Welcome Guest

Home Interviews Established  Non Techpreneur  'Pre-school is all about enjoyable learning'

'Pre-school is all about enjoyable learning'

Being the of one of oldest pre-school chain in India, Shemrock & Shemford Group of Schools has evolved as a dynamic and vibrant organisation with a motive of providing enjoyable learning to kids in a playful environment. In tete-a-tete with Amol Arora, Vice-Chairman & MD, Shemrock & Shemford Group of Schools, shares his views on the pre-school education in India, current state of it, the challenges faced and much more.

Tags: Pre-school Education, Shemrock & Shemford Group of Schools, Amol Arora

BY Samiksha Jain | April 22, 2015 | COMMENTS ( 2 ) |

'Pre-school is all about enjoyable learning'
Amol Arora Vice Chairman & MD, Shemrock & Shemford Group of School

Tell us about the Shemrock & Shemford Group of Schools.

We are 25 years old organisation started in 1989. We have two kinds of schools – Shemrock, which is into pre- schooling and primary schooling and Shemford, which is the upcoming 10+2 schools based on the CBSE pattern.

We work on the franchisee model and today, we have 425 schools across India and Nepal.

Highlight the importance of pre-school education in today’s time?

Pre-school education is very important because 50 per cent of the brain development happen by the time child reaches pre-school. So, good pre-school will ensure right foundation for the child and today’s parents have realised that. It is no more a new concept. In fact, there have been research done in England about the benefits of good early childhood education and they have clearly proven that children who have attended good quality pre-school went on for higher education and had lower crime rates. Even on the short term basis, parents can immediately see the changes that happen in the child because it not just about what child is learning in the school. The real benefit is what the child is learning from the new environment which includes peers. So the child learns a lot from the other children, he picks up things very quickly. He learns social scale, which is impossible to teach in nuclear family.   

Being the oldest pre-school chain in India, what all changes you have witnessed over the decade in pre-school education? And what is the current status of it?

In the 90s, there was no concept of the branded schools, so we were only branded pre- school in the area. In the last 10-15 years, there has been a constant inflow of new players. Lot of players have come in the market and lot of them also have exited the market as well because it is easy to start a pre-school chain, syllabus is not a rocket science, but to support a franchise on the regular basis and to ensure that they keep paying you royalties is a big challenge.

What is your geographical expansion in India and where do you see Shemrock in next five years?

Almost ten years back, pre-schools was a more of metro phenomena. And I would have not imaged a kind of pre-school in small remote area of Orissa, North East towns, where I didn’t think there is a potential for the pre-school. But now, I think with the increasing awareness in the small towns through satellites, through travels or through the internet, there is a huge pent up demand in the small towns. I feel this trend will continue and in the coming five years we will continue to grow with the increase in number of percentage of small town branches. Now it is a 50-50 ratio, but that will soon convert into 80-20 in favours of small towns. Since we are the only branded pre-schools in a city and so we tend to do very well in this market rather than in metro cities, which are getting much crowed.

Highlight major challenges that India is currently facing in pre-school education sectors? And how are you planning to tackle the same?

Challenges are of many folds. First is of course the high cost of the real estate. In earlier policies, land for the pre-school used to be subsidised by the government, which is now no more. So the higher return makes the running of the pre-school very difficult to justify the viability. One has to be careful in the selection of venue in a manner that it is viable for the franchisee setup of the pre-school over there. Second is the lack of quality teacher training in the country. We don’t have good quality teacher training institutes in the country. Hence, we do lot of teacher training for all our branches. And thirdly, because of these players, who enter and exit the market, it creates a bad reputation for a sector as a whole.  

What is the contribution of your organization towards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?

As our school gets recognised, we reserve 25 per cent of the seat for economically weaker section children. So when franchisee are admitting children of economically weaker section they don’t pay us and we don’t charge royalty for those children. Those children get all the benefits, which are there in our curriculum without anything in return for us.

How is Shemrock unique from others in the same sector?

We have a very single minded focus – ‘make learning enjoyable’. The minute any child steps in through our gate, each minute the child spends with us is meant in a way that he is enjoying and learning at the same time. So the whole programme is designed around that. Right from the school interiors, the way we greet them in the morning, to our books set, to our animation, to our audio and video CD they produce, to lesson plan, to activities, the outings everything is about joyful learning. The other factor of course is that we have most qualified management team in the industry, which differentiates us. That is the reason why in last one year we are able to open more than 3 schools per week.
Kindly give a brief about your business & revenue model?

