Education Dec, 21 2013

Active returns in after school activity biz

All work and no play makes jack a dull boy. With the changing times, the significance of this adage hasn’t changed much. With the rise in after school franchise opportunities, not just the parents are relaxed but the franchisees are also happy owning th

By Ekta Sharma Verma, TFW Bureau
Sr. Sub-editor
Active returns in after school activity biz

As per India Ratings, a Fitch group company, it is expected that the Indian education sector’s market size will increase to Rs 602,410 crore ($109.84 billion) by FY15 due to the expected strong demand for quality education. With this, even the demand for after school activities has increased. Most schools have started offering such activities for kids and there is a tremendous increase in the after school activity and child enhancement centers within the past few years.

Opening an after school activity franchise in India can be a very wise business decision. There are many first-rated after school activity options in India and it is often a critical question to choose the best from them. Be it art and craft, cooking, drama, acting, music or outdoor play and games, after school activity centers surely give a chance to your kid to unwind from a long hectic day. Helen O’Grady International is the world’s largest speech and drama programme. It originated 35 years ago in Australia and is now successfully operating in 30 countries and in India the programme is available in 40 cities. Arpita Mittal, CEO, Helen O’ Grady says: “Being a Master Franchisee / Master Licensee, we have received the franchise concept as a legacy. Our format is now being successfully replicated in 30 countries. However we have customised the same as per the education system in India. This is a great franchise option.”

On the other hand, Bangalore-based, BrainSTARS is dedicated to foster and nurture the movement of Science, Maths and Skills education in India. It bridges the gap between formal education sector and innovative educational research by continuously exploring the requirements of contemporary Science, Maths and Skills education in five environments – school, college, professional science/math education, community science/math literacy and Government policies. BrainSTARS solutions provide high quality learning experiences for children between 4 to 18 years in a well-integrated, interdisciplinary, activity-based Science/Maths/Skills ecology. With the rise in income levels and increasing working hours, even the parents want to choose such an after school centre that can be a home away home for their kids. So, starting an afterschool franchise is definitely a lucrative idea. Another brand, KidzArt is a North America-based art academy that is about fun, uniqueness and confidence-building drawing program for preschoolers through seniors. The concept is of not using pencils in the classroom. The drawing is directly done with permanent pens. So even if the child makes a wrong line with the permanent pen, the teacher will encourage the child to think differently and make something out of it which will help in building a child’s self-confidence, creativity, imagination and brain storming skills.

USP

BrainSTARS USP is their product NumberNagar space. Whereas Helen O’Grady boasts of its biggest USP as a structured curriculum and the rigorous training of all its teachers which is uniform across all the Helen O’Grady International centers in the world. While KidzArt encourages out of the box thinking versus a copy exactly approach to make tudents learn that there are no mistakes in the art.

Driving factors

After school activity franchise opportunity can be a very good investment for people who wish to start with a low investment. With greater exposure to global standards and heightened competition, every parent now wishes to make his/her child excel. Hence, the education and skills development needs are changing from mere academics to an overarching interdisciplinary approach to learning and knowledge enhancement through co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. The requisite for skill development activities by schools and parents for the overall development of children are the key driving factors for this rewarding industry. Dishita Vora, Director, KidzArt says: “People are ready to compromise on their lifestyles but want to give the best to their kids. Also, people understand the importance of education beyond academics where art, music, theatre, sports can be taken as a fully fledged career. So, beyond doubt franchising in this business can be a good deal.”

Expansion

BrainSTARS is planning to strengthen its presence in all the metros and tier I and II cities. Helen O’Grady currently has 50 franchisees operating 400 centers across India and plans to add another 50 franchisees and 200 centers by the next financial year. KidzArt being the Master Franchisee for Maharashtra is looking to expand in this region only. The brand plans to shoot up the current nine centers to at least 60 by the next two years.

Why is it worth?

“Within the education sector, pre-school and child enhancement education services together have taken the lead in franchising with a significant share of 35 per cent. This is followed by professional skill-based education and vocational courses which carry the weight of 30 per cent of the educational franchise industry, “says Gaurav Marya, Chairman, Franchise India Group. One of the biggest challenges facing working parents is finding a dependable and affordable adult supervision for their children in the hours immediately after the school ends. Ravi Shankar, CEO, BrainSTARS says: “Reach, scalability and the aspiration for a pan-India presence, with global footprint within the next one year made us choose the franchise route. Also, those who wish to encourage entrepreneurship and enterprise in the aspirational youth of the country, must go for an after school activity franchise to promote change and bring about innovation in the education domain.”

So, with the increasing after school centers by many institutions, parents are in high spirits and the franchisees have a lot to explore and thrive in this Industry. What are you waiting for?

Franchise facts:

Brand

Area

Investment

Breakeven

RoI

Current centres

Helen O’Grady

500 sq feet for unit franchisee

Rs 150000- 3 lakh for unit franchise

12-18 months (for unit franchise)

40-50 %

400 centres across India

KidzArt

200 sq ft

Rs 3 lakh

Less than 1 year

65%

9

BrainSTARS

650 sq ft

Rs 17-18 lakh

1 year

43%

3

Related: Earn while making others learn

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