Veta, one of the largest premier academies for teaching spoken English in India started in 1981 and since then it has trained more than 2.2 million people. Major KV Rajan, Executive Director, Veta shares the success story of the company as well as its future plans.
Abha Garyali (AG): Tell us something about the origin, growth and success of Veta? When, where and how did it originate?
K V Rajan (KVR): The simple thought of offering spoken English training skills to the needy was put into action by opening a tutorial for students seeking to improve English on January, 12, 1981. It was named as Vivekananda Study Circle. V.Rajagopalan and his younger brother V.Ganeshram started the tutorial with this simple idea which has now blossomed into an international organisation. To meet the needs of our country’s aspiring students distant education programme was started and Vivekananda study circle became Vivekananda Institute. The systematic approach, updated curriculum and contact programme at the district head quarters have created appetite to the commercial ventures to have a tie -up with Vivekananda Institute. Though there were many investors to tie-up with Vivekananda Institute, the management was careful in selecting a few good ones. The USP of the company has been consistency, modern curriculum and an effective methodology. For commercial reasons the company changed its brand name to Veta. After establishing its presence in the east, Veta launched its national centre at Delhi in June 2006. From 2006 till today, we have spread our services from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Gujarat to Assam. Followed by National success we have forayed in Singapore, Srilanka and Malaysia.
AG: What difference have you noticed in the performance of the company after it opted for franchising?
KVR: Franchising has given us an insight into local academical aspirations in various regions. Further we have become a national brand in a shorter duration. To support various communicative skills’ needs, the company launched a number of communicative and supportive soft skill courses.
AG: What qualities do you look in prospective franchisees for your company?
KVR: A franchisee needs to have implicit faith in the brand and its services. He is supposed to have a service temperament, managerial and administrative skills, should be willing to work late hours and needs to have an eye for excellent service delivery. Good franchisees also need to be a mentor for their employees.
AG: How many franchisees do you have and in which all cities?
KVR: We have two brands Veta & Vetaone. Under these we have 256 outlets nationally and 18 outlets internationally including our own outlets as well.
AG: What all training and support do you provide to the franchisees?
KVR: Franchisees are screened and selected at all levels from territory managers to executive director. The selected franchisees undergo one to two days wholesome orientation programmed at the corporate office while signing the agreement. Training on business understanding and development, local marketing, nuances of counselling, handling of MIS, local branding, curriculum awareness, customer relationship and administration of outlet.
AG: How much investment is required by an aspiring franchisee in terms of money and time?
KVR: The investment required is Rs. three to eight lakh according to the chosen brand and town selected (veta or vetaone). Most of our centers work during morning and evening hours, franchisees should be able to spare time.
AG: What are the company’s future plans in terms of expansion through franchising?
KVR: The company is looking for more franchisees in various towns of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
AG: What is the break even period for a ‘VETA’ franchise?
KVR: The break even period for a VETA franchise is 18 to 20 months subject to market conditions.
AG: Share with us any new venture that your company has entered into?
KVR: The company has stopped selling distant education instead, it has launched a brand Vetabest under which learning material with AV aids are supplied on orders.