Whenever somebody signs franchisee with us they have to pay an upfront lifetime fee, which ranges from Rs 2-4 lakh or Rs 5 lakh and then they have to pay percentage of the school fees, which is 15 per cent as royalty. The royalty which come from the nearly 500 schools goes into research and development activities. Total investment to set up a Shemrock school is around Rs 7-8 lakh.

What is are your future expansion plans?

We are growing at a very rapid rate and we are growing at a manageable rate as well. So we are targeting 200 new schools this year. In the coming years, we will be growing all over South Asia, South East Asia and also the Gulf countries.

Please add your comment


May 02, 2015 at 4:31 pm

Hi , I am an Executive turned entrepreneuer and noe also want to open a school with my wife in Mohali. Pls advise us on what infra requirements are there. What is the breakeven admissions and the payback period. You have mentioned a 15% royalty . What is the expected annual returns you think we will be able to generate if 15% of adsmission fee has tp go to you .

Reply  |  


April 23, 2015 at 9:16 pm


Reply  |  

Not readable? Change text.

Enter the characters as seen on the image (case insensitive)
  Notify me of followup comments via e-mail   Subscribe for daily newsletter

Related Interviews

Lack of speed, execution is a sure shot killer for start-ups: Livspace's CEO Anuj Srivastava

Anuj Srivastava, CEO, Livspace

Bet it an entrepreneur, early-stage investor or a product manager, Anuj Srivastava does not have to do too many different things to play...

Flintobox: A box full of toys to set your kids' imagination soaring

Arunprasad Durairaj, Co- Founder and CEO, Flintobox

Today’s generation has no time to play. They are burden under the bulky textbooks from the beginning of their school life, leaving...

Edutor is more of a tech company than a content company: Co-founder Ramesh Karra

Ramesh Karra, Co-founder, Edutor Technologies

Edutor Technologies, a next gen EdTech solution, has introduced an Android-based solution on a platform called IGNITOR, which offers...

How Hippocampus is making pre-school education affordable for rural India

Umesh Malhotra, founder CEO, Hippocampus Learning Centres

During the 9 years’ stint at Infosys in US, Umesh Malhotra lived in the Bay Area of California with his wife and five year old son....

Hindustan Wellness: A comprehensive solution for all health and wellness needs

Siddharth Sangwan, Founder, Hindustan Wellness

The concept of a 360-degree preventive healthcare model as a viable business idea had been playing in Siddharth Sangwan’s mind for...

Looking for budget travel? YatraGenie serves as a one-stop-shop for travellers

Renil Komitla, founder, YatraGenie

Armed with an inherent knack for keen observation and market intelligence, Renil Komitla ventured into e-commerce via the launch of...

Govt policies for start-ups are stimulant for better growth: Yogesh Agarwal, Applane Solutions

Yogesh Agarwal, CEO, Applane Solutions

Applane Education is a Cloud ERP that helps educational institutions to automate their processes and thus, enables them to focus on...

How Smartican is changing the landscape of social media

Aastha Almast, Co-founder & CMO, Smartican (2nd from Left)

Founded in January 2013, Smartican is a youth oriented Digital Social Media, Game Development and Entertainment Company. Initially...

Looking for original luxury sedan parts? SparesHub.com ends your search

Tapas Gupta, Co-founder, SparesHub.com

The automobile spare parts replacement market in India is very large, complex and unorganised. The current size of the components...

It's a space age! Startup Dhruva set to privatise India's satellite industry

Sanjay Nekkanti, CEO, Dhruva Space

‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.’ – The popular phrase hold true for 25 year old...

QuizWorks' brand PlayDay using gamification to accelerate enterprise growth

Raj Dam, Founder, PlayDay

Do you think playing games at workplace is unproductive? Think again. Nowadays, more businesses are using gamification tools to train...

Agripreneurs in India need long term visibility of fund: Ashutosh K. Sinha, Villfarm

Ashutosh K. Sinha, Co-founder & Director, Villfarm

Agripreneurs in India have the limited ability to invest and scale up their business. Therefore, they need longer term visibility of fund...

Gigstart: Here is your online party organiser

Atit Jain, Co-founder, Gigstart

Gigstart is a marketplace which facilitates quick and transparent connect between entertainers and party planners. It is first of its...

