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Oct, 03 2011

EXPLORING NEW AVENUES FOR SUCCESS

Have you ever felt those jitters before entering into a new business endeavour? Umpteen things must have crossed your mind- like the business should prove profitable; the concept should be out-of-the-box that can attract customers etc. The highly organise

Have you ever felt those jitters before entering into a new business endeavour? Umpteen things must have crossed your mind- like the business should prove profitable; the concept should be out-of-the-box that can attract customers etc. The highly organised education and training sector has lucrative opportunities for entrepreneurs to tread on growth trajectory.

INDIA boasts of having largest student population in the world (more than 230 million students are enrolled in schooling and higher education) and government also has aggressive expansion plans in this sector. Old-age education concepts have taken a back seat and now it's the age of avant-garde education forms. Considering the huge profit margins in education sector, private players, government funding and foreign players are all acting as catalysts in pumping new ideas. We bring before you some of the novel education models that hold a key to promising future.

Earn while you learn

Earlier, people showed interest in learning foreign languages merely to make a style statement. But today, many professionals are eager to learn a foreign language, as it gives an edge to their resume and opens the world of numerous job opportunities for them. For instance, Academy of Applied Languages (AAL), GenNxt, is trying to make various vocational courses accessible in India. The idea was conceived by various industry professionals and professors of Jawaharlal Nehru University three years ago.

Pankaj Aggarwal, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AAL (GenNxt), affirms: “AAL (GenNxt) is the first and perhaps the only multi-lingual concept school which is following the international structure. We have also given corporate training to companies like IBM, Siemens, and BMW. ”

AAL (GenNxt) has eight franchise outlets in metros like Delhi, Bengaluru and others and for the next five years 110 more centres are in the pipeline. The academy also plans to enable teaching on Internet so that they can mark their presence in small towns too. Catering to all age groups from schoolchildren to working professionals, the academy offers an array of foreign languages like French, Mandarin, Spanish etc. AAL (GenNxt) is distinctive than other language schools, as it teaches Hindi to foreigners, considering the fact that there are many foreign students in India. According to Aggarwal: “For AAL (GenNxT) franchise, 750-1,000 Sq.ft with a total investment of Rs 7-8 lakh is required. We want individuals who are interested in education business and are dedicated in whatever they do. Besides, we provide full training in customer care and support in setting up the business, construction and branding.”

When asked about his preference for franchisees, Aggarwal was quick to mention that he preferred women entrepreneurs, as they are good managers and committed to their work.

Learning maths can be fun

Many students are terrified of mathematics, but this subject has bright returns for a tutor. Aloha India, the Indian subsidiary of Aloha International, Malaysia, is a global leader in advanced abacus and mental arithmetic programmes, especially designed for children between 4 and 16 years. It was established in 2002 in India and currently operates through 1,353 outlets across 26 states.

Aloha India has come up with varied programmes like Mental Arithmetic, English Smart, Smart Power Plus, Superb Kids, Speed Maths etc. For the benefit of franchisees, the company offers a detailed and systematic mechanism through the unique concept of Franchise Management System (FMS). They provide training and support to a franchisee in various aspects like technical operations, customer service, sales and marketing etc.

K Kumaran, Chairman and Managing Director, Aloha India, says: “Franchising is the best mode for expansion and proves to be a win-win situation for both the franchisor and a franchisee.” Aloha India prefers franchisees who are graduate in any discipline and know the art of managing people and book-keeping. The minimum area required is 300 Sq.ft with an investment between Rs 50,000 and 10 lakh. According to Kumaran: “Our USP is that we constantly upgrade our infrastructure and products as per international standards. We also thrive to provide 24/7 help to our franchisees.” The brand further plans to expand its territory by opening 1,300 outlets via franchising in the next few years and wishes to make its mark in rural areas too.

Drama outside, teaching inside

Watching a drama is always fun for school students and brings them a respite from the monotonous classroom teaching. Teaching, combined with dramatics, can be a good break from regular teaching and also showers a lot of fun. Helen O' Grady International assists students in learning through dramatics that enhances the creativity of students and helps them express freely. The company was started in 1979 in Perth, Australia, by Helen O' Grady, renowned theatre, TV and film artist. The quintessence of the entire programme is to provide a platform for young minds to create, ideate and express themselves, which is perhaps missing in other test-oriented education system.

Helen O' Grady, India, CEO, Arpita Mittal, asserts: “Our International model is based on franchise business model and is quite a successful model worldwide. In India, too, we found that franchising was casting its spell and our model fits well in this growing market. India, with its diverse cultural and geographical characteristics requires a thorough knowledge of regional information and requirements, especially in the education field. This makes franchising the most favoured route of expansion here.”

