With pre-schools making a place for themselves in the organised domain, new players are also emerging and BLOSSOMS INTERNATIONAL is a new entrant. In an interview Pavan Kumar, CEO, BLOSSOMS INTERNATIONAL shares the future aspirations of the brand via franchising.
Abha Garyali (AG): How would you describe ‘Blossoms International’?
Pavan Kumar (PK): Blossoms International is a young and very dynamic brand with a very strong vision and driving force to do the best in the segment. We want to provide the best of environment to children of 1-6 years with the best of environment, curriculum and people.
Also, we aim to see each of our branches to be extremely successful and hence take keen interest in operations of each branch. The support system is all directed towards achieving this objective.
AG: What are the core competencies of your business?
PK: Transparent costing and balanced advised for potential franchisees is the fulcrum of our business planning. The other core competencies are a strong curriculum and prompt and proactive support system with a top down approach (people at the top of each vertical address your concerns).
AG: When and why did you opt for franchise business model?
PK: The brand was set up in end of 2009. The school system was planned to be a franchise model from the ideation stage itself. However, to avoid the trap which most of the brands fall into and fail to stabilize as a brand, BLOSSOMS spent one year’s time on the R&D. After the R&D stage, we started with our own branch and tested all aspects, where after we started our franchise units.
AG: What kind of training and support do you offer to a franchisee?
PK: BLOSSOMS offer three level training support. These are: Level One – a brain storming session with the management on aspects critical to the business.
Level Two – The Centre Head/Coordinator Training on aspects about school operations management.
Level Three – Teacher Training with an audit mechanism and refresher training modules.
AG: What are the attributes that you look forward to in your franchisees?
PK: For the franchisee to be successful, apart from possessing the prime attributes like passion towards children and high quality orientation and commitment to follow standards, there are a few other qualities we look for like keen business sense which allows the person to take appropriate decisions and ability to manage people.
AG: What is your company’s expansion plan in this fiscal year? Where do you see the brand in five years? What are your plans for this year?
PK: The company is primarily focusing on opening branches which stand for high quality and standards rather than just adding up number of schools. In this drive, we end up eliminating many non-focused and unsuitable profiles who aspire to set up play schools just because the segment is booming.
Blossoms currently stand at 10 branches and we are targeting 20 branches this season and would be 25 by the end of the current academic year. In the next five years time, Blossoms will emerge as one of the strongest brands catering to not just pre schooling but diversified into various verticals in education segment.
AG: Educational childcare market is booming in India. What are the core competencies of your brand that you feel will offer tough competition to your competitors?
PK: Our transparent and low costing is something we find tough to replicate by the competitors. The support system is fantastic and gives us an edge over others.
AG: What is your mantra for success?
PK: As mentioned earlier, we have a very strong focus on the quality and standards maintained at each school. Perhaps we are the only brand, which prescribes a policy for cleanliness at each branch apart from policies on security, teaching etc.
Apart from the above mentioned we strongly believe that a brand will be able to maintain a long standing relationship with a franchisee only if the latter sees value in the deal. Once we give that, we have a long term relationship with him.