Paving way for affordable yet quality education in the burgeoning hospitality education sector, IIAS is a name to reckon with. Abhijit De, Chairman, IIAS, in conversation with Tushi Deb shares his vision to propel the brand towards a pan-India expansion.
Please tell us about the inception of IIAS.
IIAS (formerly known as the International Institute of Advanced Studies) was established in 1990 by Abhijit De to create hospitality management institutions in multiple locations in various parts of India.
What inspired IIAS to take up the franchise route for expansion?
While arranging placements for students, we realised there is a wide demand-supply gap in human resource demand of the hotels and tourism industry. So, instead of opening more number of institutions on our own, we decided to collaborate with local hoteliers, investors and entrepreneurs to whom we will lend our brand name, management and placement support.
How many centres do you operate at present and what are your expansion plans?
Presently, we operate four centres in Kolkata, Siliguri, Goa and Dehradun. We plan to open about 36 more centres within a span of five years in selected locations all over India.
Do you have any ideal/preferential locations from where you would like to set up the IIAS hospitality management institutes?
We will prefer tier II cities or tourism destinations having fairly good number of business class or tourist hotels.
What kind of training and assistance will your company provide to the franchisees?
We will provide initial training to franchisees on management and operation of centres. We will also assist them during the project execution stage. Centralised advertisement for brand building will be done by us and we will provide operating manual, do periodic academic quality audit and assist in placement of students by utilising our existing placement network.
What are the eligibility criteria for selecting franchisees?
Franchisees may be hotel or resort owners having spare/expansion capacity for providing additional facility for institute purposes. Entrepreneurs running educational institutions and interested to diversify in hospitality education may also be considered. For these two categories, initial investment will be less, depending upon the existing infrastructures. New entrepreneurs having an investment capacity of approximately Rs 30 lakh, with own/rented building of 5,000 to 6,000 sq.ft are also welcome.