The Founder and Chairman of Southgate is Jaspal Sidhu.  This is his background:

  • Singaporean
  • Degree in Civil and Structural Engineering, NUS and an MBA (distinction), UK
  • 15 years in the construction and mining sector in Indonesia
  • Vast mergers and acquisitions experience in education
  • Founder and Chairman of the SIS Group of Schools in a strategic partnership with the International Finance Co-operation (World Bank Group) and a Private equity Fund
  • Regular speaker at International Conferences; IFC (World Bank) Education Conferences in San Francisco and Cape Town, Indonesia Economic Forum, Singapore
  • Founding member of Singapore Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia
  • Regular trainer of CEOs, diplomats, investors and fund managers on the intricacies of operating and investing in Indonesia

The Group Managing Director of Southgate is Alvin Hew.  This is his background:

  • Malaysian
  • Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) & Bachelor of Arts (Economics), Queen’s University (Canada)
  • MBA INSEAD (France)
  • Board Director – Maxis Berhad, Petronas Dagangan Berhad (Malaysia)
  • Board Director – Taipei American School, European Chamber of Commerce
  • Board Advisor – Queen’s University Smith School of Business Global Advisory Council
  • President – Queen’s University Alumni Association Singapore
  • Managing Director L’Oreal Taiwan and Malaysia
  • Managing Director Abraaj Group (USD13 billion PE Fund)
  • Conferred the title of Chevalier de L’Oreal National du Merite by the French government in 2004


With the cost of private education increasing year after year across the globe, these are the questions parents often ask:

  • Why do private schools continue to be expensive?
  • Why must quality education only be in the hands of a segment of society?

The pledge Southgate makes is to bring the world’s best education systems to cities across the world and to ensure that it is both affordable and accessible to communities everywhere.

Why now?

We live in unpredictable times with unprecedented opportunities. However, only prepared minds will seize opportunities and thrive. So are you giving your children their best possible shot at success?

With Southgate Schools, you can be sure you are. For us, education is more than teaching, it’s about inspiring kids to learn. We believe curiosity is the engine of achievement. Which is why we don’t only teach — we mentor, stimulate, provoke and engage our students.


All kids are natural learners, they just need to be engaged in a manner that’s right for them. Therefore, through years of experience, we have designed an ecosystem that brings out the best in each student.

Inspired by Singapore’s ever-evolving methodology and commitment to research in education, our network of schools offer the Singapore, Cambridge and IB curriculum in a family-like environment that prioritizes personalized learning. With an unparalleled proficiency in English, Math, Science enriched by the humanities, regional languages and the Arts, we equip our students with the fundamentals to thrive on their own terms – now, and for the future.

In our schools, not only do we show children the path, we walk alongside them.

Inspired Learning for Inspired Futures

Message from the Founder

My early travels across the Indonesian archipelago and the region revealed a stark disparity between public and private schools.  Private schools in turn keep increasing fees in the face of higher costs.

My early travels across the Indonesian archipelago and the region revealed a stark disparity between public and private schools.  Private schools in turn keep increasing fees in the face of higher costs.

It disturbed me that quality education was fast becoming the monopoly of one class of society. There had to be a way where good schools could be made more accessible and affordable. And so began the Southgate mission.

The first Southgate school was the Singapore International School in Jakarta. Its reasonable tuition fee and high standards made it the city’s most popular international school, albeit on a small property.  That inspired me to form a strategic partnership with the International Finance Corporation (Word Bank) to establish more schools in Indonesia and the region at different price points.

Southgate Schools subscribe to three out-standing curricula: the Singapore curriculum, Cambridge and International Baccalaureate.


Imbibed in the school program is our initiative called PACE (Perseverance, Analytical Thinking, Collaboration/Communitarian and Entrepreneurism) which prepares our students for the 21st century. Today we are consolidating our position as the premier chain of quality and affordable private schools in Indonesia while putting selective foot-prints in the region.

The success of our network comes from an eco-system we have created where our schools Vertically Collaborate up and down the tuition fee ladder. The system ensures no idea is a monopoly of one school. And no school operates in isolation. I am proud to say here that our efforts have been acknowledged through a prestigious nomination recently for the global Financial Times/International Finance Corporation (World Bank) Transformational 2019 Award in the education sector.

