Founder and Chairman, GEMS Education
Sunny Varkey is the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Education Partnerships.
A visionary education entrepreneur, Sunny Varkey believes passionately that education is the most important issue in the world today because of the effect it can have in reducing conflict, prejudice, poverty and intolerance.
He is committed to improving the quality of education to millions of children around the world.
He achieves his vision through his international education company, GEMS Education, which is family owned and has been operating for over 50 years. It is a third generation education family.
The company owns and operates schools, provides support to governments to improve quality in government schools, globally and helps provide access to education for underprivileged children through the Varkey GEMS Foundation, the philanthropic arm of GEMS Education.
Through his dynamic leadership and business acumen, Sunny Varkey has developed a global network of award winning international schools, which span nine countries reaching 130,000 students from 151 different nationalities. GEMS Education is the largest kindergarten to grade 12 private education provider in the world.
The GEMS Education model is unique in the world because it offers schools with a range of
GEMS Education employs over 11,000 teachers, specialists and other staff. It is the largest
Sunny Varkey has forged partnerships with the World Economic Forum, Microsoft, UNESCO, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, Pratham and Dubai Cares.
The Varkey GEMS Foundation is a not for profit organization and the honorary Chairman is former US President Bill Clinton. The Foundation aims to impact 100 underprivileged children for every student enrolled in a GEMS school.
In 2012, Sunny Varkey was awarded an honorary degree (Doctor of the University) by
Also in 2012, he was named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in recognition for “his contribution to forging innovative public-private partnerships to ensure that underprivileged
In 2009, Sunny Varkey was honoured by the Government of India for his contributions to Education with the Padmashri Award. The award is one of the highest civilian honours of the country. In 2002 he was named one of the top 50 Non-Resident Indians in the world.
In 2007 Sunny Varkey pledged USD 30 million to Dubai Cares, a Dubai based charity focused on providing education to primary school children.
He is also the recipient of several additional awards which include: