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Running a Social Enterprise in China

Ming Khor and the Story of Keru

 

Art 

Welcome everybody to another episode of Ganbei. I'm your host Art Dicker. Today, we have the pleasure of being joined by Ming Khor. He's founder and CEO of Keru, as well as we have a guest host Pei Yen.  Let me start first with Pei to introduce you as guest host and then we'll transition to Ming and the bulk of the episode is about Keru.  

Pei 

Great. Thank you. Art. It's such a pleasure to be here and also with a meeting as well. I'm so excited for our conversation today. I'm passionate about startups and have been in China for over 10 years. So excited to explore the space with everyone together.  

Ming 

Hey everyone. My name is Ming.I'm the CEO of a company called Keru. We are an education provider and alsosocial impact consultancy. 

Essentially we take students andprofessionals on different types of service, education programs to work with nonprofits.I've been here in Shanghai for the last five years. I'm originally from the Washington DC Maryland area. And I began my career as a teacher in in Chinaspent three years working in the education non-profit sector before going off to business school at the Wharton school in Philadelphia, and then moved to China, Shanghai, in 2016 to start my business. 

So happy to chat more about it. And thanksfor giving me the chance.  

Pei 

That's wonderful. Yes, that's right. Actually you and I know each other through a mutual friend way you guys werecolleagues. I mean that through Teach for China way back in that day, beforeyou went back and did your MBA. So it's really great that this has come full circle and we get to hear your story and share it with everybody. And I would love to start first with this question of your origin story. What inspired you to start Keru?  

Ming 

So I was always interested in Asia, partlybecause of my heritage. My parents are Singaporean and Malaysian and myancestry is Chinese. But growing up, I never had the chance to actually go to China. 

So I was always interested in Asia, partly because of my heritage. My parents are Singaporean and Malaysian and my ancestry is Chinese. But growing up, I never had the chance to actually go to China.  It was still a very developing region and going through the earliest, Ithink he had only joined the World Trade Organization for five years at that  point. 

So the economy was just opening up and as someone who'd come from a fairly developed background in America was actually abig surprise to me when I came to China and I saw. The things that were going on here, so that inspired an interest to learn more about this country and bepart of its development story. 

So after college, I came to China for my first job. I was a teacher in a small province in the middle of the country called Hunan. In a third tier city, that was a manufacturing hub. 

Art 

So after college, I came to China for my first job. I was a teacher in a small province in the middle of the country called Hunan. In a third tier city, that was a manufacturing hub. That were going on here, so that inspired an interest to learn more about this country and be part of its development story. 

Ming 

It could be its own country. I dunno, I want to say that compared to other places, compared to other places, it'salready the similar size as a lot of other countries After that I stayed twomore years with an organization called Teach for China. It's very similar with Teachfor America. They recruit recent college grads and send them to teach inunderserved parts of the country. 

So I was in Yunnan and Wei, who is a mutual friend, was a colleague. So I spent two years off. It was a very eye opening experience that introduced me to many different social issues. So for example, we were in a rural area where a lot of the adults leave their hometown to workin bigger places in China, like Shanghai and Guangdong. 

So I was in Yunnan and Wei, who is a mutual friend, was a colleague. So I spent two years off. It was a very eye opening experience that introduced me to many different social issues. So for example, we were in a rural area where a lot of the adults leave their hometown to work in bigger places in China, like Shanghai and Guangdong. use of increasing investments in just the basic infrastructure. 

So it was really eye-opening and laid the foundation for my passion and what I'm doing now. After three years of rural China and went off to business school I had had a great time and I felt that I wanted it to return to China and start a business where I could introduce other youth to some of these interesting development phenomenon that were occurring in less developed parts of the world. 

So it was really eye-opening and laid the foundation for my passion and what I'm doing now. After three years of rural China and went off to business school I had had a great time and I felt that I wanted it to return to China and start a business where I could introduce otheryouth to some of these interesting development phenomenon that were occurring in less developed parts of the world. 

But all of our programs are in Southeast Asia today. We have about 200, 250 students that come through our programs every single year.  

Pei 

I remember an early conversation we had,you, you had some work experience with Apple and the CSR aspect in did thataffect your views or give you this desire to impact this positive change hasclearly you would want to make positive change. And that seemed to be that laststep before you jumped in.  

