Need to inspire youth to take new entrepreneurial paths to success

Book cover of Reach The Top With Big Dreams by Dr T Chandroo.
Book cover of Reach The Top With Big Dreams by Dr T Chandroo.ST PHOTO: SEOW BEI YI

SINGAPORE - He started out as a door-to-door encyclopaedia salesman but became a founder of a global chain of pre-schools.

On Sunday (March 27), Dr T Chandroo, chairman of the Modern Montessori International (MMI) Group, launched his autobiography, Reach The Top With Big Dreams.

He aims to share his experience with the next generation.

"The younger generation today needs to be nurtured and inspired to take new entrepreneurial paths to success," said Dr Chandroo.

"While there are many pathways to take, especially with technology innovations around us now, success is still founded upon the same traditional pillars of hard work, perseverance and knowledge," he added.

Following a panel discussion on the challenges of entrepreneurship, the book was unveiled by Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), Mr S Iswaran at Singapore Management University.

The event was attended by around 250 guests, including members of the business community and his friends and family.

"When you're looking at Singapore's medium- to long-term economic growth, while we're seeking to strengthen the existing sectors, we also need to look at new opportunities and new areas. Many of these are in areas which are perhaps non-traditional, because they lie at the intersection between sectors, with the use of new technologies, and so on," said Mr Iswaran at the event.

"Entrepreneurs are an important part of this effort going forward," he said, adding that a vibrant innovation environment should be encouraged.

Dr Chandroo was one of the first to operate privately run pre-schools here of international standards.

"When we started MMI more than 25 years ago, there were mainly church-run kindergartens and parents had limited choice in early childhood education," he said. "Our Montessori outlet was probably among the very few, if not only private pre-school with an international pedagogy."

MMI has since expanded to having over 30 pre-schools in Singapore and more than 70 across Asia, Europe and Africa.

It plans to open its largest overseas campus in Vietnam later this year, and expand pre-school and teacher training centres in Indonesia and other parts of South-east Asia.

In commemoration of the book launch, Dr Chandroo made a personal donation of $10,000 to launch a bursary programme with the Singapore Indian Development Association, a self-help group that works to uplift the Indian community here.