The Business of Play School Franchise in Gurgaon

Last updated on Friday, May 15, 2015
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It is a well-known fact that the human brain develops the fastest in the first five years of life (also known as the formative years). This is when the foundations for learning, health and behavior are created. The child gets to know and develop various skills which are needed for the rest of his life. Play schools in Gurgaon seem to be matching this pace of initial brain development with the business of play schools in Gurgaon seeing rapid growth in the last five years. This phenomenon is fueled by the fact that Gurgaon is home to a large professional middle class and with higher disposable incomes they want the best start to their toddlers’ education. The overall play school education market in India is estimated to be upward of a billion dollar in size.

Best play school in Gurgaon as per the EducationWorld ranking in 2014:

  1. Pallavan in DLF Phase 1 & Sohna Road
  2. The Shri Ram Early Years at Sohna Road
  3. Pathways Early Years at Sector 49
  4. Amiown preschool in Sector 27
  5. iDiscoveri preschool in Sector 46
  6. Medhaam in South City 1
  7. Apple Blossom early learning centre in Sector 45
  8. BloomZ in Sector 51
  9. Pumpkin House in Sushant Lok and Salwan Montessori School in Sector 5
  10. Intellitots Early Learning Centre in Sector 28 and KLAY prep school & day care in Sector 49

Play schools in Gurgaon that have mushroomed over the years can be categories into three clear segments – single standalone play schools, play school brands with a handful of company owned and company operated (COCO) centres and national & international play school franchise chains. Play schools in Gurgaon such as Medhaam would be an example of the first category, while some big names such as Pallavan, Pathways Early Years and Bloomz would come under the second category. Besides the list above, there is another set of well-known play schools that may not have made it to this top 10 play schools in Gurgaon list yet but have certainly made a strong mark. These are reputed play school chains that parents give serious consideration to when it comes to making a choice of the best play school in gurgaon. Franchise India, a leading franchising platform, lists about 245 brands offering play school franchises in this region. In this article today, I explore the business of franchise based play schools in Gurgaon, in particular of Kidzee, Shemrock, Euro Kids, Mother's Pride, Bachpan and Modern Montessori International.

Kidzee preschools

Kidzee is the largest franchise preschool chain in Asia part of Zee Learn backed by Subash Chandra-led Essel group (the team behind Zee TV). It has a network of more than 1500 centres in over 550 cities catering to 4,00,000 children in India. It was awarded the “Best content and delivery Award” by the Indian education congress in 2011.

To qualify to be a Kidzee play school franchisee, you will need:

  • A property with minimum area of 2000 sq. feet (approx. 185 sq. mtrs.)
  • Minimum investment capacity of Rs 12 lakhs

Kidzee currently has 6 play schools in Gurgaon:

  1. Kidzee play school in Palam Vihar
  2. Kidzee play school in Sector 4
  3. Kidzee play school in Sector 14
  4. Kidzee play school at Sohna Road
  5. Kidzee play school at South City 1
  6. Kidzee play school DLF Phase 4

 

EuroKids play schools

Continuing with the play school franchise saga, EuroKids play school chain seems to be next in line. The stakeholders have changed from Egmont to Educomp and finally to a consortium of investors led by Gaja Capital Partners. Euro kids started its first play school in 2001 with the commencement of franchising and it targeted big cities. It has more than 884 play school spread over 311 towns and cities across India. Out of these, very few are owned by the company and rest are run by about 450 individual franchisees. EuroKids was awarded the “Best in Category - Education” for franchising in 2012.

To qualify to be a EuroKids franchisee, you need:

  • A owned or rented ground floor property with minimum area of 2000 sq. feet (approx.. 185 sq. mtrs.)
  • Minimum investment capacity of Rs.10 lakhs

EuroKids currently has 4 play schools in Gurgaon:

  1. EuroKids play school in Palam Vihar
  2. EuroKids play school in DLF Phase 2
  3. EuroKids play school in Sohna Road
  4. EuroKids play school in DLF Phase 4

 

Shemrock play schools

Shemrock is another play school franchise to reckon with in Gurgaon. Dr D R Arora and Dr (Mrs) Bimla Arora a husband wife team of academicians envisioned Shemrock and is still run by the Arora family without external funding. Today the Shemrock play school chain has over 330 branches and more than 3,00,000 children under its aegis. It was awarded the “Best Preschool of the Year” in 2013 by Worldwide Achievers.

