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Jan, 03 2011

Nurturing Children & Entrepreneurship

The concept of preschool education has always been seen as a lucrative segment, more so with the market likely to expand by more than three times by 2012.

The concept of preschool education has always been seen as a lucrative segment, more so with the market likely to expand by more than three times by 2012. Gayatri Nangia, Founder of Kinder Care, tells Amanpreet Kaur about her vision of spreading her passion for children while capturing more space in the play-school segment across the country.

Tell us about Kinder Care. How did the company come into existence?

Kinder Care (KC) began its operations as a small single room playgroup of five children from my neighborhood in my backyard. It was way back in 1987, at 35/78 West Punjabi Bagh, Delhi, that I envisioned a more “Home away from Home” environment for young ones. Playschool is their first venture out and we allow them a gentle yet firm weaning, along these first steps.Kinder Care fast became popular within the neighbourhood. The school has since then been nurtured into an institute of great repute. At KC, we aim to create a stimulating environment to nurture skills and build a strong foundation in the formative years of a child. Our creatively designed curriculum is built around the six skills of development that foster a complete overall growth of a preschooler; these are cognitive, motor, language, physical, social and emotional skills.

We also believe in giving back to society and thus always involve ourselves in some social initiatives in areas from where we operate

Before opening a centre in any city, what kind of market study do you conduct in terms of standard of living and level of education?

We look at the existing intellectual pockets in the area who shall appreciate our methodology and sutle approach. The purchasing power of the residents of the area is also a criteria. We also focus on the local dialect, as we believe that it forms an integral part of a child's absorption capability. We would want to be prepared (in terms of training and curriculum) for the cultural and language aspects of the region.

How often do you update the curriculum of courses and training manuals for staff and franchisees?

At KC, one of our seven core values is continuous improvement. We believe in updating our curriculum in line with the changes in early learning methodologies, experimenting and exploring. Though the basic content of study remains, supplementary worksheets, craftwork and exercise structures are sent to franchisees from time to time. The KC training team has structured modules for teachers' and franchisors. These programmes are a courses run by experts in area of child development, senior teachers, physiologists and school administrators.

What are your requirements from the prospective franchisees in terms of area and capital investment?

As we take a lot of pride in our ability to connect with children, a passion for child development is an important criterion for franchisee selection. Our vision for growth is to find likeminded partners equally committed to children and education as we are. Every franchise partner is a part of the Kinder Care Family and is required to deliver the same high quality and innovative training that the Kinder Care name is synonymous with. We shall always nourish and respect this relationship beyond mere material ends. For opening a Kinder Care franchise, the franchisee would require a minimum area of 2,500 sq.ft with a capital investment of Rs 9 lakh (approx).

For opening a pre-school, what kind of location is considered apt?

Young minds explore and learn from the environment, they need open spaces, sunlight and fresh air. The surrounding area should be hygienic, peaceful and safe for children. There should be ample parking spaces for visitors and parents, parks for children to visit during the day

Which regions are you looking at for growth?

We shall be focussing on Delhi-NCR in the first phase, while working at UP, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan . We are keen to spread pan India in a systematic manner. We are looking at partnering with 10 people or organisations within the coming year. We are looking at targeting the March semester for the first five launches.

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