Smarttalk came into existence with the vision is to deliver a valuated core curriculum, to build public interest, pride and passion to instill an ethical work culture for social improvement through personal performance. In an interview, Saadgi Bhartiya, CEO, Smarttalk Netcom Pvt. Ltd shares the success journey and future plans of her company.
Ramanjit Kaur: Share with us the inception of Smarttalk Netcom Pvt. Ltd?
Saadgi Bhartiya (SB): Smarttalk is basically a business placement house started in 2001 in Chandigarh. We have courses for different age groups to teach English and communication skills. We are trying to cater to all the age groups by offering them a variety of courses in communication skills. We have developed a variety of academic and vocational programs and maintained an occupational training program based on the needs of the young aspirants carving a niche on potential employment opportunities available in India and offshore.
RK: What inspired the company to take the franchise route?
SB: We took the franchise route in 2005 with the idea of teaching English because we believe that a good grasp over the English language is necessary in fetching a good job in the present scenario. When we established our company in Chandigarh and noticed good results of our hard work, then we thought of taking up the franchise route and spreading the same success all over India.
RK: What all courses do you provide?
SB: We have designed Smarttalk to impart quality training in the field of IT sector, contact centers, customer service, customer relationship management, customer handling skill, personality development, voice and accent (UK, US), spoken English and various other technical skills. Our training program aims at providing quality education in the field of effective English speaking, global English, customer handling skills, selling skills, tele - calling, soft skills and in the sensitive area of Customer Centric Approach (CCA); like customer relationship management (CRM), retail management and various other technical skills by using state of the art learning methods.
RK: What are the eligibility criteria for selecting your franchisees?
SB: Most important is the site selection and the area requirement to open the franchise centre. We basically require an area of 1, 000 sq. ft with an investment of Rs two to five lakh. We usually have a discussion with our potential franchisees to check the interest he has in opening and running our franchise business. Besides this, we also look at individuals with the similar background as it helps us and make things easier for both the franchisee and us. However, we are open for inexperienced aspirants as well.
RK: What kind of training and support a franchisee will get when partners with you?
SB: We help our franchisees in recruiting the faculty, train the entire faculty at our head office which includes both online and classroom training. After this, we help them start the franchise business with some marketing activities. Layout and infrastructure of the outlet is discussed beforehand to ensure the benchmark standards.
RK: How many franchise centres does the company presently have?
SB: Presently, we are operating through 375 franchised branches across the nation.
RK: What are the future plans of the company in terms of expansion through franchising?
SB: We look forward to opening around 1,000 franchise branches all over India by 2012 end. We are targeting the tier II, III and IV cities to open the new franchises.