There is a lot being said about social capital and creating social equity, including the concept of social equity exchange. My limited understanding is that this is equivalent to a sort of crowdsourcing where these projects are justifiably funding underprivileged children across the country.
These are very much required for a country like India where many children belong to an economic-profile where they need help to be educated at least in numeracy, literacy and languages.
In the Excel Public Schools, we have always endeavoured to build and run world-class schools, but at local-market fees, or at fees recommended by the government from time to time.
However, creating a world-class facility also requires a significantly high amount of investment, the best of teachers, and huge operational costs. When we designed and built the schools, including the facilities etc., we have always known that the Excel Public Schools will never deliver return on investment for many more decades to come.
Well, the intent was to provide to the community a school with a difference to deliver high quality learning. It is not a school where parents do not pay the fees. Only, the fee collected is far in short of expenditure for operations and upgradations, obviously completely ignoring return on investment.
During the COVID 1.0 period, when many schools retrenched staff, or cut their salaries, we did not, and in fact we provided increments whenever it was due. The 25-30 school bus drivers were all retained in employment with full salary… All the office and support staff too. We continue to do that during the second Wave of COVID.
While these are part of our founding principles, never compromised, the school fee alone is not sufficient to accomplish ‘earn = burn’. The central idea always was that Excelsoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd., an Education Technology Company we run, will cross-subsidise the schools.
I don’t know why we have not called it social capital invested in Excel Public Schools by Excelsoft. Why do we not talk about social equity? It is because we truly believe in making a difference to the community that we live in, and the community that helped us build a thriving business.
We have also run two skills training centres for tailoring, embroidery etc., now leading all the way up to NCVT diplomas and Sector Skills Council programs. We have been creating employment for destitute women, and training the aspirants for professional careers in fashion designing and interior designing.
These centres are in our buildings, and all the top-end equipment has been made available at these training centres. We have been running these centres for the last two decades, and are not-for-profit.
While I do not know how to quantify these as social capital or social equity, at Team Excelsoft they give us great satisfaction and pride, and hopefully leave a legacy in the location we live and has given us life!
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