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June 10, 2020

Interview with Kristina Babina, Founder of TotUP


- Hi Kristina, thanks for agreeing to speak to us and answer our questions! First of all, can you tell us what reasons led you along the path to becoming an entrepreneur?

First, I grew up in a family where both of my parents were entrepreneurs and I always wanted to be like them! I lost my dad at the age of five, and that was a very difficult time. My mum always told me lots about him and I always wanted to become an entrepreneur like him: charismatic, intelligent, and above all, independent!

By the time I reached the age of 14, I was already convinced that entrepreneurship was the right path for me! But later, I realised that creating a business simply for business’ sake wasn’t enough: my project needed to have not only a financial value, but also a social one!

So that’s where my adventure with TotUP, a chain of private bilingual nurseries and primary schools, began!

- Over 2 years after the opening of the first TotUP in Geneva, are you pleased with how things have gone?

Yes, very much so!

We’re growing pretty rapidly: we’ve opened a bilingual primary school in Geneva two new nurseries this year in the Canton of Vaud and will be opening a second in Geneva too. The management team is very reliable and motivated, and the team on the ground do fantastic work with the children!

I couldn’t ask for better :-)

- TotUP has a presence on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Can you describe your different objectives for these social media platforms?

We think it’s so important to have a strong online presence. For us, having an online presence isn’t just useful for attracting new people; it’s also about giving advice and ideas for activities to parents and other followers.

- Which online channel do you think is the most productive for you?

All the platforms we use give us visibility and fulfil different objectives, but I think Facebook bring us the most clients. In fact, we’re now the most followed nursery in Switzerland on Facebook!

"At TotUP, everything’s different!"

What is it you offer at TotUP that’s different and that makes you a unique nursery? 

At TotUP, everything’s different!

We have a bilingual programme that’s inspired by several pedagogical methods. We have over 25 nationalities represented among our children, so we decided not to stick to a specific programme, but instead to create a universe of our very own that’s unique to us.

We also organise lots of activities with contributors who are all professionals in their field: dance, yoga, music, art, gardening, etc. We want to allow children to discover different activities and help them to choose their extracurricular activities at school.

- TotUP has already evolved considerably, with a sports centre, primary school, and two new nurseries in the Canton of Vaud planned for this summer. How do you see TotUP in 5 years from now?

In 5 years’ time, we’ll have eight of our own nurseries in total and a dozen in franchising.

- Finally, can you give us three book recommendations?

"Anna Karenina" by Leo Tolstoy, "Good to Great" by Jim Collins and "The Secret" by Rhonda Birne.

- Thanks a lot Kristina, we wish you every success!

Follow Kristina et TotUP 

Kristina's website

Kristina's LinkedIn

TotUP's website

TotUP on Facebook

TotUP on Instagram

TotUP YouTube Channel