Lead’s journey from schools to software

Lead’s journey from schools to software

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Supriya Roy

41 reads
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Supriya Roy

41 reads

Edtech firm Lead opened its first school in 2012. Five years and nine campuses later, Lead’s co-founders realised its real strength was tech. This triggered a shift that saw Lead grow from being a bootstrapped startup to a unicorn with 2,000 employees

October 27, 2022

7 MINS READ

When Smita Deorah and Sumeet Mehta left P&G in Singapore around 2009, building a unicorn startup was the last thing on their minds. They were sure, however, that their next steps would be in India’s vast education sector.

Mehta told The CapTable that they had concerns about the “poor quality of education in schools in smaller towns”. That drove them to open Lead School in Areri, 35 km from Ahmedabad, in 2012.

Over the next few years, their bootstrapped venture of the same name added eight more campuses, creating its own curriculum and tech along the way.

“For the first five years, we were literally a school operator, running everything on our own. At the time, the team consisted of people who were developing curriculum and making the product,” Mehta said. “Our product-market fit happened when we decided to launch our second school. We developed the tech and the curriculum stacks to ensure learning outcomes remained high as we went from one to nine schools.” 

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