Providing customised, educational solutions to meet the academic needs of students is House of Tutors Learning Centers. In an interview Anjum Malik, Vice President, House of Tutors Learning Centers and Managing Director of Alhambra-US Chamber of Commerce, shares the expansion plans of the company.
Abha Garyali (AG): Brief us about the inception, growth and success of ‘House of Tutors Learning Centers’ as an education brand.
Anjum Malik (AM): House of Tutors was started in 1980 and incorporated in 1982. House of Tutors provides customised, educational solutions to meet the academic needs of students. The services are offered to the students of USA and also to other international students for all levels of education. Fully accredited by ACCET (Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training), House of Tutors and its team of expert mentors maintain the highest standards of academics. We have a successful track record of catering to US and international students for almost three decades. Our services include ESL and intensive language instruction, Academic tutoring, Test preparation for major standardized tests (including the TOEFL, SAT, GRE, MCAT, and GMAT among others) and CLEP (College Level Exam Preparation).
AG: When and what motivated you to take the franchise route for expansion of House of Tutors Learning Centers?
AM: After being in business for over three decades, we decided to take our expertise, success, and connections in the education sector to the next level and began offering franchises in 2009. We wanted to make sure we had done our homework, had dotted our “I”s and crossed our “T”s and wanted to insure our franchisees would avoid the pitfalls of starting a business from scratch. Many people in the Middle East (especially Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, and Qatar), Korea, China, Taiwan, Bulgaria and India have approached us to start a franchise.
AG: What is the USP of House of Tutors Learning Centers?
AM: We present customised, personalised tutoring services for students of all ages in a professional environment by competent instructors. Both students and instructors can opt for flexi-timings. The brick-and-mortar location allows the students to legitimise our services. We offer complete package of alternative education and support by including test preparation and English as a second language. House of Tutors is a blend of a tutoring company, test preparation company and in many ways a two year college all under one roof.
AG: Education scenario in India has been progressing leaps and bounds. What are your views regarding this?
AM: The trends that signify strong growth in a country's education sector is the consistent population growth and economic development across all sections of society. As the number of Indian students enrolled at various levels of education continues to grow leading to expansion as well as transformation in the education sector which in turn will create a host of new opportunities for Indian entrepreneurs. The single most important indicator of a business’s success is the potential of its market. Education and training are the most promising long term markets in India today.
AG: During your visit to Franchise India 2010 held in Delhi, you revealed plans of House of Tutors Learning Centers to enter India. Share the future plans of the brand.
AM: There are some proposed master franchises and regional franchises which will be kind of hands on. In other cases there will be licenses in form of joint ventures, resulting in a multi-prong approach.
AG: Do you foresee any difference in franchising in India as compared to other nations?
AM: There are differences in franchising in India, US, and other nations in terms of practical experience and execution of the franchise strategy due to business as well as cultural differences which need to be adapted and negotiated accordingly.
AG: How many franchisees do you have presently? Where are they located?
AM: We currently have two franchisees. They are located in San Antonio, Texas and Huntsville, Alabama. There is an auxiliary ESL school in Bastrop, Texas. Another ESL school is set to open in Denver, Colorado in the middle of this year.
AG: What are the qualities and qualifications that you seek for in your franchisees?
AM: An entrepreneurial bent, excellent management and marketing skills, a genuine commitment to education is what we are looking for in a prospective franchisee. The quality and integrity of the people we work with is more important than direct experience as we specialise in training our affiliates to excel in this industry. An educational franchise like House of Tutors can be created and begin operating fairly quickly. Once your lease is signed, the location is furnished and all paperwork is completed, you can begin operating in a matter of days.