Anisha Parikh (on l) with co-founder Ashni Dwarkadas
One of India’s leading business publications, Forbes India, from Network 18, recently featured entrepreneur Anisha Parikh and her new venture Hackberry, co-founded with Ashni Dwarkadas, in its story on teaching kids to programme. Anisha is the daughter of Jasmine and Abhay Suresh Parikh.
The article, “Startups to make your kids app makers before they turn 10”, appears in the February issue of the magazine and covers four recent “startups… (that) are teaching kids to programme and use technology to solve problems”.
In the article, journalist Naini Thaker profiles the two partners and their company Hackberry, as one that focuses “…on the offline model and us(es) it as a stepping stone to move to online”.
It notes, “For Anisha Parikh and Ashni Dwarkadas, the thought of setting up Hackberry came while they were researching for coding programmes to enrol their children. ‘We felt it was a great time for them [children] to learn coding because their minds are naturally aligned to that sort of learning and thinking,’ says Parikh. After a couple of successful pilots, the duo decided to roll out Hackberry about two-and-a-half years ago, with a focus on developing a curriculum that was entirely concept-based.
At the beginner level, Hackberry only uses games, worksheets and group activities to teach basic concepts. ‘We avoid screen time for the young kids,’ says Parikh. Their aim is to have the child think like a programmer. Hackberry not only runs classes in schools as part of its curriculum, but also private classes at various centres, with charges ranging from ₹8,800 for three months for private classes to ₹4,500-5,000 per year per student in schools. The Mumbai-based startup has tied up with 10 schools, and in the coming year plans to expand to more schools and cities such as Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
However, the challenge is getting the right set of tutors. ‘There are a lot of people who have a really strong coding or engineering background, but aren’t able to effectively communicate complex concepts. And there are some, who are great teachers but lack the right knowledge,’ says Parikh, adding that they have also developed a comprehensive teacher training programme to get around this. Hackberry clocked in a turnover of ₹40 lakh last year, and is hoping to double it in the coming year.”
Anisha, who graduated from HR College of Commerce and SP Jain Institute of Management Research in Mumbai, worked in the family jewellery business for some years before launching her first enterprise, Koffeplace in association with Ashni in 2015. It provides a channel for companies to showcase full-time, part-time, work-from-home and project-based opportunities for women. Subsequently, the duo diversified into Hackberry, an education company that offers unique programs that facilitate the overall development of 5 to 15-year-olds through coding, design, and entrepreneurship.
Anisha is also a Mentor of Change for the Government of India's flagship program Atal Tinkering Labs, established by Niti Aayog.
In an earlier article on yourstory.com, Anisha was quoted as saying, “I believe in the power of perseverance, grit, and belief in one’s self. Entrepreneurs must be passionate about their ideas, have the ability to deal with setbacks, learn from mistakes, to think long term and have respect for the customer/end user.”
To read the article on Forbes India click here.
To read the article on YourStory click here
Pic courtesy: Forbes India
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