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Teach For India: Marketing an Idea


In 2008, Shaheen Mistri, founder of the nonprofit Teach For India (TFI), was grappling with applying and adapting the successful U.S.-based Teach For America and UK-based Teach First models to meet the challenges of the education sector in India. The case provides a review of the U.S.- and UK-based models as well as the factors that drove their growth in their respective markets. However, the adaptation of these models to create a business model and recruitment model that could succeed in the Indian context was not straightforward. The case describes a number of ways that the challenges in India differ from those of the United States and United Kingdom namely, the size and magnitude of educational inequity, the motivations of undergraduate students as potential teacher-volunteers, the role that parents play in making career decisions for their children, and the attitudes of Indian school officials.

Students reading the case will discuss the roles of various constituencies involved in these models. After identifying how crucial constituencies are served by the U.S. and UK models, they will then brainstorm concrete ways that these models could be adjusted for India in order to successfully recruit Mistri's first cohort of TFI fellows.




Julie Hennessy, Charag Krishnan

Date Published



Hennessy, Julie, and Charag Krishnan. Teach For India: Marketing an Idea. Case 5-413-752 (KEL813).


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