Ming 

And after that, I went to business school.Business school is a place that there's a lot of big lights and shining companies trying to vie for your attention. And it was all new to me. So at that time, I was 26 and I was in business school and I had only nonprofit and teaching roles before that. So as a young person, I was naturally curious about the corporate world and I decided to take my summer internship with the corporate social responsibility department at apple. 

And they had me do some very interesting work. They sent me the China. And they asked me to research a problem that they were facing. The problem was that a lot of the workers that work in theirpartner factories to assemble their technology. You might've heard of somecompanies like Foxconn, Pegatron. These are manufacturers that work with Apple to produce their gadgets. And the problem was that workers do not stay for very long in these jobs. The working conditions are strenuous. The, and there's many reasons why the labor force is. Is a, is not as available as a as it used to be. 

And so Apple wanted me to research whetherfrom a CSR perspective, there's anything they could do to improve worker retention. It was a really interesting project. I got to travel to China, I got to visit factories. We even went under-covered to look at the labor markets.And the reason that they chose me for this position was because I had experienced before with teach for China, with working with rural populations, which is the primary source oflabor in the factory. So they thought that I might have some deeper insight into this issue. So I completed my research report. We found some interesting trends. And I did get a return offer to go back to Apple. 

I was 27 at the time and entering my second year of business school and they gave me two months to respond to this. And I thought about my career, my trajectory and what I wanted to do with my life. And the more I reflected on it, the more I felt that well, Apple was a great company, is a great company. 

And they are committed to social responsibility. I felt that my particular interest was more related to the things that I had witnessed as a teacher, rather than transitioning into a big corporate environment. So I made the decision to give up the offer. And when I started, I only had an idea of what was important to me, which was, I wanted to bring people from cities and who were from more developed parts of society into developing countries. 

To understand what was going on and also do meaningful work. And I knew that this was important because these experienceshave had a very transformative effect on my life when I was a teacher. And when I had first decided to come to China and I just knew that there was valuethere. So it started with an idea. 

And over time, we gradually figured out how I could turn this into a business while also making profit while also being sociallyresponsible. And I can go into that a bit later.  

Pei 

What's clear is you've taken a very unique experiences early in your career and unique enough that would help you guideyou pass some of these offers that are glittering offers but to pursue something you found very important.  

And I actually want to press on that a little bit. Purpose driven entrepreneurship almost seems it's become more of a buzz word but even back a few years ago, when you started Keru you started outwith a general sense of what good you wanted to do. 

Seems you figured out a general macro supply and demand and you figured it out from there. I don't know if I was aware of what I was doing. I just dragged in when needed, you'd come up with the name Keru, cause it share what that stands for. I love that name. 

Ming

And when I was looking at education companies in the sector, I didn't want a very typical education company namethat, something that, like an Ivy academy, I wanted something more unique. So Iwas playing around with different symbols and the two syllables ke and ru seemto sound nice. 

So I can give an example one of, one of the most interesting trends. Of China's economic development story is this phenomena of left behind children. So there's about 20, 30 million children inrural China whose parents have left the villages to go to cities to work. Andbecause of this phenomenon the parents sometimes they'll bring their children,but often times they won't because it's expensive and they need to work. k. k. 

So I can give an example one of, one of the most interesting trends. Of China's economic development story is this phenomena of left behind children. So there's about 20, 30 million children in rural China whose parents have left the villages to go to cities to work. And because of this phenomenon the parents sometimes they'll bring their children, but often times they won't because it's expensive and they need to work. 

And many parents do this too. They sacrifice family life to provide for their families and earn the money they need to provide for education, for housing. All of the family needs. They alsocan't. They also don't have the who code to go to the local schools here. Inthe bigger cities. 

And many parents do this too. They sacrifice family life to provide for their families and earn the money theyneed to provide for education, for housing. All of the family needs. They also can't. They also don't have the who code to go to the local schools here. In the bigger cities. s difficult to imagine what the effect on the children is of this policy. 

So I spent two years in a rural town. As an educator and I had chance to interact with these kids and see the effect of a lack of parents in their lives. So I remember once very clearly. Backup by first saying that one of the effects that lack of parents have is, and I think sometimes we take this for granted. 

