Education Apr, 29 2010

Promoting franchising through self learning education

By Ramanjit Kaur
Promoting franchising through self learning education

With a shift of approach from being an instruction based to a self–learning model, Iken Braingym, a brainchild of Mexus Education envisions an efficient learning system. In an interview, Saurabh Saxena, Director, Mexus Education shares the future plans of expanding the brand presence through franchising.

Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Could you please shed some light on the origin, growth and success of Iken Braingym?

Saurabh Saxena (SS): Iken Braingym is a brainchild of Mexus Education, an innovative education solutions provider for the K-12 segment. Iken Braingym was conceptualised as a space where students can learn in an ambience suited to free learning and with methods that suit their style of learning. We offer multiple ways to understand a subject – through audio-visual aids, hands-on experiments, case studies, touch and feel of objects and outdoor activities.

RK: What inspired Iken Braingym to take the franchise route to expand the brand in India?

SS: Iken Braingym set-up requires a thorough understanding of the locality. Franchising is a growing concept in India and it allows the company to merge its innovation with local know-how to create a successful business model. This prompted us to take up  franchising and expand the brand presence in India.

RK: What is the USP of Iken Braingym? How it is different from other players in the sector?

SS: Iken Braingym is an exclusive, first of its kind educational venture in India. It is a physical intelligent space where students experience real hands-on learning. Braingym prepares the students not by the 'rote learning' method but an 'understand and practice' approach. It assures a student's success not just in exams but in real life as well.

RK: What kind of background is necessary to secure the franchise of your company?

SS: Experience in the educational industry is definitely preferred. However, it is not a necessary requirement. It is essential to have unwavering passion for education, entrepreneurial skills, and business acumen. To become the franchisee of Braingym, one is required to have a minimum of 1000 sq. ft of carpet area at an up market location. There is also no prerequisite for any furniture or interiors. To run this centre at full capacity, total employee strength of eight to ten people would suffice. Our three major criteria for selection or rejection are – educational philosophy, business vision, location of the franchise and investment capacity.

RK: What kind of training and support does a franchisee get after partnering with your company?

SS: Mexus would offer the following support to the franchisee partner:

  • A dedicated sales, marketing and operational expert to provide expertise and know-how at each stage of the franchise business
  • Involvement in quality assurance of the final service
  • A continuous improvement and up-gradation of all content and systems of Braingym franchises
  • Close monitoring of customer feedback and quality of services
  • A dedicated operations manager for all care and maintenance issues of the IT systems
  • All faculties will undergo an extensive training procedure
  • The franchise has the freedom to control the hiring under the guidance of Mexus staff

RK: How many franchised centres do you presently have? What are your future target locations to expand?

SS: At present, Iken Braingym has an operational centre at Vapi, running successfully since March 2009. It has already served more than 1, 000 students across all age groups and course modules. Our franchised centres at Surat and Chennai are under development yet. We are targeting various metros, tier I and II cities across India to expand our brand through franchising.

RK: What are the future plans of the company in terms of expansion through franchising?

SS: Mexus Education plans to develop around 50 franchise centres in this fiscal year at various metros, tier I and tier II locations across India.

RK: Any advice for the young entrepreneurs?

SS: Entrepreneurship entails lot of opportunity and has a share of risk involved as well. Any venture needs sustained efforts and clear vision to develop into a role model for others to follow and emulate. A franchise model is one of the safest routes for entrepreneurship wherein the franchised brand with its know-how and established practices help an entrepreneur to mitigate the initial business risks. An innovative and quality product will help grow the business through word-of-mouth publicity (the most preferred form of marketing in educational sector). It is important thus to choose a product that is innovative, stands out from the clutter and delivers extraordinary customer satisfaction.

Related: A Paradigm Shift in Online Education Delivery

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