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Nov, 02 2015

‘Little' required to start an education business

From a preschool chain to diversifying into K-12 education, South India's Little Elly has garnered more than a decade of experience in nurturing young minds. With 120+ franchise centres throughout South and West India, Little Elly looks forward to have pr

India's education industry is receiving a tremendous interest from edupreneurs and private equity players as this sector offers purely a recession proof investment opportunity  for one and all. If you're looking for assured returns then, education sector is regarded as the most preferred business segment for multiplying your investment into revenues. Considering the demand for quality education and to encourage women entrepreneurship within the country, Little Elly has made a significant mark by strongly nurturing the young minds in a stimulating environment.

Ideation chapter of the preschool business

Little Elly is the brainchild of Bangalore-based husband wife duo who started their preschool chain with an aim to revolutionise the education industry by offering everything under one roof. Preeti Bhandary, the leading lady at Little Elly had love and passion for teaching, and started her career in early education as a kindergarten teacher. Considering her years of expertise and forte in teaching profession, her husband Vittal Bhandary decided to venture into education business along with her and launched Salmiya Playschool in Kuwait way back in 2000. Later, the couple returned to India and established their preschool with the name of “Little Elly Preschool” in the year 2004. In the year 2005, Little Elly collaborated with Glen Tree UK for providing technical and curriculum inputs and support. To have a larger presence in the pre-school space and to provide a greater thrust in reaching out to the community, the founders formed a new company M/s Learning Edge India Private Limited.

The company started with three preschools in 2005 and established their first franchise school in 2008.
The Little Elly Group of Institutions and training centres, are spread all over the country providing individualised and well-researched learning methods to aid in the overall development of a child. Little Elly aims to create an institution of learning, where children can grow and imbibe in a dynamic and challenging environment, inculcate strong skills and passion for continuous learning.

Growing with the evolving  education ecosystem

Subsequent to securing a strong position in preschool business, Little Elly diversified into K-12 school education to enhance their value chain. The brand launched a platform for advancing their vision: “Glen Tree Academy  Learning for Life,” K  12 CBSE School.Here, children are taught life skills through close connections to nature, where they happily learn conventional skills while playing in an environment that encourages ideas to be wild and free.Vittal Bhandary, Managing Director & Founder, Little Elly, informs, “We at Glen Tree have made a commitment to set an example of sustainability and environmental awareness through our curriculum, recycling programmes and purchasing decisions.”

He also says, “Franchising is very profitable as it creates new opportunity and increases the area of interest for an aspirant business owner who expects quick return on investment. Our brand Little Elly plays a huge role to encourage entrepreneurship to have a rewarding and flourishing career.” With the optimal blend of values and a philosophy of making teaching a joy and learning a pleasure, Little Elly has set standards of excellence that has led to being graded as the best in South India.

How distinct is Little Elly

Little Elly provides a nurturing and stimulating environment responsive to the changing needs of children, parents, faculty, staff and the neighbourhood. The school's early learning programme provides something unique for each age group, with a multitude of activities and experiences encouraging children's natural curiosity and sense of learning. The brand also provides age appropriate and progressive curriculum.

Franchise model for multiple returns  

Little Elly follows franchisee-owned franchisee-operated (FOFO) model for further expansion of its brand. “A brand name can create and stand for loyalty, trust, and faith and help drive performance and never compromise in response to competitive changes. Franchising a brand promotes the brand from within. With strong support from the community and the passion for startups in the education sector, our brand Little Elly unites like-minded people,” strongly believes Vittal Bhandary. On the same lines, Preeti Bhandary feels, “Our brand Little Elly creates new opportunity and increase the area of interest for individual who wants to start his own business. For people who always want to be a part of noble cause of educating children, Little Elly provides complete support in starting their own business through our franchise opportunity.”

Presently, the company's franchisees are in the age group of 30-49 years. Those who are looking to get into pre-school business should have required funds to launch and operate the business, possess technical skills and business skills to manage the franchise which are critical for success.

Supporting franchisees

Little Elly offers excellent support programmes to franchisees, right from the beginning, be it real estate, marketing or operations. Franchisees will undergo well-structured induction programme. Once the franchisee centre becomes operational, regular guidance will be given from the curriculum and marketing team. Apart from these programmes, the company plans for training programmes, and workshops throughout the year for knowledge updation.
The brand instills and encourages passion in teachers because building relationships with the children and teachers has allowed it to continuously improve and influence a positive change in the school culture.The brand provides career opportunities to people who are ready to impart knowledge and educate the new generation through their Initial Teachers Training (ITT) programme which offers courses in early childhood and preschool teaching.

Current presence & expansion plans

Currently, Little Elly is present in six states with 120+ franchise centres, well-qualified faculty and excellent facilities crafted around the needs and skill sets of children, giving them a stimulating environment that combines learning and play. The brand is currently operational in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Surat, Mangalore, Mysore, Coimbatore, Bhopal and Navi Mumbai.

In future, the brand is aiming for pan India with 30 more centres in current year. As far as international expansion is concerned, the brand is looking to expand in Middle East.

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