Advisory Apr, 19 2010

Foundations for profitable future

Pre school education has emerged as the most dominating education franchise segment in India during the past few years as per the top 100 franchise opportunities survey conducted by The Franchising World magazine. Read on to know more

By Abha Garyali
Sub Editor
Foundations for profitable future

The concept of imparting education to the young toddlers by professional care-takers is catching up fast today. Pre-school concept is the rage in today’s urban society. A number of factors have fueled the growth of pre-schools concepts in India. As per the Top 100 franchise opportunities survey carried by ‘The Franchising World’, magazine, education is the most franchised sector in India. A large share of education franchise industry is occupied by the pre-school education. Taking up a franchise route to open a pre-school is the most viable and lucrative business option.

Before elaborating on pre-school franchises, let us explore the various factors contributing towards the growth of pre-school education franchising in India.

Factors imputing growth

A number of factors have accelerated the growth of pre-school and play-school education franchise. These are:

Working parents:  Both parents working can be the greatest impetus for the rise of popularity of the pre-school sector. In addition, rise of working women have popularised the trend of pre-schools.

Nuclear families: Another factor giving rise to the popularity of the pre-schools is the trend of nuclear families. Earlier when mothers were working, the responsibility of the kids was handled by the grandparents. However, nowadays as joint families are giving way to nuclear families; there is no one to take care of young tots at home.  Thus, this trend stimulated the growth of pre-schools.

Professional care-takers:  Imparting quality education to the children with the help of professional care-taker/ instructor has led to the popularity of pre-schools. The continuous improvements in services, and facilities provided by the pre-schools have made them more reliable and convenient for the parents to send their children to such play schools. The pre and play schools are considered as a boon to parents. Now, parents are eager to send their toddlers to schools not only because they feel these pre nursery schools are safe but also because kids seem to learn faster than their peer group.

Low investment: Another factor responsible for the mushrooming of these pre-schools is low investment range. The aspiring entrepreneurs require less investment in running and maintaining the pre-school. The minimum investment required for taking up a franchise is of Rs 5 lakh-50 lakh. Moreover, pre-schools work best if they are at a close proximity of the residential areas. Therefore, the high cost of having a prime location in malls and high-streets is also saved while running a pre-school.

Women entrepreneurs: Owning a pre-school franchise is one of the best business opportunities for the fairer sex. Women are born with the inherent quality to nurture and cultivate the little minds better than men. Lina Ashar, Co-Founder, Kangaroo Kids Education Ltd is a great example of a successful women entrepreneur. However, giving credits only to women entrepreneur will be wrong. There are a lot of successful male franchisors in this category like Uday Mathur (Eurokids), Amol Arora (MD, Shemrock & Shemford Group Of Schools) and many more.

Dominant category in pre-school sector

Considering the parameters of growth, success, year of inception and number of franchisees, the pre-school education players are divided into three categories-established (most successful), emerging (becoming successful) and debutant (new initiatives).

Let us find which pre-school franchisor falls under which category:

Established players: This category includes players who have been into franchising for  a long time and have successfully established themselves in this sector. Eurokids with 554 units comes in this category. Kidzee which has at present 700 units since its inception is also included in the list of established players.

Emerging players: This category includes the young and vibrant players who have been into franchising since last few years, but have gained tremendous success in a short span of time. Shemrock pre-school chain with 120 units, Roots to wings with 200 units, Brainworks with 25 units so far and Kangaroo Kids Education Ltd with 80 units are the pre-schools occupying a place in this sector.

Debutant players: This category includes the new brands that have forayed into franchising in the last one year. I Play I Learn which started in 2009  has 55 units and Brats and Cuties with 5 units till now are the main players in the debutant category.

To conclude it can be aptly said that the pre-school education franchise is a profitable business venture waiting more to be explored by the aspiring entrepreneurs. With the above given detailed study, the growth, success and future of the pre and play school sector can be gauged to a great extend. Aspirants must make use of this handful tips before venturing into the pre-school education franchise.

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