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South Africa's former President Late Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” And that's the reason why investing in education business is considered as a lucrative proposition for franchisee
To bring forth the most affordable opportunity in store for franchisees, husband-wife duo SK Rathor and Kavita Rathor are focussed towards expanding their business pan-India.
Education is the hottest and the most happening business segment for making safe investments. For franchisees, education business turns out to be the best bet for getting high return-on-investment (RoI). Believing in the same philosophy of doing good for the nation, husband-wife duo S. K. Rathor and Kavita Rathor laid down foundation of their school business way back in 1999 and launched their preschool chain SANFORT in 2009. They launched their school brand under the aegis and expert guidance of Dr Anil Kumar, Chairman, Sanfort Group and Former Director at Laser Science and Technology Centre (DRDO) Government of India. With a strong reach across 82 locations, SANFORT is now set to take a leap ahead with the aggressive expansion plans. To have a robust footprint, the plan is to expand the network of preschools and K-12 schools via franchise model. After making a mark in preschool education industry, SANFORT diversified into K-12 market this year to make quality education accessible in every vicinity of the country.
Years of experience in education business
SANFORT believes in encouraging children through fun-filled activities with the help of latest concepts, teaching aids and technology. With a unique mission to help children grow in a harmonious environment resulting in their all round development, they provide a carefully planned and structured curriculum based on the U. K. Concept of Preschool education. Teaching at SANFORT is student-centred, activity-based and incorporates the multiple intelligence concepts while the general curriculum is followed by every student and they are encouraged to develop talents and interests in personal areas of interest. The learning materials are carefully designed by a team of experts headed by Kavita Rathor. Teachers at SANFORT are NTT trained, highly dedicated and motivated and are directly screened and trained by SANFORT's head office. They are equipped with in-service orientation, education and training programme, inter-school exchange programmes and many other skill up-gradation activities.
SANFORT was launched in December, 2009 from Vasundhra, Delhi-NCR and inaugurated its first franchise branch in February, 2010 in Ghaziabad. Today, the company has been able to spread its reach within 82 locations across the country. Talking about doubling their brand's network, S. K. Rathor, Managing Director & Co-founder, SANFORT Group of Schools informs: “We are not expanding our network only in metros and big cities rather we are entering into small towns with the mission to make quality education available for every child across the country.” On the expansion front, the company is targeting to spread its reach to 125 preschools and 5 K-12 schools within FY 2015-16.
Taping the K-12 market
Besides having a strong foothold in preschool education industry, SAR Edutech Ltd diversified its business with the launch of its K-12 Schools. Talking about their entry, S. K. Rathor says: “We realised the need of quality K-12 schools and sensed the scope of business in this segment. So, we entered into K-12 school business in March 2015.” On the other side, Kavita Rathor shares her views about profitable segment for making investments, she says: “Both the segments are having their own in and outs. As the investment required to start a preschool is very low and the operational expenses are also limited so, the break even comes within 12 to 18 months and RoI turns out to be very high. But to start a K-12 school, we need a big investment as the operational expenses are very high so, it takes long time to reach the break-even period as after certain time it starts giving good returns. So, we can say K-12 school is a big business with big returns in long run.”
What really sets it apart from other brands is its innovative curriculum which is accredited to British Association of Early Childhood Education U. K. and SANFORT is also a member of Preschool Learning Alliance U. K. The group gets regular updates on the innovation in early education and trainings from both of these organizations from time to time. It is the only preschool brand in the country with 'True Smart Learning System' with 'Touch N Learn' technology which makes learning more interesting and effective.
Besides this, the company's business model is very transparent and gives life time business opportunity to its franchisees, where unlike other brands they do not need to pay the franchise renewal fees after every certain interval. They have a team of highly qualified professionals who are responsible for extending all kind of support to franchisees which involves close monitoring of functioning of the branches to ensure the success of each branch with high returns.
The company is having a very strong support system, their support starts from the selection of the site, planning for the interior and exteriors of the branch, planning of the pre-launch and post launch marketing activities, recruitment and training of the staff, training of the franchisee, training on SANFORT School Management System (ERP). They provide a fully detailed and structured curriculum, specially designed books, activity sheets and other teaching material and offer all kind of supports required to make the business successful.
Ensuring quaity standards
To ensure that all the branches of the brand maintain a standard and high quality, the company has created strong policies and guidelines. They have a very strong monitoring system to ensure a uniform and quality education in all of their branches through surprise visits by their team and they conduct regular quality assessments and audits to maintain the system and standard of the branches. They also conduct skill up-gradation programmes and providing training to teachers on regular basis. Also the teachers have been provided with various teaching tools like flash cards, smart-kit and monthly planners.
The company is also making use of avant-grade technology for maintaining and managing centre's operations effectively. Believing that technology plays very important role in managing the multi-location business model, Kavita Rathor says: “We have access of CCTV cameras installed in our branches with the help of which we can monitor branches sitting in HO. We can monitor daily enquiries, admissions and collections with the help of online SANFORT School Management System with the help of which we can also send fee reminders, notices and other information to the parents by SMS and emails.”
In such a small span, SANFORT has won various prestigious educational awards. Take a look below:
= National Business and Service Leader's Award 2015 ‘Woman Entrepreneur of the year Award for Education’ to Kavita Rathor, Founder Director, SANFORT Group.
= Indian Education Award 2015 for Preschool Chain in North India.
= Education Excellence Awards 2015 'Best Preschool Brands in Academics''
= Asia Education Summit 2015 Award 'Fastest Growing Preschool Chain in India.'
= Business Sphere Award 'Best Emerging Play School Chain in India.'
= Education Excellence Award 'Fastest Emerging Preschool Chain in North India.'
= Indian Achiever's Award- 'Best Preschool with Ultra Modern Technology & Infrastructure.’
Investment: Rs 7-15 lakh
Area: 2,000 sq.ft.
RoI: 12-18 months
Existing Preschools: 82
Investment: Rs 5 crore.
Area: 2 Acres
RoI: 5 years
Existing K-12 Schools: 2
ANUJ GOEL, Franchisee Owner, SANFORT Swarnjayanti Puram, Ghaziabad, SANFORT Group of Schools:
From having two decades of experience in IT industry, he realised that industry was experiencing a slowdown. While he was already into IT industry, he thought of adding another business to become successful. Later, he came in touch with his old friend S.K. Rathor and his wife who were already running their school business for many years. They all met at lunch and after knowing about their business plans, he immediately signed as the first franchisee of SANFORT preschool in 2010 and today he is profitably operating the brand's franchise for more than five years.
TARVINDER KAUR, Master Franchisee, Jammu & Kashmir, SANFORT Group of Schools:
Besides successfully running her automobile business in Jammu, she considered to starting another business that fetches more returns. Her search for a right business opportunity ended when she visited SANFORT’S website and posted an online inquiry. The very next day, the marketing team of SANFORT reached Jammu and after the first meeting; she was convinced to sign a Master Franchisee for the state of Jammu & Kashmir. She started her first branch in early 2012 in Trikuta Nagar, Jammu and today she is operating seven branches in J&K. She believes that SANFORT’S system and processes are so simple and strong that she has been able to manage franchisee network within her territory.