Minting money by generating professionals
Jetking Infotrain Ltd, a company that provides computer hardware and networking courses has created a niche by generating office ready professionals. In an interview, Suresh G Bharwani, Chairman and MD, Jetking Infotrain Ltd shares the successful journey of his franchise.
Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Who is the brain behind Jetking? Could you please shed some light on the origin, growth and success of Jetking?
Suresh G Bharwani (SB): With the vision to promote and the conviction to spread computer hardware and networking education across the nation, I set up the first computer hardware training institute in 1990 that offered innovative courses. Discerning of the demand gap in the IT field, I laid the foundation of the Jetking School of Electronics Technology at Sewri, Mumbai. Jetking Infotrain Ltd started training individuals of all backgrounds and assured them a 100 per cent job guarantee. Jetking offers high quality, job-oriented courses that have earned the company the prestigious ISO 9000:2000 certification. Jetking has trained over four lakh students who come from various walks of life, with ambitious dreams and goals.
RK: What inspired Jetking to take the franchise route to expand the brand in India?
SB: India is seen as a country with high entrepreneurial spirit; as a number of budding entrepreneurs need a platform to unleash their business potential. It thus encouraged us to take the franchise route and offer its franchise to entrepreneurs who want to render value added training to the students through Jetking’s excellent computer education. Jetking as a company is focused towards quality. Hence, the selection of their business partners has been selective and sustainable. At this point in time, about 90 percent of the revenues come from the franchisees.
RK: What practices and initiatives have you introduced in Jetking?
SB: Jetking has high quality, job-oriented courses like Smartlab Plus (an innovative training methodology), which emphasises on character building of each individual. Owing to this, students develop a well-rounded personality. It ensures that they are focused and have fun while learning. Smartlab Plus is a combination of eight components:
- Computer based training
- Practical exposure
- Field study visit
- English speaking
- Personality development
- Comprehensive quiz
RK: What kind of background is necessary to secure the franchise of your company?
SB: The requisites to start a Jetking centre include:
- An area of 2000 – 2500 sq. ft carpet area
- Investment up to 35 - 45 lakh
- Return on Investment (ROI) up to 40 per cent in one year
- Centre operations commencement within 60 days of signing MOU (Memorandum of Understanding)
In order to get committed business partners, Jetking ensures a three step screening procedure before signing up as a franchisee. These steps are:
- Business behavioural test
- Senior management interview
- Physical background check (Social and Financial)
RK: How many franchised outlets do you presently have? What are your future target locations to expand?
SB: As of now, we have 135 centres, most of which are in tier I and tier II cities. We are looking at expanding in tier III cities and few foreign countries such as Africa and China.
RK: What kind of training and support does a franchisee get after partnering with your company?
SB: We offer our franchisees with the followings:
- Complete startup support
- Detailed ISO 9001-2000 certified curriculum
- Brand reputation and goodwill
- Help in-site selection, design, start-up support and 60 days launch plan
- Detailed centre operation manual
- Intensive and regular training
- Advertising and promotional support
- Ongoing operational support
- Quarterly quality audits
- Regular IT support
- Selection and training of faculty
- Training (Faculty, Technical, Marketing, Placement and Smartech Training)
RK: Have you faced any challenges while establishing your business? If yes, what were they and how did you overcome those challenges?
SB: In a franchising business model it is always a challenge to maintain alignment between the company and business partners. We often see focus been diverting towards small time industry trends that are temporary with no long term sustainability. Such trends bring thoughts about diversifying in a number of categories thus compromising on our core product and ultimately loosing focus. In such cases, we constantly meet up with business partners to align ourselves with each other in order to sustain our leadership position in the market.
RK: Any advice for the young entrepreneurs?
SB: In India, entrepreneurs need to understand the importance of focus in any business. In order to sustain their business and maintain competitive edge, it is important to deliver their core products through quality and commitment.
RK: What are the future plans of the company in terms of expansion through franchising?
SB: We are aiming to open around 15 centres in Tier III towns which will improve the scope for students in the hinterland and will offer the same quality of education at reduced price. We are also targeting to launch 30 new learning centres in the upcoming financial year. We are considering expansion into the markets of Africa and China.
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