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'Fostering growth through franchising'

Mona Singh, Vice President, Sesame Schoolhouse spoke to Ekta Sharma Verma on the challenges in the industry and their growth plans.

In the growing preschool industry, most brands have adopted the franchise route for a quicker expansion across India. One of the well known names in the industry, Sesame Street Preschool has also preferred franchising. Mona Singh, Vice President, Sesame Schoolhouse spoke to Ekta Sharma Verma on the challenges in the industry and their growth plans.

Tell us about your brand’s strategies in India to beat the fierce competition.

Sesame Street Preschool brings together the best of Sesame Street and Galli Galli Sim Sim’s content, aligned as per the Indian guidelines to the Indian preschool space. Benchmarked to the best practices in early childhood education, Sesame Street Preschool endeavours to change the paradigm in the preschool space making high quality education, teaching standards and learning spaces accessible to Indian children. The Sesame Street Preschool curriculum and methodology integrates hands-on project-based learning, with creative approaches to foster critical thinking and problem-solving, making children ready not just for school but for life as well.

Is India a potential market for your business, with so many International brands coming in?

As per KPMG estimates, the preschool industry, a $530 million industry, is growing rapidly at 30 per cent CAGR. With majority of preschools being in the unorganised sector, there is a huge potential for branded players who are offering better and standardised learning and other experiences to attract consumers to the organised sector. The proposed preschool regulations are also likely to benefit the organised players.  Also with 20.3 million households with children aged between two and four years, there is a huge scope to increase the market itself.

What are the challenges in your industry? How do you overcome them?

There are a few challenges in this industry pertaining to protection of copyright and maintaining quality standards, be it related to academic transaction, facilities provided or teacher quality.  With franchisees running the operations, maintaining a standard and high quality across all centres is the foremost challenge. Therefore, the brand has aligned with the franchisees and formulated policies and guidelines for regular monitoring to ensure adherence. To ensure consistency in quality of education across all franchisee-run centres, monitoring of centres is done through a regular reporting mechanism and physical audits. In addition, most of the brand’s materials are procured through a centralised system that helps maintain a standardised and high quality educational experience across all the centres.

Which all cities in India are you tapping for expansion?

North and South India

Why have you decided to franchise your concept?

As regards the business model, we know that franchising is the way forward for businesses to grow and expand substantially. According to KPMG India estimates, the franchising industry is expected to quadruple between 2012 and 2017. There is a scope for the franchising industry to contribute almost 4 per cent of India’s GDP in 2017 (assuming 6 per cent Y-o-Y GDP growth between 2012 and 2017), growing from a current estimated contribution of 1.4 per cent of GDP.

Franchise facts:

Area

Investment

Breakeven

RoI

Current centres

Min 2000 sq ft

Rs 10-12 lakh

2 years

25- 55%

16 franchise

Comment
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