When I was on my way to interview Junior Explorers’ Akshaat Singh at their Singapore office, I was very curious to know more about the venture. I had heard about it from a few friends whose kids were loving the adventures Junior Explorers offer.
When I reached their office, I was expecting to meet one elderly corporate boss who will talk about some financial jargon, numbers and so on. But when I saw a young, smiling and friendly young man in his 20s [my-guess-am-sure-must-be-correct], I was pleasantly surprised.
Akshaat is one of the founder members of Junior Explorers and now heads its Asia operations.
Here are the excerpts from the interview –
RainbowDiaries: Tell us more about Junior Explorers. How and where it all began?
Akshaat: When I was in USA for my education, Junior Explorers was born in end of 2013. It got officially launched in 2014.
The whole concept of Junior Explorers is based on one simple principle – you only protect something that you love and you can only love things you are connected to.
Junior Explorers was developed as a program to develop kids’ understanding of our planet. The program makes the kids familiar about the world through fun and interactive missions. Junior Explorers wants kids to be the Green Citizens and Environmental Stewards.
Junior Explorers combines awesome physical content with digital resources, collectibles and other materials to ensure holistic enrichment for kids. Programs are available in English and Portuguese as of now.
Along with kids, Junior Explorers open up a great opportunity for family bonding where parents can work with kids to complete the missions. It is like sending kids to Amazon, Arctic and other places every month.
RainbowDiaries: How Junior Explorers landed in Singapore?
Akshaat: After my studies, I decided to move back to Asia and that is how Junior Explorers expanded its boundaries to Asia as well. Its Asia headquarter is in Singapore and we are present in India as well. Other Asian countries are on our wishlist and we will soon take our missions to these countries.
Subscription Box concept is quite popular in USA. In Singapore, Junior Explorers is one of the firsts to introduce this concept.
Since end of 2014, we started working on our Singapore launch and in the month of Aug-Sept 2015, Junior Explorers started its formal mission.
RainbowDiaries: What are the subscription plans available?
Akshaat: Parents can choose from various options – monthly, three-months, six-months or annual. A new mission to a new ecosystem with new animals is delivered each month.
RaibowDiaries: Wow, I think parents can gift these subscriptions instead of usual routine birthday presents. I am sure kids would be more than happy!
RainbowDiaries: How Junior Explorers program can benefit the kids in their academics?
Akshaat: Though Junior Explorers is not a formal academic program, its contents are all about our world, our planet, our ecosystems and our animals. This will surely help kids some or the other way in their academics too. Overall understanding of Geography, Sociology and development of cognitive skills is expected in kids when they explore these missions.
We can term Junior Explorers missions as Edutainment – combining Education and Entertainment where learning is fun for kids.
RainbowDiaries: How Junior Explorers develop the contents?
Akshaat: We believe that content is King and ensure that our content is relevant and current. Our content team consists of Scientists, Teachers and other experts from the respective field.
Our program introduces new ecosystems, new missions every month that have various story-lines, mysteries and clues to solve them. We have Kia and Kyle who take the kids to explore the world with them.
RainbowDiaries: What is the feedback from Singapore parents?Akshaat: So far the feedback is great. We can see the subscriptions for three / six / yearly basis being taken up. Re-signups are happening too.
RainbowDiaries: What are the other initiatives that we can see in near future from Junior Explorers?Akshaat: We will continue to develop exciting contents and will keep taking kids to various ecosystems and continents. You can also see our booths in various events to increase our reach.We are also checking if something can be worked out with schools in terms of CCA and so on.I would like to specially mention our Mission Giveback – an initiative where kids learn the importance of donation. They can donate points earned from their missions and Junior Explorers in turn will donate equivalent monetary amount to environment conversation projects.
RainbowDiaries: Thanks so much, Akshaat for talking to RainbowDiaries and giving us so much information about Junior Explorers. We cannot wait to start the missions already.Akshaat: Thanks to you as well. You will get welcome kit first and then the first mission will begin. Happy exploring!!
Watch this space for our missions to different parts of the world with Kia and Kyle