Children are have no source of very basic lessons on correct social etiquette. So for example, I remember one time I went to visit a friend's house and we stayed me and a bunch of friends and we stayed in the house and in rural China, it's open doors. Like people come and go. 

And there were a bunch of children, village children who were left behind children. They didn't have parents around, they were taken care of by their grandparents and they would just come into the house because they're very curious about us. And we had things lying around and they would take our things and they would run off with them. 

And I thought that this behavior was very strange and I asked people why are they doing this? And one ofthe local villages told me, oh, their parents aren’t around. No one has evertold them that it's wrong. Other people's things that, if it's not yours orsomeone didn't give it to you like their boundaries to respect. 

And there were a bunch of children, village children who were left behind children. They didn't have parents around, they were taken care of by their grandparents and they would just come into the house because they're very curious about us. And we had things lying around andthey would take our things and they would run off with them. er insight that youmight not get from reading the news. 

And I thought that this behavior was very strange and I asked people why are they doing this? And one of the local villages told me, oh, their parents aren’t around. No one has ever told them that it's wrong. Other people's things that, if it's not yours or someone didn't give it to you like their boundaries to respect. ere you guys had to. 

Develop online learning. So I wanted to askyou online versus offline learning online learning in the states with MOOCs andeverything had been to cry at mixed success. What lessons have you learned fromKeru or seen across the industry about designing good experience? Online thatcan match is valuable offline. 

Develop online learning. So I wanted to ask you online versus offline learning online learning in the states with MOOCs andeverything had been to cry at mixed success. What lessons have you learned fromKeru or seen across the industry about designing good experience? Online that can match is valuable offline. 

Develop online learning. So I wanted to ask you online versus offline learning online learning in the states with MOOCs and everything had been to cry at mixed success. What lessons have you learned from Keru or seen across the industry about designing good experience? Online that can match is valuable offline topics.

So helping a company develop its digital presence remotely or teaching remotely, you ask what happened during COVID. Solast year. So the majority of our businesses are offline program. And during COVID we, we were launching our I distinctly remember this. So we had threeprograms going up, one to Cambodia, one to Ctron and another to Fujian, I believe. 

And I had to cancel all my trips and giverefunds to all of the parents. As a startup, one of the challenges that youface is cashflow and you never have enough cash. You're always hiring people orinvesting in things. And at the time we were in a very fragile and precariousfinancial situation. So I remember we refunded quite a bit of money to theparents at that time. 

And I was thinking we have about two, three months of cash left. What are we going to do? So that's when I challenged the team and I told them, Hey, we need to come up with a new idea to solve our business. And at that time, Online programs had been they'd been about 15% of our revenue and what else can you do? 

Everyone else is doing online. So I said,Hey, we have this service that we have. It's not the primary focus, but I thinkthat everyone is going online. Now. No one can travel. People still need extracurricular activities. That's not going away. So we need to figure out how can we deliver a great program. 

Online and let's focus all of our attention to do that for the next few months. So my team came up with several ideas andwe brainstorm, and essentially we came up with a model where we could deliververy similar content to our offline programs, but online, because at the end of the day, what we're doing in a service program is a project, right? 

So we're helping a company or a nonprofit to do some sort of project. It could be a research project. It could be a practical business project. It could be an education project. And the challenge is how do you deliver that in quality through remote learning? We figure that the essential elements of the Keru experience were interaction with interaction with. 

A population group in a different geography, different socioeconomic class, right? So interacting with villagers, interacting with kids that was key. And the second part was doing something meaningful. So our students need to feel like they're really making a difference. 

They're making a positive impact on the local community. And the last thing was being led by a professional instructor to do this. We figured out a way to deliver the same type of offline programonline. And we launched the program in March and we, I think we got 40 or 50 students to join about 10 online programs, which was great. 

Give us enough cash to ride out the storm.And then and then we resumed our normal field based programs. Thanks to therapid response of this country in making the situation normal. Butoverall, I think it's quite a miracle that we're able to run as we're travelbased in the, and everything is a big, is a huge blessing. 

