Mohd Fadzil Hashim – Founder of Brainy Bunch International Montessori (BBIM)
More than a decade ago, Mohd Fadzil Hashim had a vision to provide modern pre-school education for children while retaining their Islamic identity and character. His aim was to produce a new generation of Muslims based on the teachings of the Quran and Hadith. Humbly beginning with a single kindergarten, Brainy Bunch International Montessori (BBIM) has today become arguably one of the most well-known kindergarten franchises in Malaysia.
Growing up in a poor family, Fadzil aspired to become a millionaire and help those in need since young. He graduated with a diploma in accountancy from Universiti Teknologi MARA but decided to join the IT industry upon graduation. His last position before becoming an entrepreneur was as Dell Malaysia Sales Director in 2008.
The foundation for the establishment of BBIM was laid when Fadzil and his wife, Ms. Efizah Mohtar Rasali bought their first kindergarten in Kajang, Selangor in 2008. The objective then was simple; to offer Islamic education using English as a medium of instruction.
The couple then met and partnered with Ms. Ladyana Zoraya, an early childhood education expert with solid Montessori experience. The partnership started the first BBIM in Saujana Impian, Kajang in 2010. BBIM received an overwhelming response from parents and started growing rapidly. Just a year later, BBIM soared to four branches in Klang Valley and expanded to 25 branches nationwide by 2012. In 2019, BBIM has 1,000 staff across the country, more than 100 campuses in Malaysia, four campuses in Singapore, two in Indonesia and even a charity school in Gaza, Palestine.
The tremendous reception pointed to distinction high level of achievement attained by BBIM compared to other kindergartens. BBIM was established to provide high quality education based on the Montessori method while upholding Islamic values. Islamic practices are thus inculcated into the method and the daily routine of the students.
The Montessori method was chosen as it has been accepted globally as one of the most effective techniques to educate children. Naturally, BBIM put more emphasis on each child’s unique development pace rather than only on their academic achievement. BBIM also strictly enforces the use of English language as the medium of communication in all centres.
While the fees charged by the BBIM are perhaps some of the highest on the market, it is not simply a profit-making enterprise. Realising that kindergarten teachers play a vital role in ensuring quality education for young children, Fadzil was determined to ensure that the profession could attract the best talents available. To achieve this goal, teachers at BBIM are required to have at least a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and would receive a salary of up to RM3,000. For perspective, the average salary of a kindergarten teacher in Malaysia is around RM1700.
Refusing to rest on his laurels, Fadzil moved up to another level by introducing Islamic, Cambridge and Montessori learning at elementary, and secondary school level. It started with an elementary school in 2013 in Subang Jaya as its temporary location. Brainy Bunch International Islamic Montessori School was finally opened at its permanent campus in 2018. The purpose-built infrastructure offers education from kindergarten to secondary school education in one central location in Cyberjaya, Selangor. In foresight, the next phase of growth would be for the company to be listed on Bursa Malaysia by 2020.