Education Mar, 15 2010

E-learning: Profitable Means Via Franchising

E-learning, a latest fad in education industry, is gaining grounds in India. Today, e-learning is turning out to be a great business proposition for the aspiring entrepreneurs. Read on to know how an entrepreneur can commence a business in this emerging d

By Ramanjit Kaur
Feature Writer
E-learning: Profitable Means Via Franchising

With the advancement of technological capabilities, e-learning has revolutionised the concept of learning in India. Few years back, exposure to the courses for competitive or professional exams was limited to the fortunate few. But with electronic education, a great number of students are able to get access to such courses simultaneously and instantly. With the availability of various modes of communication such as use of internet, intranet, or g-talks, has made it easy to get enrolled for various professional education courses via e-learning. India is embracing this new way of providing education in a big way. It is not just an opportunity for the deserving students rather a great proposition for the aspiring entrepreneurs to take up the education franchise of a prominent brand. According to Rajat Khare, CEO, Appin Knowledge Solutions, “Franchising is the most acceptable business model in order to create a pool of entrepreneurs, to increase the reach and in managing the business successfully. It is win-win model which benefits the society, the entrepreneurs and the company.” E-learning delivers specific modes of learning to a great number of students directly and within less time. Further, it is self paced and the content can be repeated until the learner completely understands it. It is not limited to text based education; rather it encompasses audio and video based live or recorded programmes that are transmitted via television, radio, or computers.

Major franchising brands

A number of well recognised brands in education sector have adopted this effective way expand. The prominent names of the sector that exercise franchising are NIIT, Aptech, Appin Knowledge Solutions, Compark Education, iProf India, TCY Online and so on. However, the presence of a number of constraints and believing in traditional means of education has limited the widespread of this outstanding means of e-learning. So, the education providers in India have ingeniously adopted the franchise route to popularise this concept across the nation.

How franchising is advantageous?

Now you must be thinking why an e-learning provider needs to take the franchise route if the course content can be delivered electronically to the students? The reason for taking up franchising is apt in its own way, such as:

  • Firstly, the concept of virtual classroom is quite an expensive mode of learning especially one-to-one basis. However, through franchise centres, a whole batch of students can be taught together at a single time, which is economical for the students as well as the company.   
  • Also, there are courses that cannot be taught entirely through electronic devices as they need practical know-how. So, franchising is the best option to avail the various professional courses to a large number of deserving students. 

In this way, franchising is the most suitable mode of expansion and offers great franchise business opportunity for the aspiring entrepreneurs.

Eligibility criteria to select franchisees

If you aspire to be a part of this upcoming business proposition, then here is enlisted the eligibility criteria for selecting the franchisees:

  • Business gears: Being an aspirant of this field, you need to have computers with broadband connections. The centre must be highly equipped in terms of latest technologies, computer software and so on.
  • Basic skills: The franchisee is required to have strong business acumen and a flair for education especially online education. S/he must be well equipped with computers and other software related matter.
  • Area/ space required: A minimum area of approx.300- 500 sq. ft is required to open an e-learning education centre. The area must be located in a thickly populated area that can ensure good footfalls of the students.  
  • Finance: Sound financial background is a must for any franchising business. Apart from the sign-up fee and royalty, the franchise of an education centre especially the e-learning centre asks lot more expenses such as timely up-gradation of computers and its software, equipments required for practicals and so on.
  • Marketing skills: An entrepreneur must have the skills to market its e-learning business at the local level. S/he must know the various tools that one can use to promote his/ her business locally.

Franchising leverages

Once you finalise the decision of taking-up the franchise, you will enjoy a lot of leverages from the franchisor’s part. The franchisor shares the business know-how of his company and provides the professional guidance that a franchisee needs to have before getting started with the business. As Vikas Gupta, CEO, Compark Education says, “We provide our franchisees with product training, operational and marketing training. We also provide them with marketing material and database support. Apart from these, our franchisee is granted exclusivity in that particular area/ region.” The best part of taking up the franchise is that franchisor keeps a regular check on the performance of the company and also suggests change from time-to-time to keep up the benchmark standards of the company.

Stumbling blocks in e-learning emergence

Unlike UK and US, India has a number of constraints for e-learning to flourish to its fullest. Take for instance,

  • Limited  computer accessibility 
  • Limited broadband connections
  • Poor bandwidth of internet signals
  • High price of broadband connection
  • Less use of electronic means

In spite of hurdles, the concept of e-learning is emerging rapidly. So, if you aspire to be a part of this emerging field, education franchising is the best available option. In short, taking up the franchise for an e-learning education provider is the best deal in the present scenario. Interestingly, the e-learning business is economical as the major part of the business is electronically driven. So, impart education to the young Indians and earn handsome returns.

Related: Coach your way to success

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