Art 

It's amazing. Really amazing. Yeah. Talkabout having to innovate on demand and time crunch, especially when your backis against the wall cashflow. And I wonder, you're a bit modest when you in thebeginning, when you said you, you came in, started the business, didn't really know exactly how you were going to do it. 

Did you have any models to pick from that from maybe either in China or outside of China that she drew inspiration from?  

Ming 

Sure. So I think that I'm a person that likes simplicity and our business model is actually quite simple. Are it the closest analog to what we do as a company is summer camps. 

Those have been around for ages and China is going through this interesting period where extracurricular education is really taking off. There were already a lot of city-based programs for students during the during the non. School period, and many of our patients, clients, wewould talk to students and if they didn't stay in China, they would come to theU S for summer school and other similar programs. 

So there were a lot of examples to pick up.As I got deeper and deeper for a business, I started to emulate these models. I don't think it's rocket science. Our first trip though was two units in 2016. And for that trip, I. I basically so I just tried to send her on, what are,what's going to make a great student experience to travel to this place? 

So we need an issue to investigate. We need to partner with a nonprofit so that the work has some legitimacy. We needauthentic access to our interview subjects. And to the local community. And sowe put all of that together and then slowly I realized, Hey, this is a lot likea summer camp or a service trip. 

And there's many other models that exist.And so we looked at other companies that were doing this. But a lot of it came from our own experience. To use rural China, I'd been doing travel based programs for many years. So I knew what went into making a great trip. 

And then the biggest challenge for me was actually figuring out how to price things who is going to pay for this. What customers actually want, who is your customer, who is our customer and thesethings were all done. Step-by-step so I remember. We eventually settled on the high school market. 

There's a lot of students in China that need meaningful extracurricular activities. And I found this out. When I putour program, I reached out to all of my friends and said, hey, do you know anyyoung people that'd be interested? Some of them responded. I reached out to my classmates at Wharton. 

One of them recommended her brother. And so we got a lot, we had eight students for our first trip. I had no idea how we got them, but from those eight students, it became very clear to me. There are, there's a critical mass of high school kids that are interested in social impact. They want to do something meaningful and they need this as part of their summer activities selection. 

And that drove how I formulated our business strategy.  

Art 

Was there any major pivot along the waywhere you, you saw something wasn't working and you pivoted dramatically, orwas it all just like you said, a little bit step by step a little bit. 

Ming 

Step-by-step we've had two big changes. One was during COVID where we rapidly massively, we completely changed our focus to online. Online is now it's still part of our business, but our core competency is still offline. The other big avenue that we started developing is the school market. 

So all of our programs up until last year,we're open enrollment, meaning that any student anywhere could apply for our programs. And starting two years ago, we became aware that many international and bilingual schools here in China have dedicated spaces in their curriculum where they take students out of the campus and into a developing part of China. 

Now, most schools had previously used us to do tourism and culture related activities, and we felt that we could provide an offering for something that was a bit deeper that involve authentic community service and social impact. And so we started targeting that market and we have several schools that work with us and that's client group that is different than open enrollment, but provides a lot of stability and they're great to workwith. 

And yeah, we're really lucky. That's interms of the, one of the question, actually, you as the synergy between management and education. So as an education business you clearly had been amentor. Yes. And my understanding is that the model you have for your offlineprograms, I believe also the online is you will hire experienced mentors whothen who you paid, they're your employees, and then your clients are students. 

And then when you take them to some of your service projects, the students are then actually in turn consulting or mentoring, whether it's younger students in need or local businesses. So it'sas if you are training your teachers to train the students, to then mentorothers. So mentorship is utilized in all of these levels, and I'm wondering through those that different layered mentorship what kind of lessons have you learned? 

What kind of synergies have you discovered between pedagogy on the education side and just management? Of people. That's agreat question. Thanks. I think that there's three lessons to learn from running a service organization that is both mission driven and focused oneducation. Number one is, and this is a no brainer. 

People are, your are the most important asset. So like you said, We are. So our trips consist of instructors who are taking students to deliver a project. So the instructors are super important.We look for people who are mission driven. That was the number one criteria. I want people that are genuinely interested in social impact community service. 

And the second part is they need to have adomain expertise. So every single one of our programs has a project. Forexample, we might be traveling to a rural area where there is some businessthat wants to sell, for example, organic rice, and then use the money tosupport local farmers. So we would craft a project around that. 