To qualify to be a Shemrock franchisee, you need:

  • A property with minimum area of just over 2000 sq. feet (200 sq. mtrs.)
  • Minimum investment capacity of Rs.12 lakhs
  • Pay a license fee of 2-6 lakhs depending on the city
  • Pay a royalty of 15% on collected fees

Shemrock currently has 4 play schools in Gurgaon:

  1. Shemrock play school in DLF Phase 3
  2. Shemrock play school in New colony
  3. Shemrock play school in New Palam Vihar
  4. Shemrock play school in Sushant Lok-2

 

Mother’s Pride play schools

Mother's Pride founded by Sudha Gupta is a part of the Marvel group, which has interests that range from education to health care. Mother’s Pride first play school in 1996. Today it has over 50 branches. Mother’s Pride play school was awarded the “No. 1 Teacher's Training Provider in india” by the World Education Summit in 2012.

To qualify to be a Mother’s Pride franchisee, you need:

  • A property with minimum area of just over 1500 sq. feet (approx. 140 sq. mtrs.)
  • Minimum investment capacity of Rs.15 lakhs

Mother’s Pride currently has 7 play schools in Gurgaon:

  1. Mother’s Pride play school in DLF Phase 4
  2. Mother’s Pride play school in Sector 5
  3. Mother’s Pride play school in Sector 7
  4. Mother’s Pride play school in Sector 9A (upcoming)
  5. Mother’s Pride play school in Sector 51
  6. Mother’s Pride play school in Sector 52
  7. Mother’s Pride play school in Pataudi

 

Bachpan play school

Bachpan play school chain has grown to an enviable 1000 branches across the country in a brief span of 10 years. The corporate group under the leadership of Mr S.K. Gupta has existing diversified interests in real estate development and retail, Bachpan play school was launched in 2005.

To qualify to be a Bachpan franchisee, you need:

  • A property with minimum area of just over 1500 sq. feet (approx. 140 sq. mtrs.)
  • Minimum investment capacity of Rs.8 lakhs
  • Pay a license fee of 2-6 lakhs depending on the city
  • Pay a royalty of 15% on collected fees

Bachpan currently has 3 play schools in Gurgaon:

  1. Bachpan play school in Sector 7
  2. Bachpan play school in Sector 12A
  3. Bachpan play school in Sector 14

 

Modern Montessori International

Modern Montessori International (MMI) in India has been setup by the Jaipuria Group (Pespi’s lead bottler in India) in collaboration with the hugely successful international chain Modern Montessori International of London. MMI’s flagship and the only play school in Gurgaon is located in DLF Phase 1.

To qualify to be a Modern Montessori International franchisee, you need:

  • A property with minimum area of 2000 sq. feet (approx. 185 sq. mtrs.)
  • Minimum investment capacity of Rs.5 lakhs

What is usually included as standard in a play school franchise?

  • Detailed operating manuals including study material, lesson plans etc. and management systems including any proprietary IT software systems
  • Training for teachers
  • Limited marketing and advertising support including support to adhere to brand guidelines
  • Access to resources for interior design including carpenters, painters etc.
  • Limited Territorial rights

Sending children to play schools is increasingly being considered more effective than teaching them at home. The Indian education investment report 2013, a report published by Franchise India had estimated the number of preschools in India to touch 33000-mark by the end of 2015. The one factor that vastly differentiates play schools from the formal schools, is that unlike formal schools, play schools are a for-profit commercial business. A franchise based play school business is thus a growing market. Also it is a cash business without any inventory pile ups and wastages. It starts with small capital requirements and the returns are also pretty quick and steady without any business cycles. Most of these brands seem to claim that the franchisee return on investment would be in the range of 35% to 50% with capital payback period as short as 12 months going up to 24 months. That sounds like a highly attractive business to get into with the added incentive to build the foundation block of so many children.

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