Being a Singaporean, I draw my inspiration from this small but highly charged island. OECD (PISA) has put the Singapore education system as the best in the world. The Research and Development in the education sector going on in Singapore is unparalleled. The best practices are there to be emulated. And indeed they are in Southgate.

When I meet our graduates working in various industries or in some of the best universities in the world, I am inspired to push on.

Quality education can be scaled, replicated and made affordable.

We, in Southgate are doing that everyday and we look forward to new and inspirational partnerships to establish our Schools in the region.

Jaspal Sidhu

Chairman and Founder

Our Start

In 1995, leading members of the Jakarta business community felt the need for a high quality yet affordable international school. They turned to Singapore, an education hub where many nationalities go to for a great education. Several initial meetings with the then Singapore’s Ambassador to Indonesia His Excellency Edward Lee fired the enthusiasm needed to start the project.  This culminated in a meeting in early 1996 with His Excellency Dr. Tony Tan, who was also then Singapore’s Education Minister. The inspiration drawn from that meeting set the wheels in motion to establish Southgate’s first school in Indonesia, the Singapore International School (SIS).

The Founders moved quickly to secure the help of their alma mater, Raffles Institution, Singapore’s premier school. The expertise of one of Singapore’s most respected educationist Mr. Eugene Wijeyhsingha (former Principal of Raffles Institution) was utilized to give the school a good foundation. And soon afterwards the Founders successfully lobbied the release of Mr. Magendiran also from Raffles Institution to be the first Principal of the Singapore International School in 1997. The school’s enrollment immediately reached its peak.


When it was time for Mr Magendiran to head back to Raffles Institution, the leadership baton was then passed on to another prominent educationist Ms. Nanda Bandara, former Principal of  two premier Singapore Primary Schools, Raffles Girls’ Primary School and Haig Girls’ School.

The popularity of the School pushed the Founders to expedite its search for a permanent premise with facilities matching other international schools in Jakarta.

A Permanent site

Looking for a permanent site, the Founders were able to carefully design and eventually turn an “unused” clubhouse into a school that is the talk of the town, in a housing complex of Bona Vista, South Jakarta.  The architecture of the School is in harmony with the green environment and has been often described by many as a “unique learning environment.”

Located in a safe and quiet neighborhood bordering the elite Pondok Indah real estate, the School is only two minutes from major toll roads making it accessible from many parts of Jakarta.  The School boasts of an open, airy concept amidst lush, contoured gardens. Students are able to enjoy all the amenities within the complex and this includes a competition-sized pool, soccer fields, basketball courts and tennis courts.  

The enrollment today includes a student population coming from at least 25 different nationalities.

An Independent Appraisal

After popular start, the Board felt that an independent appraisal was needed to confirm the course set for the school before any further plans for expansion were considered.   In June 2002, the Board commissioned two distinguished academics from the National Institute of Education (NIE is an institute of the Nanyang Technological University), Associate Professor Agnes Chang and Dr. Ang Wai Hoong to appraise the school.  A simultaneous appraisal was also done by another distinguished academic Dr. Soh Kay Cheng (also of NIE) to assess the standards of our examinations. NIE is the exclusive Singapore government body that looks after teacher training and the development of the Singapore curriculum for all Singapore schools.

This independent appraisal not only confirmed the high standards in both the academic and non-academic areas, it also puts SIS amongst the top schools in Singapore.  To quote the all encompassing line from the executive summary of the appraisers:

“The school is indeed comparable to a good school in Singapore in terms of teaching and pupil’s performance.”

A new Secondary School wing

The results of the independent appraisal, the out-standing teamwork, sense of community service and a call for continuity in education inspired the Founders to start the first class in its secondary school in January 2003.

A secondary school in SIS meant that the students would be able to progress easily from the primary level without having to move elsewhere. It meant that pupils will benefit from having teachers who can   nurture them in a way that new teachers cannot, especially having seen them grow and develop from the Primary levels.

SIS’ reputation for excellence in education and nearly a decade of experience in adapting the Singapore educational curriculum to the needs of the primary school children allowed the new secondary school to have an excellent start.

A High School (Junior College) wing

When the secondary school enrollment hit its peak, it was only natural that the Founders look to the next phase of education for SIS students. Soon afterwards, the Junior College opened.

