Starting a preschool in India can be a best bet to go for but taking up a preschool franchise could be a test drive with bundles of obligatory regulations to run it successfully. In conversation with Raj Singhal, CEO- Footprints Childcare and Preschool.
Tell us about your brand Footprints.
Footprints, is an international standard education based full day child care and preschool chain initiated by IIT-IIM alumni in the year 2012, provides world class care and nurturing environment to kids for physical, mental, emotional and social growth & development. Footprints is a venture established by four highly skilled individuals who have put in great expertise and experience to shape the future of children.
It is the leading day care centre in Gurgaon, Noida and offers an integrated day care and pre-school model that runs for children from 3 months to 4 years of age all across its 7 centers. Today more than 550 happy children are a part of Footprints and through the expansion model many more franchises would be given out to grow in the industry adding up to a total of 10 centers and 800 children by the end of this year.
What all key points do you look at before conducting audits in franchisee’s location? What kind of technology do you use for conducting audits?
We look at following parameters for audit that includes infrastructure, hygiene level,safety and security of kids and staff, play materials,implementation of monthly planner( through academic events and other important celebrations i.e. festivals, important days, children folder), child detail form and food updates. We also use biometric system, CCTV, camera, phone, visit in person, anonymous survey of parents, support portal to audit above mentioned activities.
Why IPO is considered best for growing the franchise network? What would be your advice to brands that are considering going for an IPO way?
The company is still away from IPO. We are targeting the franchisees through digital marketing. Our primary audience is young ambitious ladies who are there on facebook. So facebook becomes an effective medium to reach out to them.
What type of audits do you conduct on regular basis?
Activities of the classes, food updates, hygiene level, safety and security of kids and staff,anonymous survey of parents through survey monkey portal, support portal and activity related photographs of kids on face book page are some of the audits that we conduct on regular basis. Apart these weekly and monthly audits like-Infrastructure- any repair, maintenance, if required then do it on weekend when children are not there in the centre, play materials, admissions, child attrition,staff attrition, gross margin
Share with us the existing outlets and its expansion plans to grow via franchise model. Also, enlighten about the investment and area required for opening your brand’s franchise.
Footprints Childcare Pvt. Ltd, which runs full day childcare and pre-school chain is the unique version that has the best of amenities like an all women staff, hospital tie-ups, CCTV and real time mobile updates also has certified trainers from the US and revolves around making play school and day care available to all at a cost that will not burn a hole in the pocket. With learning programs that are designed to encourage and stimulate children, Footprints impart programs that are flexible to develop interest which are based on curriculum that has been researched well over 50 years and are followed in more than 20 countries and over 50,000 schools. In just a matter of two and a half years Footprints has crossed 500 kids and 50 lakh per month in revenue and looking at the rapidly increasing popularity and reputation it is aiming at 700 kids and 75 lakh per month by March, 2016 and expanding with its franchise model, Footprints plans to grow to 2000 centres and 1 lakh kids by March, 2020.
Existing outlets of Footprints Childcare: 7
Investment: Rs 20 Lakh and above
Area: 3000 sq .ft min
Expansion plans:2000 franchise centers in next 4 years.