Education Mar, 14 2016

Invest in the future of nation

K12 category is touted to experience exponential growth presenting lucrative opportunities for investors in the years to come. Shreevats Jaipuria, Vice Chairman, Seth Mr Jaipuria School, shares more.

By Utpala Ghosh, TFW Bureau
Invest in the future of nation

At a time when there is pressing demand for quality secondary and higher secondary education, what differentiating factor does Seth M.R. Jaipuria School bring to the table?

Our vision is to ensure that every child has access to high quality education, irrespective of whether they are in a tier-I, II, III or IV city. In the collaborative model, there is immediate recognition and recall of the brand and that sort of ensures that quality education and overall development of the child will take place at the school. The demand for schooling has increased among the people of all the strata of society over the years. There is a visible growth in the number of people who seek education at all levels now, and, many institutions have come up with quality education in India. We indeed are poised to be an educational superpower. Good teaching requires teachers who can fully show up day-after-day and year-after-year, cultivating their own identity and integrity in the face of both challenges and exhilarating success. It is important to internalise everything and have processes at school. And while you’re scaling up, as in a collaborative model such as ours, set processes would help in achieving qualitative standards all around. Scaling up ensures that there are experienced and trained professionals helping run a school on a day to day basis, and the technical expertise provides a quick head start to the workings of the school. A new school gets access to world class curriculum, training of teachers, IT infrastructure, visibility and branding support and other defined approach and methodologies that enable school to function with focus and more effectively.

What are the criteria to choose the right franchise partner?

It is very important to choose partners in business properly. We believe it is important to know as much as possible about a potential partner, including style of doing business, background and so on. We look at people who bring something to the table that would add value, over and above what we are doing; they must complement our nature of business with their effort, focus, time and dedication to the project. We look at investors at local levels who can set up the school and look after the operational part of the school whilst we can facilitate adequate delivery of their support required for curriculum, teacher training, staff appointments, etc. It is important for schools to leverage our experience and expertise in education at the national level.

When did you start franchising your brand? Why did you choose the franchise route for your expansion? What has been your experience so far?

Jaipuria has been in the field of education for seven decades; Seth M.R. Jaipuria School Lucknow has measured up to the expectations of the people of Lucknow and its neighbouring areas and has become a role model in the field of quality education. After all these years, we believe we have gathered certain expertise in operationalisation of a school, and it was only in 2014 that we thought that the time is right to scale. We believe that our processes- defined in details and filtered over years- to be successful, distinctive and replicable. This was the primary reason to start licensing. This gives us synergy for scaling up, whilst expertise of investors at local levels enable swift yet steady expansion. The experience thus far has been rewarding and enriching. The journey from starting off to stability has been exciting, challenging and even stressful at times and we have gained tremendously in experience and knowledge, by associating with our licensees.

What is the investment involved?

The investment for a school is obviously linked with the kind of school one plans to build. We have a detailed model for a school in tier- I and II cities and another for tier- III and IV cities. The major costs are acquiring the land, building the school, furnishing it and stocking it with furniture, operational costs, branding, and teacher and staff salary. To make the investment easier for our licensee, we recommend building the school in two phases of equal size, and planning the running of the school accordingly. Roughly, one would need investment capacity of Rs 6-8 crore to start with, and the project would be around Rs 18 crore in a tier- I and II cities versus Rs 12 crore in tier- III and IV cities.

What are the various phases that are involved in establishing a K12 school?Please start from the very beginning right from acquiring the land, getting the paper work cleared to building the school complex and the entire process that is involved. Please elaborate on each and every step and also the time it takes to be implemented.

Starting a private school in India is a challenging process and generally takes no less than two years to be fully functional. Despite the initial hardships, you will see more and more people are coming forward to start a venture because the demand for schools seems to be unending, with India having the largest young population in the world. We would be happy to take one through the details of setting up of a school. Typically, one would need to

  • Have appropriate land, and get permission for appropriate land use
  • Establish authority (Trust and/or Society) for running the school
  • Architectural design and planning construction of school building
  • Planning for recruitment
  • Planning for training
  • Academic plan and curriculum planning
  • Branding and visibility
  • Transportation
  • Setup of ERP system
  • Taking required approvals and licenses
  • Launch of school

What kind of training and support do you provide to your franchise partners?

We have a fairly detailed orientation and training & development process for all our stakeholders- be it our investors or the staff. The school Principal undergoes a two day orientation at the corporate office, and the teachers are trained on site to be well versed with our curriculum and processes. We would be providing training to the teacher and administrative staff of the school on a quarterly basis. We would take the teachers of the partner school through a journey to map the curricular vision of Jaipuria Schools with the understanding of how students learn and its implications in classroom teaching-learning. Our trainers would brief teachers on the needs expectation in the classroom by teachers, and other such areas. The support is on-going, round the year, and best in class.

In which cities are you present? What are the markets that you are planning to expand?

It is a testament to the faith that people have on Jaipuria that we have collaborated with 15 entrepreneurs in a short span of time for setting up of schools. Our service and support model is the best in class, and unprecedented in the Indian education space. We are growing fast to bridge the gap of lacking quality education in small cities. We are currently operational in Lucknow, in Barabanki, Varanasi, Patna, Faizabad, Hardoi, Sultanpur, Bhilwara, Gonda, Sidhi, Mirzapur, and Bahraich.

Related: Fostering rewards of education

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