It is the intention of the Board to keep SIS as a small, but elite school with education standards second to none.

The start of SIS schools for Indonesians

The first Singapore International School was situated in the Bona Vista complex (South Jakarta), where most expatriates live. Given this School’s high education standards and affordability, it was by now a popular school for expatriates and Indonesians living in the South.

The success of the School soon saw calls from different communities to set up more SIS Schools in other geographies. The Founders of the school and the educationists involved by now had a deep appreciation and understanding of the complexities of a curriculum modeled after the Singapore education system in a different social and cultural environment.  Systems were in place and there was a sense that Southgate was ready to scale and replicate the SIS model.

There was indeed a need for SIS Schools for Indonesians and expatriates priced differently in other parts of the Indonesian archipelago which saw a growing economy and more foreign investments.

After involving more consultants (from overseas and from within the local scene), the Founders started two pilot SIS Schools for Indonesians.

One was in Kelapa Gading (North East Jakarta) and the other in Kebun Jeruk (West Jakarta) in 2002. The aim was to monitor the performance of the students in a “controlled environment” with the newly designed SIS curriculum especially for the local student population. After 2 years, data collected pointed to excellent results. SIS noted remarkable improvement of its students in both academic and non-academic performances, and decided it was ready to roll out SIS schools. These will be in different geographies, priced differently for communities where the schools will be located.

The primary objective was to give an alternative to the local community frustrated with the country’s public and private education. The SIS Schools, in different parts of Indonesia,  would also ensure that there was no need for families to migrate from the provinces to Jakarta, or from Jakarta to another country in their quest for good quality education.

SIS then invited the International Finance Corporation (member of the Word Bank Group) to examine the results in these two pilot schools and sought a partnership with the IFC to expand its operations. After a thorough due diligence that saw curriculum, systems, governance standards  and financials under scrutiny, IFC decided to partner with SIS, its first formal education project in Indonesia.

SIS then invited local investors, real estate developers, philanthropists and individuals passionate in the education arena to participate in SIS’ journey to expand within Indonesia and beyond.

Current Expansion of SIS Schools

Southgate’s growth strategy will be through acquisitions and green fields (new schools) in Indonesia. Outside Indonesia but within ASEAN, Southgate will expand through acquisitions. Beyond ASEAN, Southgate’s expansion strategy will be through the management of private schools.

“International” to “Intercultural”

The Indonesian Government currently does not allow private schools to use the term “International” in their brand name. Looking at options, SIS opted for “Intercultural” given the rich diversity of its faculty and student population.


To establish high quality, affordable schools in as many cities as we can.


An ecosystem where schools can Vertically Collaborate up and down the tuition fee ladder ceaselessly sharing best practices to prepare the young for the 21st century.

Our Schools


SIS - Singapore Intercultural Schools


Inspiring Learners Toward Greater Heights


To spark curiosity and inquiry while developing values and 21st century skills. We prioritise learners and personalise learning to make a better world.


SIS South Jakarta SIS Cilegon
SIS Kelapa Gading SIS Semarang
SIS Pantai Indah Kapuk SIS Palembang
SIS Medan SIS Myanmar
SIS India SIS Korea

Inspirasi Schools


To inspire every student. To nurture each child’s imagination and gifts so they’re able to grow and excel.


To reward curiosity and unleash creativity and enable every pupil to be the best they can be. To develop the leaders of tomorrow and shape a brighter future for us all.

Southgate RICS

RICS - Raffles Christian School


To be a world class, futuristic and Christian learning community that nurtures Rafflesians to become active, lifelong learners and influential leaders of sterling character.


Provide a well-rounded International education to nurture Rafflesians to be:

1. Disciplined, responsible and God fearing individuals
2. Scholars with the necessary skills and attributes to be successful global citizens in the future
3. Leaders with compassion and a heart for others

Our Growth Strategy

Southgate starts with Indonesia

In 1995, leading members of the Jakarta business community felt the need for a high quality yet affordable international school. After meeting with key members of the Singapore government, the Founders moved quickly to secure the help of their alma mater, Raffles Institution, Singapore’s premier school. The first Singapore International School was then established in Jakarta 1997.

This was the first School under the Southgate umbrella. And the popularity of the school soon saw calls from other Indonesian cities for such high quality education at affordable fees.

