In an exclusive interview, Mr. Sukhvinder Singh, Business Head, Kidzee, shared the Avenue for perfect business teachings and Zee Learn’s plans to keep strengthening the network and at the same time introduce innovative teaching aids. Read on:
What all key points do you look at before conducting audit in franchisee’s location?
We believe that excellence in service delivery is the reason why we have been adjudged the ‘Most Trusted Brand’ in preschool for Kidzee and ‘Diversified Education’ for Zee Learn by Trust Research Advisory in 2015 and 2016. Kidzee has a stringent business excellence model for the review of Kidzee and Mount Litera Zee Schools. The drive for excellence starts before the centres and schools become operational to ensure adherence to guidelines and policies which have been duly crafted and vetted by business excellence team. With more than 190 parameters of service and process excellence, we keep a regular check on service delivery across entire network and continue to win awards and hearts for our service
What kind of technology do you use for conducting audits?
A strong business model and an in-house business excellence team and technology led portal has been the key driver of process and delivery excellence. Apart from this, Kidzee has a strong, well trained and empowered team for the quality excellence which perform quality checks through observations; which is then recorded through hard copies of checklist and photographs of the centres. Kidzee also conduct interviews of parents, staff, business partners and other stakeholders on a regular basis both via technology enabled modes as well as manual interventions. The inputs are then transferred to in-house business excellence portal for analysis which helps to maintain our position as Asia’s largest Pre-School brand.This kind of meticulous methodology is to ensure best quality services.
What type of audits do you conduct on regular basis? Does it also involve review from like- mystery shoppers, reviewing weekly or monthly sales at franchise’s premises, monthly running cost of the unit covering expenses and whether the franchisee is able to maintain standards or not?
We conduct regular quality and excellence checks for the infrastructure, hygiene level, safety and security of kids and staff through Business Excellence team as well as third party agencies. We conduct anonymous survey of parents through in-house research team and business excellence portal. The team also perform mystery audits through independent third party (Research Agencies) to ensure that guidelines, policies, procedures, learning methodologies and service parameters are adhered to by centres. What this leads to is customer delight at every Kidzee. It is no surprise to anyone therefore when time and time again; Kidzee receives various awards or continues to drive excellence and growth in the preschool category in India. As the largest preschool network in Asia, Kidzee understands that we have a responsibility towards parents, who have placed their faith in us and it drives us to excellence.
Do you think pre-school industry has now come to a saturation point? Does franchising in pre- school business will help edupreneurs to tackle with the problem?
Being the market leader in the pre- school category with over 1500 Kidzee across the country, Zee Learn Ltd. believes that the preschool sector is set for the next leap. With rising income levels, living standards and increasing focus on better student achievement in schools, parents will increasingly focus on quality ‘Early Childhood Education’ as a foundation for a successful life – something that Kidzee has been driving and has been recognised for by parents as well as partners. The government’s focus on pre-schooling will also play a part in driving both awareness and growth of the preschool segment in India. This coupled with quality private intervention will be a natural driver for the growth of early childhood education in India. Edupreneurs will depend on thought leaders to handhold them for delivering quality learning experience in a sustainable manner. This presents a strong opportunity for Kidzee, to support emerging edupreneurs, by lending their expertise and world class knowledge sharing system to ensure quality early childhood education to children in India. The quality of Kidzee’s curriculum, the strength of business model, the faith and trust of parents and partners will help drive growth for the preschool segment and for Kidzee in particular.
How is training and support important for a franchise brand to grow?
We at Zee Learn Ltd believe that training and support is integral part of any sustainable business model. Training, support and a passion for excellence is what differentiates Kidzee and continued focus on this has driven us to the position that we are at today. Instead of looking at training and support as part of an annual maintenance, we have to compare it with integrated business process consulting and as a way of life in this segment. From conceptualisation of a preschool centre to the sustainability of its operations, an edupreneur will need guidance in all crucial aspects. Areas like appropriate site selection (distance is a key factor for parents), effective curriculum and learning resources, teachers and non-teaching staff capacity building, safety processes, quality monitoring and excellence will continue to be key training areas. Even established preschools need help in evolving with the changing demographic and introduction of innovations like technology for curriculum delivery, teacher capacity building and parent partnership. Also, large-scale ECCE awareness initiatives and knowledge-sharing platforms would be necessary innovations for preschools to grow sustainably. With our on boarding as well as continuous training interventions and dedicated helplines and outreach mechanisms, we ensure that Kidzee centres are fully enabled to deliver the very best.