For example, in 10 days, help this local company sell 10,000 renminbi of rice. So it's a very clear project and this project would attract students that might be interested in business and wewould spend the 10 days out in the field. To understand the product and then to conduct a sales campaign. So the students might make Doreen videos. 

They might put materials up on a wechat store. They would contact their friends and family through chat moments. We would teach them a variety of strategies to sell the pro the rights. And thenobviously the money is going to go out the local community. So this is a reallyinteresting and meaningful business program. 

I want an instructor, and several mentors would be leading this project. Obviously I want them the instructor to be mission-driven. I want them to care about people in need. That's number one, number two, they need domain expertise. So I need someone with an MBA or asignificant business experience, selling things who can actually teach the students the knowledge. 

And then the third thing is to reflect our core values. So the third part. What pedagogical lessons have I learned or whatlessons have I learned in bringing on people? I think number one, interior, pretty straightforward. They're fairly intuitive. Number three, having theright culture. I didn't realize when I started this, that people don't soculture, I define as the set of behaviors. 

That reflect the values of the organization that people in your organization use to interact with different stakeholders.So what I didn't realize is that people would not automatically pick up onculture. I thought that it would be normal for instructors to act and behave in a certain way with our students. 

Part of our core culture is service first.  And and speaking up. So for example service first, we always want to have amindset of putting the needs of the student first putting, putting the needs ofthe local community first week. So we train our students to think in that way,and we train our instructors to to model these principles. 

I didn't realize that this wasn't intuitive. So sometimes on the trips we would encounter a problem. So forexample, the instructor would go, yeah and they're very mission-driven andidealistic. And they might not be empathetic to some student that, was feelingtired and didn't want to participate. 

Maybe they had a bad attitude or a bad day.  And I had to get spent a lot of. Training up these behaviors. I thought that itwas just common sense. I was very wrong. I think that this has been one of thebiggest lessons in the last three years is how do you get, how do you encourageincentivize the people that work with you to demonstrate the behaviors thatreflect your values? 

So communication, training, modeling, these are all methods that's yeah, that's very complex. And I've seen, especially inthe education space in China, that it's a, there's a lot of profit first andthere's a lot of just, the, their results are really just getting clients to pay you get the end result in that, in the valuable growth process for thestudents and for the educators in that is easily circumvented or excise out ofthat. 

And it might be okay for some in their books and accounts, but what you're creating. It is huge impact outside ofthat. And that kind of ties back to this impact direction. 

Art 

So as we were talking before it's some waysit might be slightly difficult for you to find who your customer is, who your client is. I can imagine on the one hand, of course, building these products tothese experiences, to be very valuable for the students, of course. 

But the other hand, I'm sure the final purchase decision of your services is coming from the parents. How do you balance that? And I'll throw in one little extra question on top of that, how, I don't think I'm being a cultural snob by saying that Chinese parents have a reputation for being very hands-on with their children's education. 

I think that's a universal thing for parents. In China there is often just one child in the family. So is there dealing with parents as stakeholders in this whole process? How is there any unique challenges there?  

Ming 

So every business has different stakeholders that are core to making it right. 

And over the past couple of years, wefigured out several of our stakeholders. It starts from impact. We want ouractivities to be beneficial to two different social sector organizations. Every single time we run a program, we prioritize the benefits of the localcommunity. The other main benefactor is students. 

So students, they participate in our programs and they have several goals. One of them is to learn, second is to build up their profile. Many of the students that we have are going abroad fortheir study. So when they participate in the care program, they are using it to increase their skills and to also gain more exposure. 

And strengthen their backgrounds for these applications. And then related to that, as the parents are the final purchasers and sometimes the parents on the same wave length, sometimes they have their own thing that they want to get. We've over the last five years had to figure out how to work with each stakeholder group. 

Now. I've been very deliberate about growing the company at a slow enough pace that we're not overwhelmed, that we get completely pulled in one direction by one, one particular stakeholder. Soyou asked how do we balance that? I think that controlling the grade of growth.So for example, there've been clients that I've turned away because I felt that they weren't the right cultural fit for our mission. 

