Ms. Shefali Varma
THE ARDEE GROUP & THE ARDEE SCHOOLS
Shefali Varma, the Chairperson of The Ardee Group is one of the few Indian business women who has made a mark in the highly competitive world of real estate and education.
Ms. Varma’s initiation into business started when she was just 18. She started work on real estate projects under her late father, Mr. Ashok Varma’s tutelage while completing her masters in English literature through correspondence from Delhi University and architecture from Parsons school of design in New York.
She assisted her father in his first major real estate project- the landmark building – Gopal Das Bhavan on Barakhamba road, New Delhi. She soon took over the design and management team of various other Ardee real estate projects.
In the year 2003 Shefali expanded her horizons and established herself as an independent entrepreneur in education. Once again taking guidance and inspiration from her father, who was, at the time President of FORE school of management, she launched ‘the ardee school’ in Golf links.
After her father’s demise in 2008, Shefali Varma, in her capacity as Chairperson of Ardee Group, has been involved in all aspects of real estate business which include, Ardee City, a 200 acre residential township in the heart of Gurugram, Ardee Industrial City, a 50 acre township in Faridabad, Gopal Das building and Vijaya building both commercial towers in Connaught place and the 5 acre Ardee mall in Gurugram which will open in 2015. THE ARDEE SCHOOLS in Delhi, Gurugram, Noida and Goa have been in operation since 2003. These schools are run by the Ardee Foundation. The Foundation is now planning to open more schools in Northern India.
These schools have challenged the monotony and run-of-the-mill teaching method of Indian education system by introducing Elementary Montessori Education up to grade 8, which is a first of its kind in Northern India. Her faith and choice in the Montessori methodology has given students in North India an opportunity to grow into logical thinking and problem solving individuals.
Shefali is also a life member of FORE School of Management which is one of top 10 business schools of India. She is also the executive member on the board of IIM, Lucknow and a member of FICCI, CII and CREDAI.
Ms. Varma’s unparalleled creative zest, multi-tasking skills and passion for creativity is evident through her magnificent art collection which includes many paintings by Hussain, Souza, Manjit Bawa, Swaminathan, Krishen Khanna, Gaitonde and sculptures by Ravinder Reddy and many others.
The art collection is lovingly housed in the 3500 square yard Ardee House which is home to her and her two sons and is located in Lutyens Delhi. Designed by Shefali from scratch, it is a masterpiece of space designing and is an outstanding example of ‘less is more’ with the harmony of art, nature, colour and light.
As a part of her social responsibilities, she started a crèche for children of labourer’s working at Ardee’s various construction sites. She is also involved with various NGO’s like Naya Prayas which works for women and children.
Shefali Varma is also one of the organisers of #myrighttobreathe campaign which is the brainchild of an environmentally conscious group of proactive citizens working selflessly toward improving the environment.
‘Nirmal Hem Bal Shiksha’ is yet another outreach programme run by the Ardee school and the Ardee Teacher Training Centre to provide education to the under privileged children in the age group of 10-15 years.
Always conscious of quality in whatever she ventures out to do, Shefali has dreams to make an impact in society. She has plans for larger, meaningful projects in the fields of Real Estate, Education and Art.