We had the good fortune of connecting with Kanan Shah and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kanan, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?

My first and most important investment has been my time, which, as a mother, I devoted to my son, Kavi. I was fortunate enough to be able to do so and have seen the difference it made in the formative years of his growth and development. When he was in high school, the search began for a learning centre or institute which would provide the needed individual and focused tutoring for Kavi to assist in his onward college journey. We narrowed down our search to a few institutes for his SAT preparation. 

As a hands-on mother, I personally visited these institutes.In great detail, I researched and evaluated them and their methodology and the process of preparation.  In addition, I evaluated the approach and the structure they implemented for all students. 

It dawned on me that it cannot be “A one size fits all approach”, especially when it comes to teaching to a varied group of students. I believe that excellence is achieved by an individualistic approach for each and every child. Thus “Ottimmo” was born, my second child!

The thought of starting “Ottimmo” which means excellence in Italian, stemmed in 2010. Since I made the commitment, I decided to employ private tutors under my own company which would allow me to have my son tutored at home with a structure that would tap his potential, identify the areas that needed work and bring out the best in him. Needless to say, this approach worked, and Kavi ended up getting a perfect score of 2400 out of 2400 on SAT.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?

As stated earlier, I am the founder of the “Ottimmo” Learning Center. What differentiates “Ottimmo” from other learning centers is that it is not a run-of-the-mill tutoring center. “Ottimmo” tutors students online based on their schedules from all over USA and Canada. We individually work with students from kindergarten through high school in Math, English, Science and foreign languages like Spanish and French. In addition, we also prepare high school students for the SATs and ACTs.

Our ethos is that we believe in and focus on, concept-based learning. I strongly advocate the need for customized tutoring for my students and create a learning program specific to their needs, understanding their strengths and identifying their areas of improvement. Learning is a process not only to impart education to the child but also to enlighten the parents, who are vital to the students’ educational journey.  Many instances come to my mind where we have engaged in some counselling for parents who have unrealistic expectations and impose their dreams and ambitions onto their children. Such counselling has helped tremendously to everyone involved in child’s education.  It is a collaborative effort and cannot be successfully implemented by isolating all these factors.

The belief that each child is different, and their uniqueness is what sets each child apart forms the foundation on which our learning structure is developed. Study plans are prepared based on differential learning techniques depending on the child’s developmental stage. We encourage learning new things by exploring and discovering.
I also believe that keys to our students’ success include building confidence and trust, encouraging and providing constructive feedback, praising their efforts, along with patience and persistence.  We consider a child successful when I see improvements in their progress toward achieving their target milestones and objectives.  

We are now a family of 12 tutors and 175 students. All tutors are committed to the cause of making a difference in every child’s life. A one-on-one approach, giving adequate time, and maintaining a consistent pattern helps us to understand the student and create a bond that results in excellence in learning by itself. 

One another area that I am passionate about is supporting children who have learning challenges. On several occasions, where the parents have been unable to identify the cause of concern or the reason for a developmental or learning delay, I have accompanied the parents to schools and talked with the administration about the child’s needs, be it special needs or the extra care and attention that is required in certain areas of learning. I have also attended the ARD (Admission Review and Dismissal Committee) meetings in various schools that assisted in determining the eligibility of the student based on comprehensive individual evaluation report and develop an Individualized Education Program for the child, if applicable.

Practical application and in-depth understanding of concepts are what we emphasize. This has worked wonders for my students, and they have shown steady progress and improvement by leaps and bounds.  These students who were once considered average, or not up to the mark, by rubrics decided by educational institutions, are now emerging as star students, skipping grades due to their academic achievements, they are being admitted in the Gifted and Talented programs. We can proudly say our approach and methods have been proven to be successful. 

“Ottimmo” students have made us proud by obtaining a score of 97% and above in their standardized testing and perfect scores in AP exams.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

Being in the Cowboy State, I would love to show them the Stockyard, take them to the rodeo show and let them experience a slice of living life Texan style.

I would also take them to the Kennedy Museum and the Dallas Botanical Gardens since I myself am a nature lover.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Kavi Shah, my son whose journey inspired me on this path. All my tutors for believing in my vision and making it their own, the parents, who are our greatest cheerleaders, trusted us with their children.  Thier trust in us helped Ottimmo grow through their word-of-mouth feedback Of course, last but not least, our students, who motivate and challenge us to do better and think outside the box, are our most prized asset. 

Website: www.ottimmo.com

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kanan-shah-73188739

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ottimmo

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKkVZqSqZk4&ab_channel=KananShah

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.