And what that means in terms of paying customers. As a small company, a lot of the customers that we've had have been early adopters, meaning that they have opened mindsets. When they look at Keru’s value proposition, it's something that they look at and there hasn't been liketons and tons of marketing. 

So usually in this way, we have selected theright clients where they have selected us. And so at some level that's already a filter that they understand our values, and that gives us the space to figureout how do we meet the needs of parents who are the pairs of this service on a more, a broader level. 

But also at a rate, we've done it at a rate that has not overwhelmed and really taken us off in a different direction.Something. Meeting the needs of the parents and then also meeting your otherstakeholders needs. They're not always intended, but they're all important tous, these three groups. And so I think that the biggest step has been numberone to create this environment where we still have, we're still in the driver'sseat. And then and, we have clients that are willing to work with us. And it gives us the chance to increase our service and build some stability around it. 

Before we expand to other groups who maynot share as many values, but still desire to purchase a service. The second is obviously being very customer centric. So we have dedicated staff. To handle parent concerns. So those involve things like safety of the programs logistics student benefits and once you're aware of what the client group cares about,then you hone in on those and you get people who are specialists in those areasto really focus and build out service. 

Yep. Yeah. A lot of these students, Ibelieve are going to the US for study. And one of the great things is that the U S admissions offices really do value service oriented students thinking beyond themselves. And I think this is a great example of how you have certain institutional or systematic criteria that are set that can help drive andincentive. 

And allow space for social impact companies like Keru and then also for those targeted subsets of people to influence them.If you want to get into a good college you should be doing service learning. You should be valuing things about beyond yourself. And so it's great to seehow that that whole chain is working in influence and it's been a process forus. 

So we also I like to think of Keru is acircular company in that we love to work with people on the long-term. So we've actually had students that have done a care program. They've gone off to the US for studies and they come back to work with us as interns. And and we've had instructors that have worked with us. 

Some of them have used their Keru experience to explore career pivots. So I love being able to work towards this more. Holistic vision of service. That's not just, I buy a service and then I'mdone with you. I'd love to be a brand that is really a platform for collecting and focusing and channeling and developing people who are interested incommunity service, social work. 

Okay. And when you have a clear, meaningfulpurpose like that, that, that becomes so much easier to keep people in thisecosystem that you say. Yeah, that's wonderful. That's what gives us energy. Soat the end of the day, What anyone has to turn to wherever you are. That'swonderful.  

Art 

So I think a lot of people that are alsolistening to this will be interested to know how you've run a social enterprise as a business, of course. 

But at the same time, I know you saidyou've been you've you're growing. Maybe deliberately not trying to grow too fast. I imagine you want to keep the quality of the experience consistent. Doyou, can you given your experiences though, can you make some sort of more general comment about being a social enterprise and operating as a business andthe issue of investors? 

Cause I know I'll give a quick anecdote. I think I was a judge at a startup competition for a local businessschool once. And they had the students there had to come up with a project andsome group had a social enterprise and they came up to me at the end. 

And then she said, do you think we could actually get investment for this? Do you think it hurts that we are not purely profit driven? And I said honestly, yes. I said, honestly, I think for certain kindsof investors, they will not look at your business because they think thatsomebody's going to be distracted by other things that they don't buynecessarily buy into when they just want a return on their investment.  Is that tension there for you and your fellow peers in running this kind of a business?  

Ming 

Yeah. Keru is a social enterprise. So Ithink first of all, it's important to remember that there's several definitions of social enterprise. There's no one unifying definition. So when a companycalls itself a social enterprise, you want to ask exactly what are their, howdo they what is their social impact? 

What definition are they using? So there'ssome institutions. Like B Corps that have certain principles to define what social enterprises but there's no real, there's no unifying definition. So for Keruso every company is different. That's why I I think that it's important toparse out exactly what the context is. 

So what does this mean for care and whatare the conditions for our business and how does it affect how we operate? First of all, we are an education business, which is a very good business to bein, to do social impact. Because number one, you can start an education. It's a service oriented business where you get revenue before you deliver service. 

So anytime, most times when you are in any education business, whether you're going to a school like college or high school or a summer camp, r any other educational service you pay first, then you get service. So this is very nice from a cashflow perspective because it means that I can get cash without having to without having to spend it until months later. 

