working, got married and eventually was sick and tired of full-time employment…Innovation and constant desire to do something different bugged me all the time. This further got fuelled by the culture of Mumbai. This city teaches you to ‘adjust’ – if you are in the local train there is a technique to get in and out of the train – in 14 seconds you are amongst 4000 people to get in or get out during the peak travel hours. Or managing space at home or office as the average cost of a residential real estate in this city is amongst costliest in the world – the agility and finally its entrepreneurial spirit has always inspired me to fulfill my desire to do something different.
I then thought of an idea of consulting education institutions/ schools/ startups to scale up or improve their operations for better revenues and growth. This will help me utilize my skills and experience in a more effective and better way. It also helps me fulfill my wish to contribute meaningfully to a student’s life.
So, I founded Blue Bridge Education Consultants LLP offering service in consulting in Education Management in 2014 after having worked in this industry for about 15 years in various leadership capacities in Vibgyor High Group of Schools, EuroKids, Pearson and IMS Learning Resources.
Initially, it wasn’t easy at all – Consulting is yet unheard of in the education sector. it is not an industry. Consulting in the corporate segment is big globally and there are firms known for it as well as individuals who have carved their careers out of it but nothing formally exists like this in education. So whenever I would identify challenges for potential clients – schools, higher education institutions – they wouldn’t relate to me – our country lacks visionary educationists – the current ownership pattern needs to undergo a sea change. But nonetheless, i have continued my journey…one pitch to another…
Since 2014 I have successfully contributed in re-positioning an International school in Bangalore, launched an international level pre-school in a rural area in Sangli, Maharashtra, and then had a long and trend-setting project of a higher education institute in Sports Management in Mumbai where I was instrumental in growing it from 40 institutes to 400+ making it largest in South Asia and growing its revenues close to 1000 %! Besides, playing a critical role in developing India’s first Bachelors and Masters degrees in Sports Management.
Currently, I am formulating entry strategy for a Finland based ICT education organization in India and in the process of launching a school on Asian philosophy and pedigree in Karjat, near Mumbai
Today as we speak in 2018 the Education sector in India which has been highly unorganized and doesn’t actually have an “industry” status like a retail or pharma or IT does, so it’s never been easy to propagate professional practices in this filed. But I must say that things are changing albeit, slowly. It took some time in the beginning to convince entrepreneurs that I can consult them or help them improve their education business – eventually, a couple of them did trust and thus began my projects – since then them it has been a fairly enjoyable journey!
Over the years I see myself meaningfully co-creating institutions with solid foundations of education and value system in young fellow countrymen and women.
Connect with me @ LinkedIn