Actor, Model, Businessman.
Despite being only 26 years of age, Milos has modeled at European fashion shows, acted in several movies, studied Pedagogy and set up his own kindergarten in Thailand. He found his turning point through a ticket to the Full Moon Festival at Ko Pha Ngan Island in Thailand.
He studied Pedagogy, the theory and method of the practice of education, and saw the opportunity to make a difference. The state kindergartens he had experienced used an old program and many parents were not satisfied. He founded "Patofnica", a preschool curriculum and kindergarten that educated kids through games specifically designed to fulfill their time and help them to find their skills. After creating the program, he started to look for the opportunity to start implementing his business idea. The turning point that would change everything was a ticket to Full Moon Festival at Ko Pha Ngan Island in Thailand.
I wasn't satisfied with the kindergarten I went to, so I decided I wanted to make a better one. I started working on a curriculum that would be an improvement on those offered by the government. It started as an idea on my third year of University studies and became a reality after I got my Master's degree.
I couldn`t imagine that my first kindergarten would be in Thailand. I had wanted to go to a Full Moon Festival but I fell in love with the place and people and ended up staying for a year. I had done a little research before I went there and realised there wasn’t any kindergarten on the island.
I contacted the Ministry of Education of Thailand, and presented my curriculum. The Ministry gave me the green light to establish my kindergarten, so I decided to take a shot. At first, I wasn`t thinking about the business at all, but rather just had the idea to open a small kindergarten for tourist’s kids and work alone. It started like a small Day Care in a Shopping Centre on the island.
People are relaxed on the island, they don`t carry smartphones with them all the time and wi-fi is very rare. I decided not to invest in online marketing, and rely instead on word of mouth. A simple table with a sign in front of the market was more than enough. On the opening day I was excited but relaxed, expecting 3 to 5 kids tops. However, kids and their parents started showing up in great numbers. In the end, 88 kids showed up that day!
What did you do? How did you feel?
I was terrified, happy and thrilled. I couldn`t believe that it was real.
Unfortunately, I had to turn them away that day because the Day Care facility I had chosen could only accommodate a maximum of ten children. But the business spirit didn`t leave me and I went home and started searching for another location for another kindergarten, as well as more staff to help run it. I'm the only person who can teach staff my program and how it works, so I had to find someone who understands me. It took me a lot of time, but finally I visited to yoga school where I had been earlier and saw they had programs working with kids. Three girls accepted positions to work with me, and that`s how the second Day Care was opened, which later grew into a kindergarten.
What’s been your proudest moment in business?
The day we opened the doors for the children and seeing the smiles on their faces, happy parents and proud staff. The fact that I have made these kids happy can`t be compared to anything.
What mistake have you learned most from?
You can't do everything on your own. You have to delegate.
At the time I was preparing my first kindergarten, I was on the other side of the planet, I didn`t know the language and I didn`t know anyone. I was trying to do everything on my own. I had to go to Singapore several times trying to find an appropriate interior and I lost a lot of time.
When it comes to business, everyone talks the same language. You just have to be open for communication and people in the island are so friendly. They helped me and taught me a lot of things. Now I can easily live in Singapore knowing that my business is in a good hands. I have four kindergartens in Europe and Asia and have plan to expand.
What would you say is the recipe for success in your sector?
Be different. Be unique. Be brave. Be smart! I dared to be different and it was worth it.
What have you learned about yourself?
I know lot more than I thought. I was scared about so many things but I successfully managed all of that.
All this time I missed my folks from Europe but I didn`t think about anything other than how to bring my plan to life. It was strange feeling that I had never felt before. Later I was told that it`s “a dream come true” feeling, a feeling which builds you as a person and helps create your business.
What has been your biggest sacrifice for the business?
This is a tough one, but the person who was the love of my life left me because I had to move to another continent in order to chase my dreams.
Given what you know now, what would you do differently?
I discovered a lot of shortcuts, so I would definitely do some things easier and faster. In particular, finding staff was something I spent a lot of time on.
Who would you most like to employ in your business – famous or otherwise?
Any person who can speak "kids language". You have to think like a child in order to understand them truly. So it doesn't matter if you're famous or not, as long as you're born to work with and FOR kids.
How has your decision changed your life?
In so many ways. I was thinking I would be a kindergarten teacher and look at me now. I’ve become a certified business coach. I want to help others to start and grow their business wisely and to keep motivating along the way. If I could do it, everyone can!
Best piece of advice to other business owners?
Even if you get a "No" 1000 times, make the 1001st attempt and keep believing in yourself. You can do it! You already have all the resources you need.