Tell us about yourself and Educational Background
I completed Bachelor of Technology in Food Science and Technology from GNDU, Amritsar following which I moved to Melbourne, Australia for my Masters in Food Science at the University of Melbourne. I worked as a Biomedical Supervisor with Australian Quarantine Inspection Services (AQIS) for 1 year and moved back to Chandigarh to spend some time my family. I helped out in my mother’s (Mrs Surinder Kaur Khiara) company –Khaira Education Pvt Ltd, an educational consultancy In March 2013, I opened up a Branch office of Khaira Education in Amritsar and got the requisite certifications required by different High Commissions and Embassies. I am a Qualified Education Agent Counselor for Australia, ICEF trained Education Counselor, ENZ trained agent for Education New Zealand and passed the Canada Course Graduate program. I completed a post-graduate diploma in TESOL-Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from American TESOL Institute.In 2016, I completed a certificate course in Image Consultation and English for Business and Entrepreneurship from University of Pennsylvania. I am now pursuing a program in Global Career Counselling from UCLA to get a green belt certification in counselling skills.
Tell us about the company you have set up.
Khaira Education has presence in Mohali and Amritsar and has helped over 5000 students in the last 20 years with their admission and visa counselling. Our Training centre in Amritsar has successfully helped over 600 students to improve their language proficiency, interpersonal skills, communication competence and conversational ability in English which was a daunting prospect for them initially. We have introduced many innovations OET (Occupational English Test) Training for Health Professionals, psychometric testing with MBTI and MI assessments to help the students and CELBAN training. This year, I have launched “Lauch Your Image” which specialists in Image Development for fresh graduates and busy professionals Our ‘Clear Pronunciation’ program has a strong focus on pronunciation, articulation and speech patterns catering to needs of students from Indian Sub-continent.
Why did you set up the Education Institute ?
Khaira Education was started by my mother Mrs Surinder Kaur Khaira (M.A., M.Ed) who is very passionate about assisting young people in making sensible and informed educational decisions to progress in their career path and achieving professional success. It was during her trip to Canada in 1995 that she realized that majority of Indian students don’t get career related guidance from their schools. She met up with Vice-Chancellors of different Canadian Universities and acquainted herself with the established guidelines, courses available to International students and entry requirements. On her return to India, she started Khaira Education in 1996 and has helped thousands of students in reaching clarity and of purpose and assisted them with realizing their goals of Higher Education in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, USA, Singapore, Ireland, Germany and France. In 2013, I introduced psychometric testing with MBTI and MI assessments which is very helpful in understanding a student’s strengths and weaknesses and getting clarity on a BEST-FIT career. The rapid globalization of Indian economy is triggering a re-definition of skill-sets required for success and our company Launch Your Image address the last mile employment problems of our Youth.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
I think the biggest challenge is that Even today; women have to fight the antiquated thoughts on “a woman’s place” in the world. I like criticism. It makes me strong. I would be lying if I say that I have not had to push my way in order to be deemed competent and responsible. I would also like to point out an important observation made by Sheryl Sandberg in her book Lean In where she talks about success and like-ability being positively correlated for men and negatively for women. For a traditional city like Amritsar roles defined by gender stereotype were one the biggest challenges that I have had to face.
Who inspires me the most.
Undoubtedly it has to be parents who are my role-models and inspire me each and every day to work hard. My mother started the path that I endeavoured to pursue and my father ensured that no expenses were spared in getting the best education for me and my sister. They taught me how to succeed with probity and honesty, the importance of going to bed every day with a clean conscience, and that there is no substitute to hard work. Last but not the least, my husband Prabh has given me never-ending support and encouragement to pursue my career goals and objectives.
Please share your future goals?
I have been conferred the Women of Excellence Award this year and to be recognized on this kind of platform encourages me to perform better each day. The concept of Image development is set to grow exponentially and I look forward to having a Pan-India presence of Khaira Education and Launch Your Image in the next few years.
Need to promote women entrepreneurs and women empowerment in India
It is imperative that women today choose a profession of their choice, define and understand career goals and objectives and pursue it aggressively. Women’s entrepreneurship can make a particularly strong contribution to the economic well-being of the family and community. Indian Women are educated, hard-working and have the potential for entrepreneurship and but many lack the confidence and meet more obstacles to start a business when compared to men. Different kinds of measures need to be taken and new models created to encourage and help women who want to become entrepreneurs and support them in the initial phase (usually the most difficult).
Words for IWIL.
Associations like IWIL provide a fantastic opportunity to aspiring entrepreneurs by encouraging women to believe in themselves, providing a platform to support women learning and networking with dynamic women leaders and to make women’ s entrepreneurship more visible within society. IWIL brings businesswomen to a common forum and provides networking platform for women everywhere.