Education Apr, 15 2010

Guiding gains

By Abha Garyali
Guiding gains

Roots Education which stands for personalised mentoring, has gained wide acceptance across the nation through franchising. In an interview, Pawandeep Aneja, AGM, Roots Education (MBA Guru) shares the success story of his company.

Abha Garyali (AG): Brief us about the inception and success of Roots Education (MBA Guru).

Pawandeep Aneja (PA): Founded by a team of IIT-IIM alumni (Deekshant Sahrawat IIT Delhi and IIM Kolkata; Mohit Khurana IIT Delhi), Roots Education started in August 2003, with its head quarter in New Delhi. With centres across 11 cities, Roots Education has grown manifold not just in size but also in terms of invaluable experience and knowledge in the domain of educational services. With its team of highly competent and dedicated professionals, Roots Education has successfully mentored thousands of students through its various service platforms – MBAGuru, BBAGuru, GMATTERs and MyBestSelf.

AG: When did the company start franchising? What was the source of inspiration behind opting for franchising as a mode of expansion?

PA: We started franchising in July 2009. From day one we were convinced about taking franchise route for expansion. For the first four to five years, we wanted to streamline the processes and develop a model for running this business before sharing it with future partners (we prefer the term ‘partner’ instead of franchisees because they are the partners in our growth).

AG: What is the USP of Roots Education (MBA Guru)?

PA: We, at Roots Education, believe that each individual is unique and requires individual guidance. This intense focus on each individual's strengths and weaknesses is at the core of our development modules and has been the single most crucial factor in helping thousands of our students to achieve unprecedented success over the years.

AG: What are the various courses available in Roots Education?

PA: We offer following courses/ services to our students:

  • MBAGuru: It is the flagship educational services platform of Roots Education, which began in 2003 and is presently India’s fastest growing CAT coaching. A name now synonymous with 'personalised mentoring'. MBAGuru offers world-class comprehensive preparation services for entrance examinations of leading B-Schools in India.
  • BBAGuru: It is a test-prep service platform for students completing their 12th standard and looking to pursue their graduation in management (BBA/BBS), hospitality/ hotel management (HM), Law, BCA and so on. It was initiated by Roots Education in 2009.
  • GMATTERs: It is a test-prep service platform for students aspiring to excel at the GMAT© for admission to the leading B-Schools across the globe.
  • My Best Self (MBS): The ‘My’ in MBS precedes and supersedes the Best Self – thus, emphasising the fact that it is important for each individual to realise his or her individuality. MyBestSelf, an initiative of Roots Education, has been formed to partner and assist individuals and select premier educational institutions that nurture a passion for excellence in their students. The programme is designed to complement the regular academic sessions conducted at schools and colleges.

AG: How do you perceive the future of educational franchising in India?

PA: I feel the future is bright considering the fact that education sector is now opening up and there will be a huge requirement for trained manpower. I feel for any company operating in education domain, franchising is the way for rapid and wide geographic expansion without having to provide additional capital to establish, or to directly manage, the outlets. For the franchisee, franchising delivers a proven concept and system, brand recognition, training, continuing support, economies of scale and lower risk.

AG: How franchising has helped in the performance of the company? Do you want to expand further through franchise route?

PA: The franchising route has helped us in offering world class services to significantly more students and expands our base across different geographical locations. Today, we are present in 11 cities spread across northern and western region. Now we have our plans in place to ensure that we will have 25 operational centres through franchising by the end of the current financial year.

AG: How many franchisees do you have and in which cities in India?

PA: We have nine franchisees spread across northern and western region in cities such as Ghaziabad, Meerut, Noida, Aligarh, Agra, Allahabad, Lucknow, Jaipur and Nagpur.

AG: What are the qualities that you look for in your franchisees? How much investment is required by an aspiring franchisee?

PA: We are looking for qualified professionals (preferably MBAs) who have the flair for teaching. Full time involvement and passion to succeed is an absolute requisite. A prospective franchisee has to invest an amount that ranges from Rs seven to 15 lakh depending on the preferred city.

AG: In what ways do you support and train your franchisees?

PA: We provide a tried and tested service platform designed, prepared and continuously revamped by an expert IIM-IIT alumni team led by our founder-director Deekshant Sahrawat (IITD, IIMC). Apart from this, we also support our franchisees in the following areas:

  • Complete academic training support
  • Administrative and business development support
  • Complete online support

AG: What are the challenges that can be faced by a franchisee in this business? How can they overcome these challenges?

PA: The three core areas of the business are marketing, counseling and delivery, so the biggest challenge is to ensure that we excel in all these areas. We train our partners extensively in these areas to ensure that we sail over the initial teething problems.

Related: Wonders of quick & high returns

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