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May, 01 2007

Empowering Individuals With Language Skills

VETA was founded in 1981 by V. Rajagopalan and V. Ganesh Ram. Since its inception in January 1981, Vivekananda Institute at Chennai (now VETA) undertook the mission to empower all with English communication skills. Today, the institute boasts of 100 centr

Last decade has seen a huge growth in terms of employment creation for the youth, especially with many MNCs setting up their facilities in India. Be it for encouraging tourism in Srinagar or for working in a BPO in Bangalore, communication skills, today, is the foremost important aspect with spoken English as the most significant one. Enabling to speak English fluently is, by no means, an easy task. But, this has been successfully accomplished during the last 26 years at VETA, which is Asia's premier academy for spoken English training.

The English industry has seen tremendous growth potential in various sectors like IT, retail and insurance. With the market opening up due to globalisation, job opportunities are in abundance with a demand for good English communicators. India is emerging as a bigger market and there is tremendous potential for job opportunities also. When it comes to speaking English, often, academically sound students find that they are lacking in it. This fact increases further the scope for English training academies. More than 20 lakh people need to be trained every year in English communication. In most of the centres inaugurated by VETA recently, more than 100 admissions were done before completing the first month.

VETA was founded in 1981 by V. Rajagopalan and V. Ganesh Ram. Since its inception in January 1981, Vivekananda Institute at Chennai (now VETA) undertook the mission to empower all with English communication skills. Today, the institute boasts of 100 centres across India.

VETA's unique study curriculum, its USP

Success of VETA's business is the result of its unique training-methodology. Rather than teaching English as a language or a subject, the academy looks at English as a skill. VETA has successfully trained over 1.9 million students. VETA offers courses through two methods viz. 'direct class coaching' and 'distance education course' and caters to various levels of learners. The course material has original content developed by VETA. Each course has a content customised to the needs of students and their level. The most popular courses are Foundation English and Fluent English whereas professional and academic courses are 'Veta Pro' for presentation skills and personality development, 'Veta sureshot' for successful interviews. 'Veta Accent' for personnel joining BPOs. IELTS & TOEFL for students seeking admissions abroad and finally 'Veta English Holiday' for school students conducted during the school vacations.

Franchising - An experiment which proved its mettle

Owing to the demand of the company's distance education learners to open centres at every district head quarter in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, the franchise operation began in January 1996. Though started on an experimental measure in six towns in 1996, the success of the franchise operation led VETA to expand all over the nation through franchising. Presently VETA has 100 centres out of which only 12 are company-owned while the rest 88 are franchised.

Requirements from franchisees

VETA tries to encourage business in all levels of society owing to which it also encourages freshers. The potential franchisee must be committed and possess good administrative skills. He should be involved in the business 100 per cent. It is not only money that is required to become a franchisee of VETA, it is a question of involvement because franchisee has to deliver good quality education to the students, which ensures a good word-of-mouth for the company.

The initial investment to set up a VETA franchise ranges between Rs 8 to 15 lakh depending on the location. Potential VETA franchisees should also have access to an area of between 1,200 and 1,800 sq.ft that should be located in the commercial centre of the town or city where the franchisee will be operating with easy access. The centre should include a well-furnished front office and three fully equipped classrooms, of 300 sq.ft each.

Training and support

VETA tries to create 'longevity' of its franchisee: it still has those franchisees who signed the agreement way back in 1996. This has been possible because of continuous training and support offered to all the franchisees.

All the franchisees, before starting of the business, are asked to come to VETA head quarter in Chennai and are made to undergo four days of intensive training in all the aspects of business operations. Entire senior management team interacts with them and gives inputs for better management of the centres.

Prior to the opening of the centre, company executives certify the suitability of the location for starting the VETA centre. They also help in the interior work by providing the required design guidance.

Besides four days of orientation at the corporate office, it is followed by hands-on experience at the franchisee's outlet and a two-weeks training for staff until the business stabilises.

The franchisee will only be expected to make the initial investment. The faculty for the centre is also trained by VETA. Original and innovative course material, developed by VETA is provided to the franchisees.

Right from centre signage, local publicity and corporate publicity adequate for generating plausible admissions and regular periodical training for staff to the supply of updated course material are offered to the franchisee. Guidance and selection of outlet locations, internal branding of the centre and training of staff are additional services offered.

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