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  • Writer's pictureGreat Companies

Sharwari Kulkarni, Co-Founder at MakeShift

Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business

Sharwari Kulkarni: I worked with innovation ecosystem for more than 6 years and understood that it has a lot to offer to the education space. I worked on a number of projects in innovation and education with the government and CSR projects during this time and identified gaps in current innovation programs. Later, I founded my start-up, MakeShift to fill that gap. There were 2 important things which I got to understand while working on innovation programs:

  1. Students are encouraged to work on problem solving but holistic perspective to approach a problem is much needed. Inculcating the mindset of innovation and entrepreneurship is important if we expect our children to become future entrepreneurs.

  2. Our classrooms are still functioning in the traditional way and children have this fundamental question to ask: how to come up with new ideas? If classrooms opt for old pedagogy, how do we expect new things to happen?

Hence at MakeShift, we provide avenues for holistic development of creative and innovative attitudes in children with our programs and help teachers to innovate for their classrooms with our teacher training courses.

Great Companies: What are the various Services provided by MakeShift

Sharwari Kulkarni: We have a mix of products and services.

  1. Courses for Children: We have courses for children on Design Thinking, Prototyping, Entrepreneurship, Financial Literacy for inculcating innovation and entrepreneurship mindset in them. A number of our courses are designed for children having a creative bend of mind where they can learn to lead with their creative abilities. These courses include Storytelling, Creative Writing, Content Creation: Blogs and YouTube etc. which help to inspire them to start their creative ventures.

  2. Services: We provide services for CSR, Govt and Schools for their creativity and innovation programs helping them with program curation, curriculum development, facilitation and mentoring.

  3. Teacher Training: Apart from this, we have a few carefully designed courses for teachers: Facilitating Remote Workshops, Online Teaching Strategies, Design Thinking and Metacognitive Teaching Strategies.

Great Companies: What makes MakeShift different from hundreds of other Educational platforms?

Sharwari Kulkarni:

It is true that there is no dearth of education companies in India. At MakeShift, we go high on content. We are not a tech platform that connects teachers and students but we produce high quality content in house, train our facilitators and mentors and provide mentoring to students. Mentoring is our USP. All our facilitators are available on demand to help children in their projects.

Secondly, our programs are designed to inculcate mindset and 21st century skills where we work with students to build their core capacities. Though our children produce amazing outcomes at the end, our focus is on exploration, understanding key concepts, experiments and mentoring. We provide holistic approach to creativity and innovation which is rare to find.

Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face? Sharwari Kulkarni: Being a bootstrapped start-up, our marketing expenditure is limited. We are building a community of committed customers first. With all the chaos in the education sector, it is very difficult to build a brand which speaks about quality of content, facilitation and mentoring.

Second challenge is to find quality facilitators and mentors, people who really know their stuff and can deliver it to the best of the standard.

Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for MakeShift?

Sharwari Kulkarni: We plan to grow as a market leader in creativity and innovation courses for children offering them to schools across India. We want to create 10,000 children creative leaders in the next 5 years.

Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Sharwari Kulkarni: Trust the journey, you will figure it out. If you know you can provide value, stick to that. Don’t go behind trends. It takes time and patience to build impact driven companies.



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