Children education is one area where Indian parents love to spend their maximum earnings especially during the beginning years of their childâ€™s education. As a result pre-school education franchising has always offered great prospects to aspiring entrep
No one can deny the contribution of franchising in revolutionising the education industry in India especially kindergarten. Franchising has transformed the pre-school education from an unorganized playway or Creche concept to an organized playschool status. It has not only reformed the education system but has also emerged as a promising business opportunity for entrepreneurs who are willing to take up an education business. This is also a great opportunity for women entrepreneurs.
Presently pre-school and children enhancement services cover a space of more than 21 per cent in the organised education scenario. This figure is continuously on the up-swing with more and more players entering the sector with better curriculums. It was around 2004-2005 that the concept of pre-school education really emerged in India. Working women, concept of nuclear homes, rise in disposable income, awareness amongst parents about quality pre-school education can be few factors giving rise to this concept. Prajodh Rajan, VP and Project Head, EuroKids International Ltd said, “We had started franchising in 2001. We observed that the pre-school space is a highly fragmented market with no entry barrier but a strong need for quality education. This sector offers tremendous scope for female entrepreneurs as well.”
Rise in Women Entrepreneurs
Pre-school education industry offers great potential especially for women and a team of husband wife. The facts and figures showing increased participating of women in pre-school education franchising clearly supports the popularity of the concept among women aspirants. As informed by Kavita Jain, Edify Kids, “The most favourable thing that attracts women to education franchising is the shorter duration of the working hours. It is usually seen that women prefer taking franchises of pre-schools and even franchisors prefer women entrepreneurs.” Women are innately gifted to take care of kids. As we know from the beginning of evolution women have been the primary care-takers of children. This can be one factor for more of ladies in education sector.
Basic Requirement for Pre-school
The last few years have witnessed a noticeable increase in pre-school education brands. However, all of them have not been able to taste success due to various reasons. Every play school needs to abide by some basic requirements in running a play-school. Besides air conditioned rooms and a lot of indoor games and toys, children also require fresh air and a lot of running around for their physical as well as mental growth. Many pre-schools are very small in size and do not provide ample of space to the kids which is one of the basic reason for their failure. In regard to this, Jain, informed, “Keeping the innate need of kids for fresh air and lot of space for running and playing, all our schools are built over a large area.” In the pre-school sector it must be kept in mind that a suitable location is an essential pre-requisite. Pre-schools and kindergartens do not require a location of high-streets and malls. On the other hand they fare better in open spaces near residential areas.
Few International Players
It should be observed that there are very few international players in this arena as compared to the food and beverage or apparel sector. A viable reason for this is given by Jain, who said, “Education standards and scenario is entirely different in India and western countries. Here we start teaching alphabets from the beginning whereas in abroad it is only in middle school (class 5th) that students are taught the basics.
Key Players in the Field
Most of the pre-schools started their expansion via the franchise route due to the innumerable benefits offered in this business model. Eurokids, established in 2001 was among the pioneers in this format. It was followed by other K-12 institutes like Kidzee, Kangaroo Kids, Edify Education, Shemrock, Applekids , Bachpan, Jumbokids, Mother’s Pride etc who took the franchise route for their present success in the education category. Eurokids has more than 550 franchisees in 210 cities pan-India. Kidzee has been very successful since its inception in 2003. Presently Kidzee is spread over 300 cities with more than 700 centers. Amol Arora, Managing Director, Shemrock & Shemford Schools said, “We initiated franchising in 1990. We were one of the first to introduce the concept of franchising in the education industry. We plan to take our count to 300-350 by 2012.” Their success in pre-school arena can clearly predict the success of many up-coming brands and entrepreneurs in this field.
Word of Caution
Pre-school franchising is a serious business as the entrepreneur is catering to the career of the future of the country. So being responsible educator the entrepreneur is always required to keep his moral responsibility of creating bright Indian future always ahead of his personal profits.
To conclude it can be said that the pre-school education has come a long way but still has a long way to go. There is lot of untapped potential which have to be captured by the present youth dreaming to be entrepreneurs. This is just the beginning of a long road of entrepreneurial success.