With stiff competition and peer pressure to excel in studies, supplementary education has become a norm for every student these days. Here, we explore the new trends and opportunities in store for potential investors…
The demand for supplementary courses is on the rise in metros and the trend is picking its pace in small towns too. According to a study on godcap website, India’s supplementary education sector is a USD 40 billion market while test preparation market contributes to USD 7 billion to it.
The supplementary education industry has been one of the fastest growing sectors in the last decade. Earlier, there used to be a very few prominent players in India but, today the market is abuzz with several brands which has been doing good business. Rise of the industry is advent with the fact that these institutions are being run from posh localities with swanky offices and teachers getting far better salaries than their counterparts in private or government run educational institutions.
Other than board exam/college tuitions, medical, engineering, business school competitive examination and written tests for jobs, the scope of institutions, which solely focus on developing minds, enhancing learning experience and improving basic skills of children, has also increased manifold of late.
With rising disposable incomes and more focus on kids, parents are not shying away from opting for such institutions right from starting age of their children. “Today, supplementary education is observed as an organised market, comparing to the conventional belief when coaching or tuitions were needed during Board exams or engineering/ medical preparations and others. Gradually, parents have realised the importance of developing the child skills from the pre-school level, thus there is a strong need of adapting hands-on learning tools, skill development at the pre, middle, higher and vocational levels,” feels Sudhanshu Sharma, CEO, Techtronics Education Ltd.
Commenting on the supplementary education in the country and on his venture, Dr Karan Deshmukh, Executive Vice President, Business Development, Brain Checker Techno Services, a brand in career counseling and allied education, says, “Brain Checker is our first step into the education sector. As entrepreneurs we always believed that India's biggest strength is its manpower. However, sadly the most neglected area in our country is the ability to channelise resources aptly. There is no mechanism in place which can evaluate the potential of an individual and guide him accordingly. In 2007, we decided to make a dent into this mindset, while researching our way through host of such concepts, we decided to work on DMIT and make it widely available for an average Indian student to help understand his or her potential. It's been seven years since we started this journey and the satisfaction we have got shaping careers has been tremendous.”
Brain Checker has also come up with its new brand- Mid Brain Plus, which focuses on increasing performance of children. The brand believes Mid Brain Activation is the process of activating mid-brain area which is generally dormant after the age of six.
Supplementary education via franchising
To reach every child to improve their skills and expand own business ventures in the country, supplementary education brands are spreading their wings via franchise route.
On the need of franchising in this venture, Dr Karan Deshmukh says, “Education and counseling sector is a highly localised activity. Parents ideally prefer it to be located within their city and preferably near to their locality. This creates a challenge for professionals like Brain Checker who are well equipped to provide professional services to the students.”
Agreeing to this, Sharma adds, “According to the latest statistics, there are about 220 million students who are part of the K-12 education in India. About 90 million of them are enrolled in 75,000 private schools, while the rest are enrolled in government schools. There is a great deal of inconsistency in the quality of education that is primarily focused on the academic not the overall development of the child. Franchise in India is predominantly present in the conventional education sector. Considering today's scenario, both competency and academic are equally needed at school level. There is a great demand of developing innovative and problem-solving approach amongst the students at their early age, which can be effectively built by our 'Hands-on learning' techniques using Robotics platform. I believe, this is one of the major factors in driving franchise business in academic as well as non-conventional areas.”
“We have a big list of franchise partners who are successful with a complete focus on the franchise business. Largely, we expect to have franchise partners who are serious about their entrepreneurial experience/ journey. The person should have a strong passion for education business with an aim to be in the business for many years. In a nutshell, we will be happy to have people who are looking forward to an entrepreneurial journey. He/she should have the investment capability for setting up and also for sustenance, by re-investing in the business month after month,” says Official Spokesperson of CADD Centre.
Despite, huge opportunities and a high growth rate in the industry, there remains several challenges for the sector. And they are commonly faced by different brands that are in different categories.
“Supplementary education has a dearth of meaningful programs that make a meaningful and long lasting business, hence, limiting the interest of franchisors to invest. At the same time, there are underlying challenges such as inappropriate logistics, poor course content, high rental property, lack of franchisor's marketing initiative and untrained teachers.
However, to address these challenges, we have developed a special curriculum based on LEGO Education, for children adhere to the school and are based on LEGO Education Products, in which students develop scientific skills allowing them to investigate, plan, test and implement their ideas, enabling them to reach their full potential.
We have structured 'Train the trainers' program for professional development of faculty to bring best-of-the techniques for children. In addition, we have centralised dedicated professionals in logistics and marketing who address the need of any new or existing franchise,” shares Sharma.