So this gives me a bit of time to it, it relieves a big source of tension. It's not I'm investing in a factory that's notgoing to pay back for five years. Second exactly. Where does Keru define our social impact? We have three. Number one is every time we run a program, wedonate some of our revenues to our local partners. 

So these are often nonprofits that arehelping us run logistics for the program. That worked with that are therecipient of the student project. And every single time we run a Keru program,we donate part of the program revenues to that. So it helps nonprofits grow. In some cases it supports nonprofit programs. 

So their own programs they'll use the moneyto do their environment programs or the education programs or their povertyalleviation programs. Number two. Is the way that we treat our internal staff.So we are looking at a lot of cultural elements, like a work-life balancesustainability of work fair pay things like that. 

We haven't attached ourselves to anofficial definition of what that is, but in general, that's how we approach it.I think as the company matures, we'll probably try and carve out our socialimpact framework. And the third thing that we do, who is a is we try and Ithink, I guess this is a bit more general. 

But we attach all of our programs to UN SDGs.So this is the framework that we've attached ourselves to in we're still in theprocess of defining our exact key performance indicators. But it is part of ourbranding and our project focus. So that's the way that Keru has realized socialimpact from a profit and loss. 

The only thing that directly impacted the P&L is that we donate part of our revenues to the local partners. I think that'seasily explainable to investors. It definitely will, if you're from acompletely practical standpoint, it does result in lower profit if you'regiving away. But that's how we've worked into our business and there's otherside benefits. 

So there's different ways to look at that.But I don't see the two as necessarily social impact and being a business asnecessarily conflicting. But again, it depends on your context. And I thinkthat as an education business, we're lucky enough to be in a context wherethese things are not you directly competing profit and the social impact. 

Is the final question. I want to look atthe future a little bit. So looking at trends there have been some new policiesthat have come out within education, but they have restricting and seeming tosend a chilling, having a chilling effect. Non-curricular or extracurriculartype of education. 

Pei 

But so that, and also other macro trends between us China where do you see this extra curricular learning space going inthe next four or five years in China? How does it, how might it affect K Ru andAlso have you considered expanding this business in other geographies? Evenstateside? Yeah. 

Thanks for the question. So I answer yoursecond question first. I would love this company to become a global company. Ithink that developing perspective. Increasing empathy and crossingsocioeconomic cultural and geographic barriers is something that everyoneshould do. Both from people from more privileged parts of the country or partof the world. 

And also people who are less fortunate. Ithink that the exchange should be mutual. So the big picture vision of thecompany is something that I think should be global. I'm very passionate about it. I think that many of my past experiences have led me to be convicted. A lot ofthe issues in the world result from a lack of perspective, people might notunderstand the their, the impact of their actions and another people group. 

And I think that we see this a lot inpolitics in cross border relations, even within countries. So from a very highlevel perspective, I strongly believe that. What care offers, which is theopportunity for people to exit their bubble and interact with different groupsis something that is sorely needed globally, what that looks like I need tothink about, but I would love to do that with regards to China in particular. 

I think that China as a country is alwayschanging. As I understand it, the recent regulations to curtail the scope ofeducation, extracurricular education providers are mainly focused on test prepand also the public school system international education. I think is from myunderstanding is still relatively insulated. 

Obviously it's something that I need to maintaina close eyes on. It helps that we're still a small company. So that doesprovide a bit more cover where we're definitely not some huge publicly listedcompany. That is the reason for the regulation. So we still have opportunity togrow. But I think like any entrepreneur whether regulatory changes is just oneform of risk. 

We have competitors we have changing marketconditions, the environment is always changing. So I think that as anentrepreneur, your job is to keep your ear to the ground, be understanding ofthe changes and then adapt. And I think that we are really lucky that we'resmall. 

Pei 

So we have a lot of room to, to navigatefigure things out. That's wonderful. Yeah. I really do think this businessmodel that you've created is replicable in other geographies, the same needs,as you say, in terms of this ignorance or lack of awareness, but also thisdesire from parents, stakeholders or students too.   

Art 

Pei, thank you for co-hosting this one withme and we're gonna hopefully get you to co-host some more. Okay. Thanks everbody. And thanks to the audience for listening. 

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