Date: Wednesday , December 21, 2016
As senior professionals in the corporate circle and parents of twins, Atul Tyagi and his wife Preeti Tyagi, easily understood the needs of working parents when they founded WOW KIDS, a Goa-based preschool chain, in 2014. However, they also had an idea of how to turn high quality Preschool experience into a profitable business, generally considered impossible given the cost of proper staffing, infrastructure and equipments. Today, WOW Kids is one of the fastest growing preschool chains in the India with over 17 centres across the country in first few months of launch and they offer women in the country a hassle free way to become entrepreneurs.
Darshana Naik was working in Goa 365, a 24x7-news channel, as subeditor when she had her first child. \"Three months after joining WOW KIDS, her daughter Itcha was showing tremendous improvement and she was more active and creative in everything that she did. It was a wakeup call for us and we started thinking of having our own preschool, but we were apprehensive, as we never had any business background or even our families were never into any kinds of businesses before,\" says Darshana.
\"Taking a preschool franchise was a big move for us. We went through all the permutations and combinations to find the best available option and in every aspects WOW KIDS emerged as winner for us. Indeed, we were very confident in their quality of education, because, Itcha was right in front us as an example,\" says Darshana. On October 2015,Darshana started WOW KIDS, and today, with more than 40 KIDS, Darshana is one of a growing number of female entrepreneurs in the extended family of WOW KIDS, many of whom have benefited from the WOW KIDS franchise model that gives assistance, whether marketing or in training and skills development to female business makers.
Something similar is the story of Mrs and Mrs Baker a Chennai, Tamil Nadu Based couple. \"We always wanted to become an entrepreneur and went with WOW KIDS as they were unique and had the right intentions of making the franchise successful. Today in less than 3 months of launch, our preschool is thriving and we are very happy with the support from WOW KIDS.\"
Mrs Chandini Radhani of Ahmedabad, Gujarat had been wanting to start her own business and was struggling to find a franchise model which is transparent and yet world class. She says, \"All curiosity of taking a preschool franchise of a new brand ended when my preschool was set up and we were trained to start the preschool. Visitors are highly impressed with our infrastructure and in no time we have manged to create a buzz in the market. I am extremely delighted with my decision to take wow KIDS as a preschool Franchise.\"
\"90 percent of our franchise owners are women who are young mothers or homemakers.We give them an opportunity to work and becomefinancially independent while taking care of their family and KIDS,\" says Atul Tyagi, Co-Founder and Director, WOW KIDS. Established in 2014, WOW KIDS was almost an overnight success in a sector that has emerged as a promising business opportunity for entrepreneurs who are willing to take up an education business.Today, two years later, WOW KIDShas 17 schools across the country, 100 plus staff members and a reputation growing as fast as its waiting list. However, the dramatic success of WOW KIDS was indeed a result of an exhaustive research on preschool landscape conducted by Atul and his wife Preeti Tyagi.
\"We were working with highly reputed corporate companies in senior management positions before we ventured into preschool business. Hence, we were very much aware about the business scenarios in India and we had undergone through hardships of finding a prefect preschool for our twins as working parents,\" says Atul. Prior to founding WOW KIDS in Goa, Atul and Preeti took almost three years and visited over 250 preschool across the country and concluded that children could be better served with a much better experience and comprehensive curriculum, and that parents could be better served with greater options in preparing their children for a changing world through affordable education. \"We had a dream of making a brilliant establishment, but in a very cost effective model, so that people from different economic backgrounds can afford to start a quality childhood education business and give affordable education to the society. We think, we have been successful in doing that,\" claims Atul.
While, preschool education in the country is becoming more and more expensive, WOW KIDS is a boon for parents who are looking for an affordable and quality education for their KIDS. The WOW KIDS believes that students need to build their academic intelligence while concurrently building social and emotional intelligence. Currently an ISO 2000:9001 certified preschool, WOW KIDS is a member of American Montessori Society in the U.S., Early Education UK and the NAEYC in the U.S. The high quality activity based curriculum resulted in positive response and led to many achievements like the \'Best Innovative Teaching practices &Quality Education in West India,\'\'Best Upcoming Preschool Chain in West India\' and \'The Most Promising Preschool of Goa.\'
After the success of the first WOW KIDS centre, Atul and Preeti wanted children everywhere to experience the \'WOW Factor.\'They also wanted to empower others like themselves to become financially independent while bringing an exceptional program to their communities. In order to make that happen, they worked on launching a scalable franchise model. In contrast to most other daycares and preschool franchises, WOW KIDS introduced a franchise model, which was accessible and affordable to local entrepreneurs who are passionate about early education. \"We provide end to end solution including setup cost,franchise fee, marketing material and training at the franchise location in as low as Rs. 3 Lakhs. A woman can launch the preschool without taking help from the family member. Therefore, the husband or family members can continue their routine while the woman entrepreneur is in the making,\" explains Atul.
With an investment that is as low as one third of the average industry standards for setting up a preschool franchise, WOW KIDS franchise is one of the most affordable and profitable businesses to start, especially for the women in the country. Atul claims, \"Our model is very affordable and we donot charge royalties.Therefore, the project break even is can be archived in less than six months of operation.\" At present, most of the WOW KIDS franchises that are functioning since last one year are highly profitable with more than 90 KIDS.
Though, WOW KIDS is expanding from one city to another, their operating standards and unique curriculum remain constant everywhere. \"Training is presently done by one of the directors to ensure the right DNA is passed to the franchise to run the business profitably,\" says Atul. Hence, children who attend WOW KIDS can expect the same experience and learning opportunities, whether that school is in Goa, Mumbai, Noida, Maharashtra, Chennai, Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Rajasthanor Vadodara. \"Our vision is very clear. We want to give WOW overall experience to KIDS and their parents and optimise setup costs.We do not want to earn a lot of money, but need lots of blessing from our franchise and their families. Making more women entrepreneurs who can support their families and communities motivate us to work hard and we want them to own their success,\" concludes Atul.
Atul Tyagi, Co-founder
Atul completed his studies from prestigious IIT Roorkee in 2001. He has over 15 Years of experience in senior management profile with leading companies like WIPRO, AIRTEL, VODAFONE and IFB. He has been instrumental in running large franchise retail operations and turning around business all his assignments. He has also won \"Top 100 Most Talented Retail Professional of India\" award by Asia Retail Congress in Jan 2015. Preeti has 15 years working experience with top MNC\'s like IBM and GE capital in Quality Assurance, learning and development.