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Dec, 07 2010

Brainchild of intellectual minds

Market research proved the need for a scientific and structured pre-school education model, one that would ensure development in early childhood. Since it was a growing need in the Indian market, the promoters of Brainworks, Better Value Brands, promoters

What led to the inception of Brainworks?

Market research proved the need for a scientific and structured pre-school education model, one that would ensure development in early childhood. Since it was a growing need in the Indian market, the promoters of Brainworks, Better Value Brands, promoters of Talwalkar, Popular Prakashan, leading publishers and Kangaroo Kids Education Limited together launched Brainworks Learning Systems.

What inspired you to expand your business through franchising?

Brainworks initially launched 13 schools, which were owned and operated by the company. Within a year of launch, there were several inquiries for franchising. Brainworks decided to explore franchising as an opportunity to use the entrepreneurial ability of women to power the expansion programme after the initial franchising proved successful.

How many outlets do you presently have and how many are you planning to open in this financial year?

Brainworks has over 40 outlets in 10 cities. We are conservative in roll out of new outlets to ensure that quality is maintained. We have several centres that are in the process of signing and opening, however, to ensure that we deliver on the quality, we believe we would be close to 70 centres in this financial year.

What are your franchise requisites?

There are three key parameters for potential franchisees, the first is adequate space of around 1,500 sq.ft and an outdoor play area. The second is the ability to invest around Rs 5 to Rs 9 lakh, depending on the work required to be done at the centre. However, the third is the most important, the passion for education and making every child count vs counting the number of admissions.

As you are into a niche business concept, how would you maintain standardisation of operations at your franchise outlets?

We would like to expand the programme to benefit more children and have, therefore, built a module of franchising that has standard practices and processes to maintain quality. This is done through enforcement of various quality parameters across curriculum, safety, security and evaluation of student progress, teacher training, centre management and marketing.

What kind of training and support do you offer to your franchisees?

With the tremendous expertise available to the company, there are several training programmes available to the franchisees. There is training provided in HR, admin, marketing, parent counselling and understanding children at the start of the centre. Subsequently, there is a bi-monthly training programme for teachers and centre managers. In addition, there are three annual training programmes for skill development. The daily teaching methodology has an inbuilt training module for effective classroom delivery.

Why do you prefer women franchisees? How many of your franchise outlets are run by women?

As many as 95 per cent are owned and operated by women and 99 per cent are only operated by women. Women prefer to operate this business and parents prefer women running the centre, as women are naturally gifted in delivering early child development. I believe that if the child, parent and women benefits from this, it's the logical thing to do.

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