Search Business Opportunities
Business Categories
Apr, 19 2010

Eurokids Multiplies Models

PRE-SCHOOL SPECIALIST EUROKIDS MADE A MARKED CHANGE ON HOW PRE-SCHOOLS FUNCTIONED A DECADE AGO. TODAY, A HOUSEHOLD NAME, EUROKIDS IS CELEBRATING ITS INCREASED SUCCESS WITH ITS K-12 MODEL OF EUROSCHOOL WHICH PROVIDES THE RIGHT OPPORTUNITY TO PARTNER WITH.

PRE-SCHOOL SPECIALIST EUROKIDS MADE A MARKED CHANGE ON HOW PRE-SCHOOLS FUNCTIONED A DECADE AGO. TODAY, A HOUSEHOLD NAME, EUROKIDS IS CELEBRATING ITS INCREASED SUCCESS WITH ITS K-12 MODEL OF EUROSCHOOL WHICH PROVIDES THE RIGHT OPPORTUNITY TO PARTNER WITH.

The journey so far

EUROKIDS International, as an early childhood education school, is a name to reckon with after it made its mark in 2001 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Egmont. However, in 2004, Egmont’s exit from the company led to a management buyout by the top management team comprising of Uday Mathur, Vikas Phadnis, Ganesh Viswanathan and Prajodh Rajan. Buoyed by the success of pre-schooling education in 2008, Educomp Solutions Ltd also bought a 50 per cent stake in EuroKids International Ltd.

From the very start, EuroKids' main business revolved around children's books, as it has operated in the licensed book space. EuroBooks  today is the leader in the licensed book publishing business with licenses from some of the world's best brands. EuroBooks has, recently, launched Agatha Christie, Hardy Boys and the Commando Series. Very soon, it also plans to launch the very popular Archies' books in India. Currently, EuroBooks has 500+ titles in a given year.

Euro success

Over the past years there has been a marked change in the approach of parents towards early childhood education. Parents today, prefer branded pre-schools than the ‘aunty- next-door schools’ because they can take many aspects of branded pre-schools for granted, like the child-friendly infrastructure, child-safe toys and equipment, quality of teachers and the child-appropriate curriculum.

Being in the business for over nine years, EuroKids, today, enjoys undisputed leadership position in both number of pre-schools and the students that it serves. Today, the 600+ EuroKids pre-school network spans across 260 towns and cities and what started off as a metro phenomenon, has now percolated into tier-II and tier-III towns. Even today, the pre-school segment is fairly unorganised, leaving a wide gap for organised players to fill in. As per EuroKids' estimates, the pre-school segment is in the range of Rs 7,000-8,000 crore, and is expected to grow at the rate of above 15 per cent on a year-on-year basis.

Apart from the low entry barriers there is a marked change in the understanding of parents towards early childcare education. Prajodh Rajan, VP, EuroKids International Ltd opines, “I think that the driving force for this segment is the growing awareness amongst our parental target group.” Gone are the days when parents believed that the pre-schools were merely a place for children to spend a few hours playing. Now it is widely accepted that a good quality early child care education can make a great difference in determining success or failure in primary and secondary school.

Talking about the next phase of growth for EuroKids pre-school, Rajan says, “The next growth drivers are from tier- II and tier- III cities in the country. Our medium term aim is to reach 1,000 pre-schools across the country.” The success rate of EuroKids has also paved the way for its international foray. EuroKids is already present in Nepal and Bangladesh since the past four years. Very recently, it has forayed into Sri Lanka and Singapore. “Our aspiration is to expand our network to the Middle East and South East Asian countries. We have already formed an international SBU (Strategic Business Unit), and are now seriously pursuing our international ambitions,” informs Rajan. The company is also considering the present prospects from Africa, Indonesia, and the Middle East.

Progress card

Today, EuroKids has a varied profile of franchisees, but more than 80 per cent of its franchisees are women entrepreneurs. The EuroKids franchisee profile comprises home makers, professionals like teachers, doctors, chartered accountants etc. Many of its franchisees are also first time entrepreneurs who need a lot of hand holding in the initial years. EuroKids adopts an owner-operator model and wants each franchisee to be hands on with the operations of their given centre.

Today, there are many EuroKids franchisees who have moved on from being single unit franchisees to multiple unit franchisees. Detailing this Ganesh Vishwanathan, Director, Finance, EuroKids International Ltd. says, “We have many franchisees today who have opted for more than one EuroKids centre and are very successfully managing multiple centres. We have two franchisees who have taken up seven centres in one given region.” Another inspirational example is of the Tamil Nadu Master Franchisee of EuroKids, who has expanded her operations into Sri Lanka.

A EuroKids franchisee can aim to get a RoCE (Return on capital employed) of 25-30 per cent, and can attain cash surplus situation in 12-18 months time frame.

Planting new seeds

EuroKids extends its franchise offering to existing pre-schools as well. In the past three years the company has observed a marked increase in the number of franchise enquiries from existing pre-school owners for taking up the EuroKids franchise. The pre-school has to undergo renovation as per the ambience guidelines of EuroKids, procure the additional equipment required and send its teachers for training to adopt the pre-school methodology.

On the other hand, EuroKids Saplings is a franchise offering for institutions. A mainstream school can take up the EuroKids-Saplings franchise. This product has been launched since the past eight months and has met with extremely encouraging feedback from schools. The company is presently targeting the EuroKids Saplings model for the tier III cities.

