In a rendezvous with Neha Malhotra, Amit Goyal, Director, Franchise and Training, The Knowledge Workers talks about the inception, growth and the franchise aspect of the company.
Neha Malhotra (NM): Tell us about the origin, growth and success of TKWs as a brand?
Amit Goyal (AG): TKWs, The Knowledge Workers was started as knowledge services outsourcing company in the year 2002. Our idea was to provide services to corporates that require knowledge empowered decision making. Over the past few years the company has grown across three verticals: skill development, international logistics and software development. The skill development division was started to bridge the gaps between the traditional education system and the skills demanded in the 22nd century. We masterminded Experiential Learning Techniques as a solution and now we provide ELT based courses in domains of Spoken English, Personality Development, Interview Handling, Retail Management, Sales Training and Customer Service Training.
NM: When and how did the company decide to opt for franchising?
AG: We are new to franchising and also very reserved. We do not appoint franchisees very aggressively. We started our first franchise centre in 2007. Franchise India Holding plays a significant role in bringing TKWs into franchising.
NM: What all services do you offer to your customers?
AG: TKWs customers are its students. The Retail School students are offered Retail, Service and Hospitality management courses, which are backed by 100 per cent job guarantee and are recognised by DEC. For TKWs English Point students we offer Spoken English and Personality Development courses with a 100 per cent learning guarantee.
NM: How many outlets do you have at present and how many of these are franchised?
AG: TKWs Retail School is presently operating five centres in Delhi, Kanpur, Meerut, Gwalior and Jaipur whereas TKWs English Point is running at 14 different locations across Delhi, Mumbai, UP, MP and Rajasthan. We maintain one company owned centres for every 10 franchise centres.
NM: What all training and support do you provide to the franchisees?
AG: We assist our franchises from concept to completion. We assist them in finding a suitable location, developing the infrastructure, hiring the manpower, launching of the centre, counsellor training, faculty training, owner training, placement support, quality control, etc. For the entrepreneur it is like going back to B-School in the first year. They also get complete courseware, network of affiliates, marketing references, online marketing support, access to HR databases, etc through us.
NM: How much investment is required by an aspiring franchisee in terms of money, time and dedication?
AG: Education is always a people driven business and personal involvement of the entrepreneur is very important. We strictly decline franchises to entrepreneurs who cannot devote time or do not have the ability to run such a business. A franchise needs to invest somewhere between Rs 2 to 8 lakh to start a TKWs English Point and Rs 15 to 25 lakh to set up a TKWs Retail School.
NM: What is the break even period for a TKWs franchisee?
AG: An entrepreneur can expect a breakeven in between eight months to 20 months.
NM: What are company’s future plans in terms of expansion?
AG: While maintaining our ratio of 5:1 we intend to open four Retail Schools in this year and achieve a total of 18 Retail Schools by 2011.