Sandbox, as the name suggests is a box with sand. But deep down it has got profound telltale. From a different perspective, Sandbox also has following definitions.
a box with sand shaped for molding metal
a container of sand for small children to play in
a protected environment in which an untrusted program may be run without affecting other parts of the system (with regards to computers)
All of it put together gives a hint as to why is this startup named Sandbox. So it is a place, where children play, the one thing that they absolutely love doing the most. Secondly it is a protected environment, which all parents vouch for. Also it is used to shape metals, which in this case are the beautiful, cute, little bundles of joy – children!
In today’s busy and nuclear world, parents of young ones find it very difficult to spend time with them. They are constantly struggling to shape up their children’s behavior and in turn their future. The mobile technology has grasped these bairns with a tight hold. We all have witnessed the tantrums when they have to eat, or complete their homework, or wear a particular attire. Be it anything, give these young lads a tab, or a mobile and here they are, the most adorable one could ever imagine them to be. But this approach is incorrect, it makes children stubborn and mulish. There has to be a way where children can get attention and scientifically accredited stimulation that they require. And the most well-grounded stratagem is definitely Sandbox.
This startup is a brainchild of Puja Das and Abhisha Shrivastava. Puja is a B. Tech from IIT Bombay and MBA from ISB Hyderabad and Abhisha has completed her both B. Tech and M. Tech from IIT Bombay. This Powai based startup was launched in June 2016.
Here is what Abhisha Shrivastava, one of the co-founder has to say when we fired our questions at her.
- Tell us About Your startup, your partners and what made you to start it?
90% of the child’s brain develops by the age of 5. During this age span, the environment that the child is exposed to plays a crucial role in her development. (we use her both genders henceforth). Working parents especially those who live in nuclear family set-ups avail facilities like nannies and day-cares for childcare. Or mothers take a break in their careers to take care of their children. Most of these facilities only take care of the childcare aspect but have little or no focus on the development of the child.
This motivated us to build a Daycare setup to help the working parents especially mothers to have her child taken good care of in a homely and stimulating environment while she can focus on climbing up her career ladder.
We envision to set up many such high quality day cares and learning centres across the country.
- Introduction about you and your partners?
Puja Das and I are co-founders of Sandbox. Puja is a B. Tech from IIT Bombay and MBA from ISB Hyderabad. She has also worked with Schlumberger previously and has had startup in food tech space before starting Sandbox. I am B.Tech and M.Tech from IIT Bombay. I have co-founded a startup in the marketing space and worked with Educational Technology start-up before.
Our Education partner is Eklavya School, based in Ahmedabad which is ranked 1st in Gujrat and 13th in India. We are old acquaintances with the founding team at Eklavya and when we decided to start Sandbox, we saw a lot of synergies in our ideologies hence decided to work together. In close collaboration with Eklavya School, we have developed a method to provide an innovative learning environment through our well researched curriculum spanning all areas of learning (motor skills, cognitive skills, language-communication, socio-emotional skills and creative skills) and all three learning styles (looker, mover, listener).
- How different is it from existing models(If any)? and How do you want to compete with them?
What makes us special is our ideology. We at sandbox believe that, as caregivers we get a unique and brief opportunity to create a long lasting impact on a child’s life. Hence, we support parents in childcare just like their extended family would do and focus on all round development of the children through our curriculum.
Our trained and motherly staff pays a lot of attention to detail to the needs of each child at our centre. Along with this, our centre is designed in a child friendly manner keeping in mind the needs of children and how it will play a role in their development.
- What is the traction so far?
We launched on 26th June 2016. In the last 3 weeks we have received over 90 inquiries from parents residing in Powai and total registration of 24 kids in different programmes.
- What is your vision to scale your business?
We want to expand Sandbox across India. Along with setting up daycare units near dense residential areas, we are also looking for tie-ups with corporates to set-up these units exclusively for their employees. We plan to raise funding to come up with our next centres. We also plan to open franchise some time down the line.
- Any other interesting information you would like to share with us.
Our team consists of Educators, Nannies, Maids and Admin staff. Educators responsible for imparting learning have a background in Early Childhood Care and Education and previous work experience in pre-schools. Nannies responsible for childcare have had a minimum work experience of 5 years in handling children and speak English. While maids are responsible to keep the centre clean throughout the duration and also have experience of minimum of 5 years. The entire team has received training at Eklavya School prior to starting operations at our first centre
The entire staff is of females. We maintain a adult to child ratio of 1:2 for toddlers and 1:6 for elder children
About our activities in the centre:
- We follow a play based approach at our centre. Our entire centre is full of joyful play activities which will keep the child engaged and interested.
Playful moments are really learning opportunities in disguise, play promotes development in a number of ways. It promotes problem solving and creativity, it helps build attention span and encourages social development.
- As our name suggests, freedom to explore. The entire space is specially designed for children and full of a variety of activities which the kids will enjoy!
These ladies are surely coming up with a huge beneficiary strategy for working parents and their growing kids.
We at IndianCEO wish both of you the very best!