BACHPAN, a play school brand has spread its wings across the nation and now plans to penetrate into international market. In an interview Ajay Gupta, Director, Operations, BACHPAN shares brands’ further expansion plans.
Neha Gohil (NG): Shed some light on your entrepreneurial journey. Briefly describe about ‘BACHPAN’?
Ajay Gupta (AG): My entrepreneurial journey incepts with a wise and fruitful decision to become a franchisor of an established organisation. I have always been fascinated and inspired by people who embrace the spirit of entrepreneurism in themselves. ‘BACHPAN…a play school’ is the flagship brand of S.K. Educations Pvt. Ltd. It caters to tiny tots between in the age group of two-five years. The brand has already spread its wings with more than 700 schools across the nation and plans to expand its branches internationally.
NG: What is the USP of ‘BACHPAN’?
AG: The USP of the brand is 24X7 helpline/consistent support system, oriented network nationwide, research and development expertise and well built infrastructure.
NG: How is ‘BACHPAN’ distinctive than other play school chains?
AG: BACHPAN has been recognised as an innovative organisation, dedicated to develop exclusive, educationally inclined and planned play school programme. At Bachpan, a child is introduced to a world where companionship and sharing becomes a daily routine. We have taken it upon ourselves to be self sustaining when it comes to using various learning tools used by our educators than other school chains. We use a combination of traditional preschool activities such as art and dance programme and latest digital technologies to ensure the sense of comfort ability among our children.
NG: When and what motivated you to expand via franchising?
AG: We enjoy the status of esteemed educationists in our society by being a branch of a fruit bearing and shadow giving, deep rooted tree named BACHPAN that was planted many years ago. The gain from our expertise motivated us to run successful business model.
NG: What are your further expansion plans? What kind of location are you looking for expansion in India?
AG: With years of conscientious efforts BACHPAN has its own brand identity in all strata of the society and its schools in different geographical locations across the country. BACHPAN is a movement with 700 + play schools spread across the country. It is planning to expand its branches pan India preferably in residential areas in urban, sub-urban and rural areas too for establishing milestones. Further, it plans to expand some play schools internationally also.
NG: In which all locations you have marked your present in the country and how many franchisees do you have?
AG: S.K. Educations Pvt. Ltd, with its aspiration of bringing revolutionary transformation in the country, started its journey in the year 2004 with their first BACHPAN…a play school was launched in Punjab. With its presence in 22 states of the country, BACHPAN so far has 700 + franchisees setting a quality education segment benchmark.
NG: What are your requisites in terms of skills, area and investment?
AG: For running BACHPAN…a play school, the requisites in terms of skills, area and investment are as follows:
NG: What kind of training and support do you offer to a franchisee?
AG: Being a BACHPAN franchisee, the entrepreneur gets our continued support and guidance in every possible manner. We have created a franchise support system that will assist him with every conceivable issue that may arise in running a BACHPAN branch. Our franchisee is benefitted in terms of training & support, availability of all manuals, recruitment and interview support, training to all staff, regular training /PCP’S, competitive strategy development, interior/exterior support and marketing support.
NG: What are the challenges that a franchisee faces in this business? How can they overcome these challenges?
AG: Tough competition with the other brands that are there in the market is the challenge faced by the franchisee.
A franchisee can overcome such challenges by attaining more loyalty, sincerity and confidence while dealing with their products. Their continued efforts with immeasurable man hours and the guidance of expertise will help them to overcome these challenges for a smooth functioning.