Ecolibrium Energy thrives on more than 100% YoY growth

Chintan Soni, CEO, Ecolibrium Energy

India has perennially been a power starved country with still 400 million of citizens not having access to power. Constant black-outs and...

Why Shrenik Gandhi quit Future Group to start his own venture

Shrenik Gandhi, CEO, White Rivers Digital

White Rivers Digital is India’s one of leading ROI driven digital agency that provides holistic communication strategies to take...

Kapil Agarwal's bootstrapped start-up UrbanHomez looks to clock Rs 5 cr next year

Kapil Agarwal, Founder & CEO, UrbanHomez.com

UrbanHomez is one of India’s largest online portals for Home Renovation, Design and Décor. It makes hassle free connection...

How Rahul Agarwal plans to build Organic Harvest into a Rs 100 cr venture

Rahul Agarwal, CEO, Organic Harvest

The 31-year-old Rahul Agarwal was an integral part of the highflying world of finance until an entrepreneurial bug bit him. Who would...

If you can dream it, you can do it

Saurav Modi, Founder, Just Jute Products

Like many other aspiring students, Saurav Modi, soon after his post graduation from Christ College, Bangalore, chose to pursue his career...

From a Village School Boy to a Serial Entrepreneur

Krishna Srinivasan, Founder & Chairman, Quest Explore Discover (QED)

Being a son of a village school headmaster, Krishna Srinivasan completed his education from a government school in Trichy. He has...

Witnessing 50-60% growth YoY: Saraogi

Vinit Saraogi, Managing Director, TBD Tradelink

The will to run and grow their own business has taken Vinit (Left) and his brother Bipin Saraogi (Right) quite far. From supplying sweets...

A Taxi Network for All India

Anshuman Mihir, Founder & CEO, MyTaxiIndia

Having the largest taxi rental network across India and with presence in more than 100 cities and connectivity with 48...

Toying With Growth

Sharad Venkta, MD & CEO, Toonz Retail India

Sharad Venkta, MD & CEO, Toonz Retail India, shares the growth path, success through franchising model and more in a chat with...

Innovate and Execute to Survive

Rajendra Rao, Founder, U-Wah Solutions & Co-Founder Madea Creative House

In a tete-a-tete with SMEntrepreneur, Rajendra Rao, Founder, U-Wah Solutions and Co-Founder Madea Creative House, shares his story about...

"Current State of This Market is Extremely Promising"

Sanjeev Mahajan, CEO, Enhance Clinics

Tell us about Enhance. What types of services are provided by your clinic?  Enhance is India’s fastest growing chain of...

Including the Financially Excluded

Ashish Ahuja, Vice President, FINO PayTech Ltd

In an interview with SMEntrepreneur, Ashish Ahuja, Vice President, FINO PayTech Ltd, talks about branchless banking services reaching out...

Cashing in on Car-Sharing

Greg Moran, Co-Founder, Zoomcar.in

How this concept of car-sharing rental service came to your mind? We both were big believers in the car-sharing business model that...

Adding Value to Walls

Mihir Mody, Founder and CEO, Adwallz

Wall posts now have a new address. From the over used online space, the brick and mortar counterpart is now an interesting canvas for...

Changing Indian Trading

Rohit Gadia

Rohit Gadia, CEO and Managing Director, CapitalVia Global Research Limited, turned his passion for stock market into his profession. He...

Teaching for understanding

Divesh Bhatija

Imagine being taught by someone who does not have an opinion about how dumb or smart you are. Imagine understanding everything you learn...

Passion is the key to success

Kanwar Singh

What led to the inception of Synergy Motors? Synergy Motors is about providing premium car rental services for customers who want to...

An eye for research

Vishal Oberoi, CEO, Market Xcel

In a chat with us, Vishal Oberoi, CEO, Market Xcel, gives the lowdown on his company that is enagegd in Research so as to give best...

Entrepreneurial touch

Chetan Indap, CEO, Joule Consulting PVt Ltd

Guy Kawasaki, in his book, ‘Rules for Revolutionaries’, had stated that “People who are crazy enough to think that they...

Restaurant for classy marriages

Zuzer Lucknowala, MD, The Wedding Cafe & Lounge

Smitten by the idea of wedding theme based restaurants in the west while globe- trotting, Zuzer Lucknowala decided to introduce his...

