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Education 2010-05-05

Scaling up the knowledge business

By Ramanjit Kaur Feature Writer

With a team of like minded IITians, Greycells Education Limited, came into existence to serve their common passion for knowledge. In an interview, Deepak Choudhary, MD- India, Greycells Education Limited, EMDI shares the success story of his company.

Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Brief us about the inception of EMDI Institute of Media & Communication.

Deepak Choudhary (DC): EMDI founded in 2002, started as an Event Management and Development Institute after identifying an acute shortage of trained workforce. Later the EMDI Institute of Event Management was rechristened EMDI Institute of Media and Communication, to more closely reflect its wider educational canvas. It was started with three of us, Jimmy Nagdev Choudhary, Nowshir Engineer, and myself Deepak Choudhary. With courses in event management, public relations, advertising and journalism, we are proud to operate under the aegis of Greycells Education Limited, a Bombay Stock Exchange listed company.

RK: When did the company start franchising? What inspired the company to take the franchise route?

DC: We started franchising in the year 2006. The decision of taking up the franchise route came after I attended one of the seminars organised by Franchise India. There I realised that if one wants to scale up the business, then it is possible through franchising. Thus, this thought inspired the company to take the franchise route.

RK: What is the USP of your franchise system?

DC: Our model is not a regular education model; it is quite different in terms of its preamble which is created by the industry. We ensure that lectures are taught and delivered through a 100 per cent industry faculty model, through internationally relevant curriculum. This ensures guaranteed on the job training/internships, leading to permanent placement opportunities for our students. Because of our industry network, and the tie-ups, it becomes easy for the franchisee to operate the franchised centre. Moreover, the kind of courses we offer is also very different and which is offered by no one in the industry as such.

RK: How many franchised centres do you presently have?

DC: When we opted for the franchise model, we started the expansion from metro cities followed by tier I and II cities. Presently, we are operating through 10 franchised centres. Recently, we have entered in cities like Hyderabad, Indore, and Jaipur.

RK: What kind of background you look for while selecting your franchisees?

DC: We want our franchisees to have at least some experience in the media or education sector. He should be interested in education business. As far as the money is concerned, a franchisee is required to invest Rs 50- 60 lakh for opening the franchise in metro cities. However, in Tier II and III cities, one is required to invest Rs 40-50 lakh. An area of 3000- 3500 sq. ft is required to start a franchised centre.

RK: What kind of support and training is provided to the franchisees from your end?

DC: We provide our franchisees with complete operational and marketing support. We offer them complete academic support and our faculty members travel from the head office to all other cities with our franchised centres in order to teach our students.

RK: When is the break even period achieved?

DC: Break even comes in the first year and franchisees recover their investment in the second year. By the third year, our franchisees start earning profits.

RK: Any advice for the aspiring entrepreneurs?

DC: If an aspirant wants to get into an education business, then he must enter with a long term vision as the business usually takes time in generating profits. Besides this, he must take his decisions with great caution regarding the right franchisor, location, and investment that suits his pocket.

RK: What are the future plans of the company in terms of expansion through franchising?

DC: We are aiming to add eight to 10 more franchised centres in the B grade cities of the country.

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