Founder – Madhavi’s British Academy
In a land famous for sending students abroad for higher studies, Madhavi Khandwala is a veritable household name. Born and brought up in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Madhavi studied English Literature (BA and MA) before acquiring a B.Ed from a prestigious college. She is a certified trainer of British Council and IDP for imparting IELTS training, Pearson Test of English for teaching PTE, trained by University of Cambridge ESOL Examination for teaching CAE, BEC, KET and PET, and also from ETS for TOEFL.
Armed with all that expertise, she founded ‘Madhavi’s British Academy’ in the year 2000. In addition to IELTS, PTE, CELPIP, TOEFL and Student Visa Consultancy, the Academy also grooms its students in Spoken English and Personality Development.
With over 20 years of experience, Madhavi has long been one of the topmost coaches not just in Ahmedabad but all of Gujarat. More than 20,000 students have benefitted with her able tutelage and close to 95% students have achieved their desired bands in the IELTS exam at first attempt.
On her long and successful journey, who or what has inspired Madhavi? “The driving force of my life is my mother. She has trained me to appreciate each and every thing around me. Observing, analyzing and acting accordingly is what she has taught me. Apart from my mom, my husband is my friend and guide. He’s a very cool, calm and thoughtful individual,” she says.
Being a working mother, was it difficult to manage both home and work simultaneously? Revealing that it was not easy, Madhavi answers, “My children were small when I started my career. Initially I felt guilty for not allocating quality time to both, but I stole every second from my busy schedule to be with them and do all sorts of activities. With the support of my children and husband, I handled my institute without compromising the teaching quality.”
In addition to students, Madhavi keeps a constant check on staff development by providing regular feedbacks to help her employees achieve their developmental goals that in turn contribute to the company’s growth.
The Academy has widened its horizons by commencing new branches and franchises under its wings in a synchronised manner. Apart from their main Satellite branch, they now have branches in Maninagar, CG road, New Vadaj and Science City in Ahmedabad. They’ve also started classes in Anand, catering to students for coaching and visa effectively.
Detailing her strengths and what makes her stand out, Madhavi says, “Accepting and analyzing my mistakes is my strength. I don’t compromise with work and its quality and this makes me a strong individual. Discipline, manners and etiquette make my life organised to follow and implement.”
Nevertheless, as a woman, her biggest challenge is the expectations from oneself that Madhavi has. “Perfection in work, thoughts and attitude sometimes inhibits my growth. People make assumptions regarding women at work based on their typical mindsets. Thus it is important for women to voice their work and make their presence felt. To achieve a prominent role, professionalism is the key factor. Not getting involved in shop-talk is vital.”
Madhavi counts Mr Ratan Tata and Swami Anubhavanandji, a motivational speaker, among her role models. She credits them with having had a profound impact on her thought process, behavior and decision making attitude.
In her free time, she likes to read about them. An avid reader, she says language, description of various characters, situations and surroundings pull her in. Drawing is also something that soothes her. “The theme, topic, message and colours take me into a different world. Travelling allows me to appreciate nature, its beauty and serenity. Carvings on historical monuments and temples leave me spellbound. I’m an art lover. I can compromise my sleep and free-time to pursue my hobbies,” adds Madhavi.
Ask her about her achievements, and she’s quick to list what she calls the ‘personal’ ones first. “My daughter Pushti is a Doctor and currently pursuing her MD in USA. In 10th standard, she topped Ahmedabad with an excellent result in ICSE board. My son Jay is a Mechanical Engineer and Technical Designer. He has completed his graduation in Canada and holds a great job now.”
Professionally, Madhavi has won numerous awards while working in schools but started garnering recognition when she started getting awarded for great work from the British Council and IDP Australia, every year since 2009. In 2017 Divya Bhasker and 94.3 MY FM honoured her with ‘The Real Grace Award’. In 2019, she received ‘The heroes of 2019 in Education category’ award while in 2020 she was felicitated as ‘Business Solitaire’ by Divya Bhaskar and 94.3 MY FM once again.