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Dec, 22 2009

Cash in on coaching segment

In FY ’08, the size of the test preparation industry stood at around Rs 7200 crore with a CAGR of around 22 per cent on a YOY. Targeting a major chunk of this growing market are Barinmsiths, who were recently authorised as coach students of minority commu

In FY ’08, the size of the test preparation industry stood at around Rs 7200 crore with a CAGR of around 22 per cent on a YOY. Targeting a major chunk of this growing market are Barinmsiths, who were recently authorised as coach students of minority communities under ‘Free coaching and Allied Scheme’ of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India.

Jean Thomas John, Director, Brainsmiths Education Pvt. Ltd, shares the expansion plans of this emerging educational venture.

Take us through the genesis of Brainsmiths. Who are your partners in this venture?

We started Brainsmiths in 2001 and now stand as a name recognised in the domain of entrance examinations, namely IITJEE, AIIMS, AIEEE, AIPMT and state-level engineering and medical entrances.

For me and my childhood friend Anwar Sheikh, teaching has always been a passion. We found a great lacuna in the educational training scenario and thought of putting all our varied experiences in order to give birth to Brainsmiths. It is a place where students get the best of training in a tension-free and conducive environment with best of the academic content and innovative educational tools. Along this journey, we were joined by Abhay Gupta, who provided the much-needed business acumen and impetus to this organisation. At present, we have four centres, three in Indore (M.P) and one in Aurangabad (Maharashtra).

With huge competition in the test preparation space, how would you differentiate yourself?

We are proud to state that we are the only coaching service, which has amalgamated systematically, curriculum for both central and state-level exams, thereby facilitating quality content and easy comprehension by students. Our exclusivities include educational tools like flash cards, memory charts, self-analyser software, online testing platforms, etc. We get around 3,000 students every year in our different courses. Our success rate in various exams have been: IIT-JEE: 23%, AIEEE: 62%, State PET: 100%, AIIMS: 2%, AIPMT: 16%, and State PMTs: 20%.

Why do you plan to foray into franchising? How would you maintain standardisation of operations at your franchised centres?

This is not an impulsive decision. We are in this business since the last nine years. Two years back, we decided to start our expansion programme and since then, we have been doing the entire groundwork to standardise the content and its delivery. We have computer-based automated systems for inquiry handling, fees collection, student-teacher feedbacks, staff and student attendance, etc. in place. Besides this, we have done extensive research in order to understand the local needs of various states.

Would you provide faculty and staff at your franchised centres or any kind of training to them?

Yes, all faculties would be on our roll and we would train them at our ‘faculty development cell’ and provide them to the various franchisees as per requirement. As far as non-teaching staff is concerned, complete guidelines would be provided to the franchisees in appointing them and also their training.

What is your expansion plan region-wise?

We plan to open around 10 owned centres in western and central states, plus 80 – 100 franchise across the country in next three years.

What are your requirements from the franchisees in terms of investment, area and experience?

The area requirement is between 1,600 sq ft to 2,500 sq ft. The initial investment would be close to Rs 15 lakh. We would like to partner with a person, who display a passion for excellence and is a people’s person.

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