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Education 2011-10-23

Creating profitable venture

By Namita Bhagat Feature Writer

Enhancing creative thinking and problem solving by teaching art to the students in an exciting and fun way is what ‘KidzArt’ is all about. In an interview Sue Bartman, CEO, KidzArt shares the company’s expansion plans in India.

Namita Bhagat(NB):Tell us about the concept of ‘KidzArt’. What is the USP of the brand?

Sue Bartmen (SB): In the early 1990s, longtime friends, Shell Herman and Chris Cruikshank shared a common vision; to build a successful business enterprise catering to the growing demand for guidance in creative thinking and problem-solving. They believed in the value of a livelihood that satisfies the need for meaningful service. The result was KidzArt. The concepts teaches art while entertaining students. Our process helps children to build self- confidence, learn patience, become creative problem solvers, understand that there is no ‘wrong’ way in art and learn to overcome obstacles. They also develop focused attention through guided exercises and get to exercise their ‘creative muscle’ and learn to draw. Children all over the world are learning that they have the power to change the world with their innovative ideas. We do this by making problem solving an exciting, fun, transforming experience. KidzArt helps to create winners and ultimately, the innovators of tomorrow!

NB: What kind of profitable and lucrative business opportunity is it for the franchisee?

SB:  KidzArt is a business that offers an opportunity to be successful and creative while doing what you love for a living. In July 2002, KidzArt realised a major benchmark, becoming fully franchised. In 2004, we were named one of Entrepreneur Magazine's Top 500 Franchises. Today KidzArt is ranked by Entrepreneur Magazine as the Number One Art franchise in the US. We have a variety of classes to fill a day so staff is busy and revenue is generated by multiple revenue streams not just children. Private and International Schools are very interested in our classes and like that classes come to their facility. This reduces the need and cost of real estate purchases. This leaves a larger margin for profit.

NB: Did you feel the need or have customised your concept for Indian market conditions?

SB: We are learning the different styles of Indian art: Warli, Tanjore, Madhubani, Indian Folk, Rangoli. Warli or Madhubani Painting all belong to the ‘Indian Folk Painting’ where there are many different types of artworks. We are also considering artworks for famous Indian festivals like Diwali, Holi, Ganesh Chathurti.  We now understand more of what the Indian parents expect.

NB: How many locations do you have currently and what are your expansion plans in India in coming years?

SB: At present we have one franchisee with multiple units in Mumbai. We are looking for partnerships through various models. We have several options such as Master Franchisees, Area Development and single unit franchisees.

NB: What is the requirement in terms of capital/ infrastructure to partner with you as franchisee? What are the franchisee’s qualifications?

SB: The capital and infrastructure requirement varies on the size of the territory and what level you are. The potential partner needs qualities such as; love of kids, art and money. The franchisee should be interested in learning.

NB: What kind of marketing and training support do you provide to your franchisees? What is the break-even period – ROI facts for the franchise?

SB:  We provide pre-made marketing templates, manuals, international press releases, training to the franchisee etc.  The break even and ROI facts are different for each franchisee and the country.

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