Smita Deorah, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of LEAD, India’s first School EdTech unicorn, was recognized with the ‘Power of Women (POW!) 2022’ award at the ASU+GSV Summit, an annual event that brings together global leaders who are transforming the future of education and work. Smita is the only leader from India to win the prestigious POW! award this year.
The POW! awards ceremony was held in San Diego, California earlier this week. The awards recognise female CEOs leading and achieving successful outcomes for companies at scale in the learning and talent technology sectors. Each year, the ASU+GSV summit is attended by global Learning and Workforce technology CEOs, investors, Pre K-12 leaders, higher education leaders, Chief Learning and Talent Officers, policymakers and social entrepreneurs.
LEAD is India’s largest School EdTech platform and serves over 1.6 million students across 4,000+ schools. LEAD was started in 2012 with a mission to transform school education in India. It combines technology, deeply researched curriculum and pedagogy into an integrated system of teaching and learning, thus improving student learning outcomes and teacher performance in schools across the country.
Smita has been instrumental in developing the LEAD integrated system with extensive benchmarking with the best education systems in the world and contextualizing them for the unique needs of affordable schools in India. Her goal is to bring quality learning to underserved communities and bridge the gap between the top high-fee schools and affordable private schools, so that every child can be nurtured to his or her true potential. With its vision of making excellent education accessible and affordable for everyone, LEAD aims to make a difference to the lives of 26 million school students across 65,000 schools by 2026.
Before co-founding LEAD, Smita founded Sparsh, a non-profit working with the Govt. of Maharashtra in pre-schools in Mumbai. She implemented a pre-school in a box solution in 16 pre-schools around Mumbai to get students school ready and thereby reduce dropouts and low attainment. Before that, Smita spent 9 years in Procter & Gamble Singapore and India as a leader in Finance, Treasury and Strategy.