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Dec, 10 2012

LEARNING TO EARN BIG MONEY

Sashwati Banerjee, Managing Director, Sesame Workshop Initiatives India PLC in conversation with PallaviMajha on Sesame Schoolhouse, a venture of Sesame Workshop that has launched early education centres- Sesame Street Preschools to address the need for h

Sashwati Banerjee, Managing Director, Sesame Workshop Initiatives India PLC in conversation with PallaviMajha on Sesame Schoolhouse, a venture of Sesame Workshop that has launched early education centres- Sesame Street Preschools to address the need for high-quality early education to children in India. Sesame Workshop is the global non-profit educational organization that produces the famous children's TV series Sesame Street.

Can you tell us something about Sesame Street preschools and afterschools?

The Sesame Street Preschool centresfor pre-primary learners in the ages 2 to 5, offer a learning experience like no other, that is brought to life by the fun and furry characters of Sesame Street and its Indian adaptation GalliGalliSimSim, India's first educational program just for children. In addition, these centres will also be offering the Sesame Street afterschool programme, an activity based programme, designed to instill a strong understanding of science and math concepts for children of ages 6 to 8.

What inspired the brand to take the franchise route?

The franchise model gives us a chance to look at shifting the paradigms around progressive learning in India, which is highly scalable. We are looking for franchisees who would understand the value of Sesame Street with respect to the pedagogy quality as it will span beyond classrooms into providing a much needed continuum of learningand see the opportunity in employing the Sesame Street brand as a competitive advantage.

What is the USP of Sesame Schoolhouse that makes it different from other pre-schools?

Sesame Schoolhouse bringsin a unique curriculum and methodology that deploys an inquiry based learning, in service teacher training and continuous capacity building and a brand that extends into multiple mediums  TV, print, digital to reinforce concepts in a fun manner  in classrooms and at homes.

How many franchise centres does the brand presently have? How many are expected in the near future?

Our first and initial phase is concentrated towards North India and the Sesame Schoolhouse flagship centre for Sesame Street Preschool™ and Sesame Street afterschool™ has been set up at Vaishali in Jaipur. In addition, we have a franchise partner at Mansarovar in Jaipur and others who have joined us in Alwar, Dehradun, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Meerutand Patna recently.

Over the next few years, we plan to establish Sesame Schoolhouses across key Indian cities.

What are the qualities and qualifications that you seek for in your franchisees? How much investment is required by aspiring franchisees?

We welcome entrepreneurs who understand the value of doing good and doing well,who see the opportunity for social impact and financial growth. Each centre requires an investment capacity of 7-10 lakhs along with a minimum covered area of 2000 sq. feet on the ground floor with about 1000 sq. ft of outdoor area, either in a residential or designated preschool area, away from the main road, to ensure child safety.

Where do you see the brand in five years’ time?

In five years' time, we see the Sesame Schoolhouse as an established enterprise providing high quality early childhood education across India, addressing the growing demand and delivering on the promise of a new approach to learning and development.

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