Growing up

Growing up

Increasing its footprint with more preschool centres and growing its K12 segment of schools have ensured that EuroKids’ education services division has stayed on top of the game

MAHATHI R. ARJUN

One of the leading players in the organised preschool segment, EuroKids’ growth has been to ensure both footprint through its preschool centres and diversification via its K12 schools. Having spoken to The Smart CEO last in November 2009, Prajodh Rajan, director, says, “Our business has grown two-fold in these three years, in both education services and children book publishing segment.” From 567 preschools across 210 cities and towns in 2009, EuroKids now has over 850 centres in 350 regions and works with more than 70,000 students in a year. The company’s current expansion is centred on growth from Tier II and Tier II towns, whereas it mainly targeted metros earlier.

 

Considering its preschool segment works on franchises with owner operator model, only 24 of its centres are owned by EuroKids and the rest are through franchises. “Since preschools are a two kilometre business opportunity, the entrepreneur often has better terrain knowledge and contacts. In fact, over 90 per cent of our franchises are run by women entrepreneurs. In the future, we will probably take our share of self owned centres to 100,” shares Rajan. From starting its pilot schools in 2001, the curriculum is currently in its fifth version, ensuring that the content is dynamic and exposing children to newer stimuli. Ensuring quality is another ongoing challenge but its academic coordinators, who visit its centres regularly, guarantee that teaching is standardised. Its overseas preschools have also grown – with one in Dubai becoming functional this academic year, 12 centres in Nepal and one in Bangladesh. Its next targets would be Sri Lanka and the Middle East, which Rajan hopes would become operational in the next 18 – 24 months.

The company’s foray into the K12 segment has also been significant. Though it took to franchise model here as well but soon realised the benefits of running its own schools. The first Euro school was setup in 2009 in Mumbai that has currently 1600 students in its third academic year. Since then, eight more campuses have come up in Thane, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Surat and Ahmedabad. By 2013 academic year, two more will come up in Pune. With investment for each school ranging from Rs. 7 – 20 crore and more, depending if the land and the building are leased or not, EuroKids hopes to raise investment for more K12 schools in the next six to 12 months. “We’ve been receiving positive response with our Euro schools. We’re looking to raise our first round of investment through debt,” says Rajan.

Its publishing arm has been growing steadily at 15 per cent year-on-year. In the future, Rajan hopes to branch out from licensed publication to more original work that will be useful for its academic as well. EuroKids’ turnover has doubled in these three years from Rs. 38 – 40 crore to Rs. 78 – 80 crore target for FY2013. EuroKids’ roadmap for the next five years is to have 1700 – 1800 centres. Rajan’s goal back in 2009 was to set up 30 K12 schools in five years time. With 10 campuses now, he says he’s working to achieve that target.


GROWTH DRIVERS

  • Higher disposable income
  • Nuclear family
  • Understanding that starting early makes a difference in a child’s life

THEN AND NOW

567 preschools across 210 regions Over 850 centres in 350 regions
Growth from its metro centres Centred on expansion from Tier II and III regions
Franchise model for its K12 segment of Euro schools 10 self-owned K12 schools, with 20 more in the pipeline
Publishing restricted to licensed work To bring in original work in near future