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In a tête-à-tête , Lex Baker, Franchise Management and Development Director for Wall Street English International, shares his big vision for India
What’s your assessment of the current education scenario in India?
People in India have a great awareness of the value of education. They realize that good education can improve their economic status and is a way to achieve a better future.
Where do you see the gap?
The door to international success is English. Without the knowledge of this language, you can be restricted to the region/country you live in. English is quite prevalent in India,with many people having a decent command of the language. Although the average level of English is pretty good as compared to many other countries, it’s still often not good enough for world business, your career or studies.
How are you planning to fill the gap?
We use a blended learning methodology - a mixture of classes and multi-media – which helps students learn English the natural way, much like how people learn their first language. With each lesson students listen, repeat, speak, read, and write English. The course is flexible to fit into busy lifestyles and is highly effective.
What kind of partners are you looking for? What about the initial investment?
Start-up costs are primarily setting up the center and franchise fees. The advantage in India at present is that we can create a very classy, premium center at a reasonable cost, and our fees are consistent with market standards.
We are looking for regional partners who bring the operational and market know-how and sufficient capital to open multiple centers. This will deliver the scale which a country like India needs to fully establish the brand.
What’s the way forward?
It very much depends on how the market reacts. But we are not going to get over ambitious – one step at a time. Once we start moving, we will better understand the potential of the concept. The need is certainly here, the market is large, and we are a world leader in adult English education – a perfect match!