Aiming to provide best knowledge and guidance to the students for their careers and to make them professionally successful individuals Mandar Education was evolved. In an interview Rajesh Dalmia, CEO, Mandar Education talks about the brands venture into franchising and its aspirations from it.
Abha Garyali (AG): Share with us the inception, success and journey of Mandar Education. How has been your entrepreneurial experience?
Rajesh Dalmia (RD): Mandar Education was established in 2009 with a clear objective of guiding students for their career path, which can be attained by choosing suitable courses and institutions. It was born out of a dream and passion nurtured over the years to help student achieve their life goals by attending their dream institutions. We at Mandar Education provide 360 degree services starting from career guidance till the admission process is completed for institutions based both India and abroad.
Since its inception the business has been a wonderful experience, as we have been able to provide career counseling to more than 2,000 students and have helped students get admission in top colleges/universities across the world.
AG: When and what motivated you to adopt the franchise route for Mandar Education?
RD: As we tasted success with our pilot centre and have developed the process for student counseling and admission for India and abroad under one roof, we thought of replicating this model in other cities to help deserving students study at their dream institutions. We have recently got into franchising with the objective of making career guidance accessible to children and parents across the country on a wider scale. Education business spreads best with a word of mouth. Our student’s testimonials have also encouraged us to go for expansion.
AG: What is the success mantra for Mandar Education? In what ways is it different from other educational and training institutes in India?
RD: Mandar Education is unique in all ways. The concept of providing career counseling with admission guidance for the entire globe is our USP. We help students identify course, institutions, country and career for their success. The intense focus given to an individual's strengths and weaknesses has been the most crucial factor in helping our students to achieve unprecedented success in studies and getting ready for their career. Mandar Education as a brand, so far, has been identified to be one that delivers on promise made.
AG: What are the new initiatives for success that the company has taken in the present year?
RD: Mandar Education is always looking for different innovative ideas to further build its brand. During this year, we started off with lot many activities on the social media sites like face book and also introduced personality test, which helped not only students but also parents to understand their children better. We also are in the process of partnering with schools and colleges to set us permanent counseling desks in their premises. We are planning to widen ourselves on face book further to reach out to the young generation to create more awareness on choosing right education for success.
AG: Where do you see the brand in five years time? What are your plans till the end of 2012?
RD: In the next five years, we see Mandar Education emerging as one of the most reliable and trusted brands in student recruitment on a national level. By end of 2012, we plan to have 20 centres in different locations.
AG: How many franchise centres does the brand presently has?
RD: Currently we have no franchise outlets. We have just launched our franchise plan and have got good response to our initiative. We soon hope to have some centres running.
AG: What according to you is the scope for aspiring franchisees in this business? Is the future bright in the years to come?
RD: Education is a recession proof industry. I feel the future is bright considering the fact that education sector is now opening up with lot many options and opportunities. New courses and new opportunities are taking up place of traditional education. Education is becoming more job oriented and is evolving further as per requirement of the corporate sector to supply industry specific skilled manpower. I feel that when a company is operating in the service industry like education, franchising is the way for rapid and wide geographical expansion. For the franchisee, franchising delivers a proven concept and system, brand recognition, training, continuing support, economies of scale and lower risk.
AG: What are the qualities and qualifications that you seek for in your franchisees? How much investment is required by aspiring franchisees?
RD: We have very basic and generic requirement for running a successful franchise. We are looking for partners who are like minded and who share our commitment and passion to provide excellent counseling and are able to deliver our services effectively with strong ethics that we believe in. There is no bar on educational qualifications, we welcome franchisees from different walks of life but what we look for in them is dedication for the brand and passion for education.
AG: Share with us the challenges that can be faced by your franchisees? How can these be overcome?
RD: New concepts take a while to set in. Learning and following a system and retaining the best are the top challenges that can be faced by a Mandar franchisee. These can be best overcome by having realistic expectations and patience. In the service industry, it is sometimes easy to deliver great quality outputs in short spells but it is a challenge to be able to deliver great quality over a sustained period of time. Constant focus and training can help overcome this.