A studio franchise of Helen O' Grady with the right to operate classes from the same premises can be obtained for less than rupees one lakh. A working capital of another rupees one lakh in the first year will help the business grow strong. A zone in a city can be obtained for Rs 3-6 lakh and a capital of Rs 2 lakh will be sufficient. For a master franchisee of a large territory- for instance for a tier-I city or a state, the investment will range between Rs 12 and 25 lakh. The brand also offers training and support in terms of providing the entire material like curriculum, free training in first year, promotion, new verticals etc.

The brand has its existence in about 25 cities with 30 franchise units and 20 are company-owned centres. The brand wishes to reach out to rural children, sub-urban and urban cities and targets 15 more franchisees by 2011 end.

Vocational concept

In this fast moving world where everyone wants fast results, there comes a shift from academic to vocational educational courses. Vocational courses are short-term courses of three months, six months or one year. They offer students a gateway to employment with quick returns by providing them knowledge in specialised areas like yoga, arts and crafts, cooking, beauty courses etc. Courses below are the new-age vocational education concepts that are in vogue.

Splendid travel & tourism industry

Over 200 million persons work in travel and tourism industry worldwide. As per World Travel and Tourism Council, travel and tourism contributed over six per cent of total employment in India in 2009. This ever expanding tourism industry offers huge career options, along with necessary knowledge and skills to transform one into a thorough travel professional. While having understood the benefits of investing in this industry, Kuoni Academy, leading travel and tourism education institute, started its small training centre in 2003 in India with an aim to facilitate travel and tourism jobs. The academy offers MBA, postgraduation and various other courses in travel and tourism. Chittaranjan Bhattacharya, Dean of Kuoni Academy, says: “A franchisee of Kuoni Academy enjoys benefits like training to teachers four times a year, free marketing training, advertising support etc.” Kuoni Academy, India, was also felicitated by IATA (International Airport Transport Association) in 2009 for securing the second highest number of students.

SOTC, Sita and VFS Global are its group companies and presently, Kuoni Academy has 24 centres pan-India; four are company-owned and others are franchise-owned.

As travel and tourism industry showcases a lot of potential in terms of job opportunities, Kuoni Academy is looking out for expansion in tier-I and tier-II cities across India. For small cities, they have specially carved out low-cost franchise model, which is Rs 15 lakh onwards.

Health & wealth in yoga

High stress level at work, poor eating habits, obesity etc have made people grow more health conscious. Many people have taken a U-turn from gyming to yoga and the time is ripe to zero in on the opportunity of teaching yoga and transforming it into a full-fledged business. Shri Mangal Yoga & Nature Cure Centre, unit of Akhand Yoga Dham Trust, not only offers a franchisee with their renowned name, but also imparts full-fledged training in yoga. Yoga and nature care help an individual adopt a healthy lifestyle and also helps in curing ailments without the help of a medical professional.

Brahmcharya Dr Pranav Chaitnaya, Founder, Shri Mangal Yoga & Nature Cure Centre, established the trust in 1991 and it got approved by the Government of India in 1998.

According to Chaitanya: “Yoga is practiced in India since the Medieval Period, but the government did nothing to spread its awareness. Our trust wishes to spread its wings in every nook and cranny of India via franchising.” The trust has eight franchise centres in India and also has four international franchise outlets in the US, UK, Japan and Korea. The trust further looks for expansion pan-India.

To make the business more successful, trained manpower is must. The trust provides training to a franchisee in yoga for three months and if an individual knows yoga then he/she has to undergo a one month fresher course. One of the essential requirements is that a franchisee needs to be a yogi. For the franchise of Shri Mangal Yoga, one needs an investment of Rs 25,000 and 2,500 sq.ft area.

Bottom line

There is no denying that education sector tops the priority list of entrepreneurs, as it is low on cost and high on profits. It offers a perfect business model, beneficial to both the franchisor and a franchisee. Besides, these new-age concepts present huge opportunities for students, who can follow their passion along with high returns. So, hurry and bang on the opportunity, as it knocks the door only once and remember you read it first here!

Bouquet of opportunities

AAL (GenNxt) plans 110 centres more in the next five years. For its franchise area of 750-1,000 sq. ft with an investment of Rs 7-8 lakh is required.

Aloha India has 1,300 outlets in the pipeline in next few years. The minimum area required for its franchise is 300 sq.ft with an investment of Rs 50,000 and 10 lakh.

Helen O' Grady desires to reach out to rural children, sub-urban and urban cities with a studio franchise of less than Rs 1 lakh. A working capital of another lakh through the first year would help the business to get established. A zone in a city can be obtained for 3-6 lakh and a capital of 2 lakh would be sufficient.

Kuoni Academy has 24 centres pan-India and wish to expand in tier-I and tier-II cities as well.

The franchise fee of Shri Mangal Yoga & Nature Cure Centre is Rs 25,000 and minimum area of 2,500 sq.ft is required.

Kuoni Academy is looking out for expansion in tier-I and tier-II cities across India. For small cities, they have specially carved out low-cost franchise model.

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