Challenges faced in educational franchising
A brand recognition value can be well solidified through a thoroughly thought-out franchise plane
By Vinay Goyal
Education industry can be safely termed as an evergreen industry with its popularity in an constant growth spurt. This can be contributed to the fact that proper education is considered to be a passport to success. In an academically inclined nation such as India, educational franchising finds greater ground due to the escalated value of education amongst the mass.
Naturally, there has been a mushrooming of franchised kindergartens, primary schools as well as training centres across the nation, with the incoming of 00’s. Franchising is a fool proof investment as it offers an easy way to get recognition for the new institute.
A brand recognition value can be well solidified through a thoroughly thought-out franchise plane. Also, its equally simple to set up an institute as the ground work is done by the franchiser, which increases the probabilities of it being a successful venture. But the main prime factor- the renaissance of educational awareness amongst the youth.
The youngsters constitute three fourth of the total population and the realization of benefits of schooling has rapidly dawn amongst these self- actualized beacons of hope. With all the above positive points extolled, one may easily assume that educational franchising may be a piece of cake- wrongly so! Educational franchising faces the following issues:
Location: in the earlier years locations was not much of an issue yet modern-day parents are a discerning group of clientele who emphasize greatly upon the environs. Ideally, nursery schools should be located inthe vicinity of residential areas. This can be contributed to the fact the parents want to keep the apples of their eyes in their visual periphery and hence, aren’t keen to send them off too far.
It is also essential to know about the demographics of the area as opening a boarding school amongst a senior- populated location is a big misstep in terms of expansion. It is best to research and find out the prospect of potential clients. For training institutes, computer centres etc the preferred location will be high streets so that youngsters can be aware about them.
Competition: The popularity of education can also be a bane in disguise, all it leads to a superfluous amount of franchising happening. cropping up of too many institutes in a singular area can pose another threat for franchisers. Two franchised units in nearby area can raise problems, making it problematic for any of them to be successful. It is a known fact that each school and institute guarantees of being better than the other by giving more advantages, leading to direct competition and undue cannibalism. Studying the rate of competition can be an easy way out of this snag.
Unqualified staff: Proper education can be imparted by only the ones who are fit to be in the same frame and so, success of a training and education franchise largely depends on its manpower resources. India is known for its deplorable state of awareness in its educational teaching fraternity and this is a burgeoning issue that needs to be hoisted by its collar. Many franchised institutes are found to be lacking in right staff and employ unqualified and under qualified personnel which can hamper the success of the institute. For teaching in schools B.ed, MA or Phd is needed while a specialised institute of aviation, hospitality, CAT etc requires personnel from the same background. The importance of quality manpower shouldn’t be overlooked.
Lack of marketing: Education is a thankless occupation and do not always get the recognition that it generally deserves. In comparison to other industries, the educational sector is hindered by lack of advertising, due to the lack pf glamour quotient attached. Also, premier educational franchising resort to bland forms of depicting trust, security and knowledge in their communications, making it a “birds of feather, flocked together” scenario. It is impossible to attract the patrons without employing unique marketing schemes, making it important for an enhanced form of marketing to take the forefront.
(The author is Managing Director at SRS International school)