Seeing the demand for quality teachers in the education space, EuroKids International came up with EuroKids Teachers Training Institute (ETTI), another major brand from the bouquet of offerings of EuroKids International. The company, presently, has three such institutes operational in the country. ETTI will offer one-year diploma programme in early child care education and will also offer short term skill up-gradation programmes for existing pre-primary teachers, and would also hold weekend parenting workshops. According to Rajan, “We now plan to have a large-scale franchise offering in the training product. ETTI will be launched commercially in the next two months and existing EuroKids franchisees, coaching institutes, regular vocational colleges etc can opt for the ETTI franchise.”

EuroKids firmly believes that the early childcare education area is also very dynamic and it must keep pace with the changing requirements of its young consumers. With this initiative, EuroKids has also formed the EuroKids Education and Research Foundation which aims at fostering cutting edge research and practices in early child care education. The foundation liaisons with various international institutions of repute to further its cause.

Supporting partners

EuroKids has an ongoing process of collection of market intelligence, which focuses more on the demographic profile, infrastructure growth, competitive scenario, awareness amongst target group about early childhood education. EuroKids follows a model-based franchise approach (Super A, A, B, C, D) based on factors of infrastructure available, paying capacity and competition. Once a franchisee identifies a place, EuroKids team  gets involved in mapping the location with its various parameters and then suggests the model that the school should adopt.

Training is an integral function within EuroKids, and all franchisees, new and old in the system are recipients of these trainings. EuroKids undertakes a minimum of nine training days in an academic year. The company conducts a three-day franchise orientation programme in Mumbai for all its new franchise recruits to warm them up for the challenges ahead and also suggests various means and measures to address the same.

Being in franchising for the past nine years, EuroKids has put together a detailed and systematic mechanism of franchise management. In any given region, franchisees are supported by a team comprising business managers and academic coordinators. Business Managers are responsible for furthering the business interest of the franchisees and the academic coordinator is responsible for delivering curriculum, training and quality. In addition to these team members, there is a business support member who assists the franchisee in the accounting/commercial aspects. All the three executives report to the Regional Manager of the region, who in turn reports to the National Business Head, EuroKids business.

A EuroKids franchisee receives a three tier marketing support. The first level is local wherein the franchisor assists the franchisee in local-level marketing by providing inputs like leaflets, banners, cable TV advertisements etc. The franchisee is expected to implement the local marketing with the tools provided by EuroKids. The second level is regional wherein the franchisor releases regional level advertisements in print, radio, TV for the common benefit of franchisees in a given region. The third level is national wherein EuroKids undertakes various brand building initiatives like advertisements in national TV, PR etc to popularize the brand amongst its target group.

The onus of recruitment is on the franchisee but EuroKids assists the franchisee in finalising the candidates. EuroKids academic coordinator also gets involved in the process of recruitment of teaching staff.

Schooling success

EuroKids has been successful in implementing new ventures throughout its journey. Another major leap was taken with the launch of EuroSchools in 2005. Today, EuroSchools has made a successful foray in K-12 education.

EuroSchool mainly adopts an operator model wherein it partners with infrastructure providers who have available land and can put together the necessary infrastructure for the school. EuroSchool then operates the school and takes care of the recurring expenditure and shares revenue with the infrastructure partner. EuroSchool equips the school with the furniture, fixtures and all requisite equipments, viz., computers, books for library, laboratories. EuroSchool also manages the school and pays for all the recurring expenditure like wages and salaries, electricity, transport etc.

In the primary and secondary school segment, there are regulations and one would need to operate within the given framework of government regulations, yet there is an increasing preference among parents and students for private schools offering international curriculum and facilities. EuroKids K-12 initiative in the form of EuroSchool aspires to provide contemporary form of education with its unique philosophy of 'balanced schooling'- balance between academics and curricular activities; balance between theoretical and practical learning, and balance between traditional and new generation teaching methods. And more importantly, balance between growing up as responsible global citizens and retaining the rich Indian ethos.

“EuroSchools offer the best in-class infrastructure, a truly practical approach to learning through its exceptional LRPA system combined with well-trained staff,” elucidates Andy Gray, Head Governing Council, EuroSchool. All EuroSchools are affiliated to either the CBSE or the ICSE boards, and in future would also offer an international board.

The company also has franchise in this segment but the operator (JV model) is more preferred. Out of the present 14 EuroSchools, four have been opened in partnership and the remaining 10 through franchise route. Sharing expansion plans of EuroSchools, Vikas Phadnis, Director and Member of Governing Council, EuroKids International says, “Our medium term aim is to opertionalize 30 schools in the next three years. Most of our schools are day schools, but very shortly we will launch our residential school in Sri City (outskirts of Chennai), in June 2011 session.”

For further information please visit : www.eurokidsindia.com

For EuroKids franchise enquiries: E-mail to franchise@eurokidsindia.com

For EuroSchool JV enquiries: E-mail to schooljv@eurokidsindia.com

Franchise Facts

EuroKids franchise

  • Area: 1,500-3,000 sq.ft in residential area, (preferably independent houses with outdoor  area).
  • Initial capital: Rs 5 to 10 lakh
  • Franchise fee: Rs 1.5 to 3 lakh (depending on the model)
  • Royalty: 20% on gross receipts

EuroSchool JV

  • Area: minimum 2 acres.
  • Built-up area: 90,000 to 1.2 lakh sq.ft (to be built in 2-3 stages)
Comment
Insta-Subscribe to
The Franchising World
Magazine
For hassle free instant subscription, just give your number and email id and our customer care agent will get in touch with you
OR Click here to Subscribe Online
Daily Updates
Submit your email address to receive the latest updates on news & host of opportunities
Trending
More Stories

Free Advice - Ask Our Experts