In conversation with Franchise India, Kopal Maheshwari, Founder and Chairperson, Little Einsteins, shares her views on the pre-school industry in India and internationally.
The pre-school industry is mushrooming at an unprecedented rate. In today’s competitive world, parents being more concerned about their child’s education and want to provide them with quality learning right from the pre-school stage, and are willing to shed extra money for that.
This has created a huge demand for pre-school brands in India and all over the world. The pre-school market is becoming highly organised, giving rise to the popularity of pre-school franchises.
One such pre-school is Little Einsteins, India’s fastest growing preschool, which has also been one of the first preschools to introduce a coding and foreign language curriculum for pre-schoolers. The brand is present in India as well as in 7 other countries.
In conversation with Franchise India, Kopal Maheshwari, founder and chairperson, Little Einsteins, shares her views on the pre-school industry in India and internationally.
Emerging trends in the pre-school market?
There is a huge focus on employability and entrepreneurship skill development, both in India and the international market. The realisation that most of the current jobs will not exist in future and the importance of technology has also made everyone realise that education should include STEM subjects. Little Einsteins is a pioneer in introducing coding for pre-schoolers and ensuring that all the 21st-century skills are incorporated in its curriculum.
International Trends to Enter India
India is already ahead in education in comparison to a lot of countries in the west. In India, educators provide a wide range of subjects with a focus on in-depth learning to our children.
Kopal, said, “Western aspect is in letting the child discover their curiosity and choose a subject as per his/her interest to develop excellence in it. This is something which we can adapt in India. However, I am quite pleased with the new initiative by the government to make education similar to the western world in terms of 5+3+3+4 in contrast to the traditional 10+2. I feel this will help a lot in their formative years.”
Factors Propelling the Growth
Content and pedagogy is the key factor for pre-school growth. Pre-school is not rocket science, and so it’s all about the method of making learning a lifelong journey for the children and providing a nurturing environment with a holistic development in mind. Franchising rather than company-owned centres help in quick growth but it has to be a workable practical partnership between the franchisor and franchisee. Unrealistic expectations from both ends and non-feasible models result in a higher mortality rate of the franchised units, thereby slowing growth.
Consumer Behaviour Trends in the Pre-school Market
Parents now understand the need for early childhood education and the importance of these formative years. Earlier, most children, especially in India, would be homeschooled but now parents are keen on sending their children to preschools not just for social interaction but also to ensure that their child gets holistic development in these tender years. It has risen to a growth in the preschool market by nearly 36% in India alone. There has been substantial growth of around 18% of private preschools in EU countries even though education is majorly a government sector.
Personalisation to be the future of Pre-school Industry
Absolutely. Everything in today’s world is about customisation or personalisation. Understanding the learning style of your child and his/her core competencies or "intelligence"—as we say in Multiple Intelligence—is crucial to making learning personalised, fun and quicker for the child.
“Imagine if we were taught to hone our strengths and use it towards something, wouldn't it be achieved faster and in an easier manner? That’s exactly what Multiple Intelligence is about. It’s not about making children intelligent in various sectors but it is about understanding the combination of intelligence your child already has and playing on those strengths,” stated, Kopal.
The Right Time to Franchise your re-school Internationally
When you have had substantial experience in both research and in growth within your nation. Internationally, the preschool demand is not as huge as in India and there are a lot of government regulations that one has to go through. Each country and sometimes each state have their own set of regulations and compliances. Therefore, it is important that thorough research is done and that your content is at par with the international level.