A child learns the basics of life while playing. Kids Gurukul has come up with a unique concept called ‘Advanced Toy Library’ that would cater to the over-all development of the kids while they play. Aadesh Jain, CEO, Kids Gurukul in an interview, shares the success and expansion plans of his company.
Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Could you shed some light on the origin of Kids Gurukul?
Aadesh Jain (AJ): Kids Gurukul is a toy library for kids. Here, all sorts of games and toys of both national and international brands are available for kids between two to 10 years. We provide them with a variety of educational toys, games, books, interactive VCDs, CD-ROMs, computer games and outdoor games on rental basis.
RK: When did you think of taking the franchise route? What difference have you noticed after opting franchising?
AJ: We started franchising last year. Till date we have launched 51 centres across the nation. We found that franchising is an ideal mode to expand a business across various geographic locations in a short interval of time.
RK: What initiatives and practices have you introduced in the company?
AJ: We try and introduce new games and toys that help in enhancing the verbal, visual, intellectual, numerical, analytical, sensory and memory skills of the kids.
RK: What do you look for while selecting a franchisee?
AJ: When we select our franchisees, we usually look for the following requisites:
RK: What kind of support and training do you offer to your franchisees?
AJ: We usually provide our franchisees with all the basic necessities. We help with the launching and recruiting of the business and also help to make it operational. We also aid them in planning the marketing strategy and supply them with the materials required for promotions. The company also shares 50 per cent of the promotional expenses of the franchisee.
RK: What investment is required by an aspiring franchisee?
AJ: The investment required to own our business ranges from 2 to 2.5 lakh.
RK: What kind of challenges a franchisee can face while running a business? And how can one overcome those challenges?
AJ: The most challenging part of running a franchised toy library is the management of kids. A franchisee and his/her staff must have the strategic skills to manage kids and maintain the decorum of the centres. Another challenge is that most of the time franchisees get attracted towards the project due to the emerging popularity of this concept. But after entering into this business, they realise that they are not capable enough to provide the customers with the standard services efficiently. If a franchisee has the urge to work for the interest of the kids and understands the business strategies, then to some extent such problems can be easily handled.
RK: What are your future plans?
AJ: We are in the process of finalising our master franchisees across the country. Besides this, we have plans to launch around 250 stores by March 2010.
RK: Any advice for the aspiring entrepreneurs?
AJ: This kind of business is a good part-time option for the aspiring entrepreneurs and it is also suitable for those who love to work for the interest of kids.