Propelling SME Growth

Pooja Kumar, Founder, SME JoinUp

With a strong urge to build something of value for the SME sector, Pooja Kumar created SME JoinUp. We catch up with her to know about her...

Zooming success

Manoj Gursahani , MD< Manoj Gursahani Vamoose.in

The Vamoose.in website is based on an e-commerce platform developed by renowned European technology company 'EL Media Global'. It...

Business of Loyalty and Gift Cards

Nikhi Dhoka, Director, Unit Solutions

If you want a Loyalty Programme and Card System but do not know where to get the technology, Unit Solutions will show you the direction....

Gems of Jewellery Industry

Praveen Goel, CEO, Shree Raj Mahal Jewellers

Praveen Goel, who excelled in gold import and manufacture of loose diamonds, set up his first retail outlet in Karol bagh which in less...

The Forgotten Heros: Vimanika Edutainment Pvt. Ltd.

Karan Vir Arora, Vimanika Comics

Comics are everyone’s favourite but not many think of publishing them. Vimanika Edutainment Pvt Ltd brings out comics about the...

Connecting Farmers to Consumers

Rajiv Kumar Chugh, Founder, 4 Fresh Retail

4 Fresh brings best quality produce directly from the cultivators to the consumers. The company has tied up with around 5000 farmers all...

Transforming Data to Intelligence

Rajesh Varrier, Founder, Activecubes

Activecubes provides analytics services with associated technology solutions, empowering clients to make the best...

Creating Niche Knowledge Solutions

Sumeet Anand, Founder, Kreeo

While Google and Bing rule the world of ‘search’, Kreeo has a further more specialized offering for information...

Stay fit, the Life Mojo way

Namit Nangia, Founder, Life Mojo.

Namit Nangia who was able to reduce his weight successfully thought of sharing the idea with other people, officially. Hence, he came out...

De-Congestion Drive

Abhishek Rajan, Co- Founder, Easy2Commute.com

In their endeavor to de-congest Delhi roads and provide safe carpooling to Delhiites, Abhishek and Ambrish Co-founded Easy2Commute.com a...

Advertising through all possible avenues

Maninder Singh Sethi, Founder, Excelsior Public Relations

Maninder Singh Sethi, the Founder of Excelsior Public Relations always wanted to leverage various mediums to market and advertise a...

Minding others businesses

Hemang Arun Pandeet, MD & CEO of SiddhiVinayak Astrology Services Pvt. Ltd

Astrology as a concept has existed since time immemorial, but professionalism was never a part of it until Hemant Arun Pandeet arrived at...

The Hub of Masterminds

Mr. Sitashwa Srivastava, Co-founder, CreADivity

Jade Magnet (earlier known as CreADivity) is a crowd sourcing platform for creative services. First-of-its-kind in India, it is an...

Free Copies

Harsh Narang, Founder, PhokatCopy

What is the biggest woe of students? A small amount of pocket-money that gets exhausted getting photocopies! Solution? Harsh Narang,...

By Women, For Women

Revathi Roy, Founder, For-She Travels & Logistics

She started her company when she was in greatest pain, suffering from the bereavement of her husband. She was hardly left with any...

Helping relocate

Abhilash BP, CEO MM Group

Abhilash BP, CEO of MM Group, found a business idea from one of the most common problems that existed for a long time. The solution that...

Pioneering New Media

Aditya Basu, founder of Xtreme Television

Aditya Basu, founder of Xtreme Television, would not have succeeded in his venture had he not decided to stick to it come what may. Today...

Scrumptious Ice Creams

Vijay Arora, MD, Gelato Vinto

With a dream of serving Indian food buffs with mesmerising flavour of Italian desserts, Vijay Arora, Managing Director, Gelato Vinto in...

In good health

Sachin Malik, Founder, Diva Fitness

Understanding the different fitness requirements of women and providing them the right solutions of dealing with weight loss, Diva...

The childcare people

Bharat Kapoor, Director, Your Kids R Our Kids

You need not worry about your kids when you are away as Your Kids R Our Kids (YKROK) care centre provides your child the desired quality...

Connecting the Young

Samyak Chakrabarty, Managing Director, Electronic Youth Media

Samyak Chakrabarty might look like any other student when sitting in the mass media class of Jaihind College but his accomplishments...