Once you make the decision to start your own school in India, the road ahead can be quite challenging. However, that shouldn’t discourage you, as it can all seem ‘worth it’ in the end. There are several things that need to be kept in mind once you embark on this journey. The most important thing to would be that rather than falling into a habit of finding quick-fix solutions, you need to discover your school and unravel its specific needs. When people reach out to us, the first question that they ask is – Shall I take a school franchisee? Can you help me in getting a DPS (Delhi Public School) Franchisee?
When someone sets up a new school in India, they are either dependent upon senior educators or on the franchisee operators. Senior educators provide unparalleled advice however they are unable to guide the promoters on the project planning (financial plan and the trust/society/section 8 company structure and related agreements) admission strategy, creative and content design and also statutory approvals, establishment norms, SOP’s, recruitment & training.
On the other hand, the franchisee operators just lend their name and standard operating procedures and they do not provide customized solutions. In lot of cases, they do not support on grounds (personal attention, visits, and service in your city). Furthermore, the franchisee fee that is charged is usually not a small amount. Even that is fine; the real challenge for the promoter is to pay a royalty for 15-20 years, which amounts anywhere between 8-12 percent of the total school fee collected. Franchisee in education is not a global trend. India has this peculiar phenomenon of giving and seeking school franchisee. It will be noteworthy to mention that unlike our neighboring countries Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, ‘Private For Profit’ schooling does not exist in India. Schools in India are still a ‘Social Enterprise’. Having franchisor seeking its share out of the revenue is something that has more RED impacts on the balance sheet than GREEN.
As mentioned, before starting a school, there are various issues to be taken under consideration and decisions need to be made in terms of creating a plan and a customized Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Seeking out professional guidance to ensure that all the tasks are carried out efficiently can be quite helpful. They could provide you with all the support and knowledge needed to smoothly run and operate your school. Tasks like Recruiting the right Principal, teacher recruitment, coordinating with Architects, Vendors, Contractors, various ancillary organizations, and financial advisors can all be done through their expert advise.
Carrying out a well-researched and detailed project plan is a highly important before moving on to the actual project implementation. The initial plan should include operational workings, timelines, ascertaining implementation challenges and difficulties that will finally be comprised into a complete business plan. This will help the promoter in doing the right thing at the first time.
Once you start creating a business plan, important details need to be analyzed like identifying if your cost/investment vs. the quantifiable benefits would prove to be value for money for you and your investors.
While setting up a school, one needs to determine certain information like the name, logo, vision and mission that would represent the school and would help set it apart from other schools. The Operating Procedure, and financial information like the fee structure and your Operational Break Even Point need to be determined too. The right time to plan the curriculum and its delivery is while you make your business plan not after you construct your building. The curriculum transaction cost also needs to be factored in the business plan. Failing to do so may lead to fixing the wrong fee and would leave you with lesser provisions in the school budget for these costs. This will result in a poor show.
While designing your fee structure, ensure that you have a Capital Expenditure and an Operational/Revenue Expenditure estimation that covers the entire expense of the future as well. Determining the number of staff members each year (incremental in first five years), including the recruitment of the Principal, and their salaries, providing them with proper training that aligns with the beliefs of your school, field trips and excursions for the students, etc., all need to be planned in advance with their cost implications to avoid difficulties in the future.
With everything kept in mind, it would ideally take a time period of 12-18 months to start a school from beginning to the end. If you wish to commence your school in April, the time to apply for the permissions from the Education Department would be November of the year before in which you want to start the school.