Southgate formed a partnership with the International Finance Corporation (World Bank) and soon more Singapore-style schools were established in Indonesia. Today Southgate operates several high quality schools at different price levels across the archipelago and looking to establish even more.



Southgate establishes a footprint in S.Korea

Southgate answered a call by leading members of Gwangju in S.Korea to establish a similar learning institution there. 

The popularity of the Singapore International School Korea is now seeing its very impressive growth there.

Southgate expands into India

It wasn’t long before Southgate’s reputation as an operator of quality and affordable schools spread to India. Southgate has today established yet another foot print across the borders to the city of Karjat, part of the Mumbai Metropolitan City.

Southgate to expand into China, Africa, Middle East and Kazakhstan

Since the release of the PISA rankings which placed Singapore as the number one education system in the world, Southgate is in discussions to form partnerships to establish and manage quality and affordable schools in China, Africa, the Middle East and Kazakhstan.

Overall growth strategy

Southgate’s growth strategy will be through acquisitions and green fields in Indonesia. Outside Indonesia but within ASEAN, Southgate will expand through acquisitions. Beyond ASEAN, Southgate’s expansion strategy will be through the management of private schools with the ultimate aim of acquisitions.

Establishing Greenfields

Our green-field strategy is Indonesia focused. Here we invite funds, local investors, real estate developers, philanthropists and individuals passionate in the education arena to participate in Southgate’s journey to expand within Indonesia. Southgate has an in depth understanding of the local terrain, regulatory environment and market. We plan to establish our different brands priced appropriately in Indonesian cities outside Jakarta, with the aim of bringing and sustainable quality education to as many communities as possible.






Partnering Brownfields

Given that Singapore has been repeatedly named as a country with the best education system in the world, Southgate is often asked to help private schools in the region to upgrade their curricula and education systems we bring from Singapore to prepare their students for the 21st century. We bring a very powerful proposition to these schools; our curricula, our systems, our high standards, our good governance, our professional development and management philosophy as well as our entire network of schools.



Southgate’s acquisition strategy is primarily Indonesia focused. We will however look at opportunities within ASEAN. We seek progressive schools that have a good brand and strong enrollment numbers. We typically like to retain the management team and value-add with our capital as well as management know-how.  We know we will bring a very powerful proposition to these schools; our systems our professional development and management philosophy as well as our entire network of schools.










Managing Schools

Beyond ASEAN, Southgate will not look at greenfields nor acquisitions. However we have been approached by investors, promoters, funds and real estate-developers who understand the high quality behind the Singapore brand name. These are parties who appreciate the fact that Singapore has invested million in R&D in education and its education system is “live” and hence why it is rated number one in the world. These parties have a mission to bring the best education systems into their cities and make it affordable. Under such circumstances, Southgate will be prepared to provide its branding, curricula and management and supervision systems under a Management and Supervision arrangement.

Do contact us if you need more information.


Southgate understands that different schools, investors and funds may have different requirements for their stakeholders. Under such circumstances Southgate provides consultancy services from professional development to curricula enhancement.

Do contact us if you need more information.








Public-Private Partnerships

Regional governments have witnessed the progressive education systems in Singapore and the high quality schools that the island is so proud of.  Southgate is often approached to help public schools and teachers. Southgate has a very strong public-private partnership arm that looks to mobilize its schools and faculty in helping public schools. We believe in the power of collaboration. Our network of schools collaborate all the time through our Vertical Collaboration schemes where all SIS schools ceaselessly collaborate up and down the tuition fee ladder. It is our believe that public schools should come on board and collaborate with us.

Our Strength

Having managed private schools in the region over the last 20 years, our strengths include:

  • Established links with key institutions in Singapore and overseas (IFC, World Bank) to gain access to cutting edge development
  • A focused recruitment and training philosophy
  • Good governance and systems (acclaimed and acknowledged by IFC)
  • High academic performance and balanced approach to Sports and the Performing Arts
  • Tried and tested systems with feedback channels
  • “Live” curriculum that is internationally benchmarked
  • A network of schools to truly bring meaning to the word “international”  for students, parents and teachers
  • Passionate staff who are professionals with integrity
  • International awards and nominations
  • Close stake-holder relationships