FAQ’s on setting up a school in India

FAQ’s on setting up a school in India

FAQ’s on setting up a school in India

Major Challenges in setting up a new school in India.

How and why does the project budget of a school vary from Tier 1 to Tier 3 locations?

The main reason for variation in a school project budget of a tier 1 city and tier 3 city is the amount that goes into achieving higher construction and infrastructural costs. For the same number of students, Tier 1 school needs to provide more facility zones and activity area that amounts to higher construction areas and campus development cost in comparison to Tier 3 where basic lab facilities and affiliation requisites are of priority.

Tentative reference

  • Tier 1 – For 700-800 students. Built up maybe in the range of 45,000 to 60,000 square feet.
  • Tier 3. For 700-800 students. Built up maybe in the range of 30,000 – 37,000 square feet.

Why is competitor analysis important before starting a school?

Competitor analysis is an extremely important exercise and part of feasibility of a new school venture in a  given location. A promoter needs to know the following before concluding what has to be offered which can only be derived when a thorough competition analysis is done.

  • Existing benchmark with respect to academics and facilities in the market.
  • Reflectors with respect to trend of how the market responds or at present responding to a new concept to understand the acceptability and openness of the parents of the given location.
  • Existing student pool
  • Existing subscriber segment and paying capacity of the market.
  • Paying culture of the location.
  • Inputs for USP facilitation
  • Volume addition trend
  • Quality of staff and students
  • Marketing and brand positioning strategy of the existing competition.
  • Reason for success or failure in the given market.
  • Derivation of factors that will act as market sweeping offering for the new school venture in the present market.
  • Admission handling process of competitors
  • Present prevailing pay scales exercised for staff and teachers for existing schools.

How should one plan market entry strategy to start a new school in India?

The market entry strategy should always be derived as per the present as well as upcoming demand for the project location and specifically as per the immediate catchment. For the same, it is necessary to understand your competitors and the present benchmark that exists in the market with respect to quality of facility, offering, academics and infrastructure for the given target segment. Hence whatever new has to be introduced shall have a better facility offering than the prevailing benchmark while being a value for money proposition for the associated target segment to create the necessary outcome in terms of create a strong pull factor for the new school venture thereby strongly positioning the school brand as one of the best in its segment.

How to assess that a school will be profitable & successful at a given location?

  • Existing student pool for a given target segment for the school.
  • Encouraging volume addition trend
  • Admission refusal trend for the existing schools as considered best by the locals for a given segment and catchment.
  • Availability of the right human resources for the curriculum to be implemented.
  • Cost of Land
  • Right construction size and capital investment for Phase 1 development.
  • Investment into effective recruitment process, good human resources, teachers, staff, facilities, USP zone development and marketing activities.
  • Deriving an effective entry fee structure
  • Planned market entry strategy and brand positioning to create the right pull factor
  • Strong transportation facilities
  • Exclusive sports facilities
  • Achieving the associated affiliations milestone for the school (CBSE, IGCSE, IB, ICSE) as soon as possible

What is the future prospect of a school project at my location?

The future prospect of a school at a given location can always be determined when we have a target segment and a target catchment identified. Along with it, its very important to understand your competition in the market to ensure that you create the right differentiation factors in place thereby positioning your new school as an equivalent options being considered by parents for their ward’s admission. Also the location has to be assessed in terms of the present and future prospects of population influx on the basis of upcoming developments and projects being introduced . Population influx trend helps derive the anticipated volume addition trend for a school project as they are major reflector for an encouraging demand for a school with new concept that may challenge the existing school offerings in the market.

The main areas for success as per location are as following for:

  1. Tier 1 – Location of project, existing immediate catchment, facility plan, identification of the right target segment, balanced offering focussing more towards personality development, dedicated partners for sports & performing arts.
  2. Tier 2 – strong transportation, strong focus on academics, sports, extended hour concept, infrastructure, cost of land.
  3. Tier 3 – Strong transportation , strong focus on language subjects, strong admission handling and marketing, strong teaching staff and effective recruitment, right construction size, infrastructure, remedial classes, sports.

How to finalise the fee structure for a new school project?

a) Paying capacity of the target segment

b) Paying culture of the target segment

c) Competition fee structure

d) Benchmark fee existing in the market

e) Facilities as provided

f) Quality and salary structure of School staff

g) Brand premium and as per brand positioning of the school

It should always be made sure that a projection shall be created for the new school with respect to fee structure where the offering vs fee being charges seems as a value for money proposition of the parents which shall accordingly create the right demand for the new venture.

How important is branding for a new school project?

First of all, it is necessary that we understand what is branding. Branding happens to be one of the most important aspects for an upcoming school position. Brand position plan is prepared as per the requirement and demand of the market. It is necessary that we identify and work out on all aspects that shall create a definite pull factor for the school while differentiating from the competitors. Accordingly the design aspects of the branding are worked out further that includes design deliverables starting from determining the name of the school, logo design, brochure design, website design, school almanac, indoor and outdoor publicity materials, advertisements and hoardings. Through branding does a school create the required impact for entering the market effectively. The second aspect is through marketing activities and training of staff, teachers, on ground marketing team and management on admission handling that further salvages the position of the school and creates a confidence in the minds of the parents to get their ward’s admission into the new school if done effectively.

How much time is taken to construct a school in India?

Detailed Project Report & Market Feasibility Master Planning & Conceptual Design Work Municipal Approvals for construction Drawings Procurement Plan- ERP, Smart Class, Sports Curriculum Project Operations – First year plan for operations
Bank Loan Funding / Project Finance Preparation of Detailed drawings and finalization of contractors Fire NOC, Building Stability, Health & Sanitation from the state government Branding – Admission Team Stationary & Print Publicity Material Reporting Structure – Principal & Teachers
Curriculum Planning Initiating Execution Work on site for Civil and Structure Intimation to state government to start a school Marketing Strategy – Events & Scholarships Quality Audits – External Agency checks
Infrastructural Planning – Classrooms, Lab & Sports Infrastructure, External Development Work Recognition from state government upto Primary / Middle section Recruitment – Admin & Teaching Staff Academic Review- Feedback & Evaluation
Residential/Day boarding facilities NOC From the state government to proceed with affiliation Admin Framework – Policy Framework & Documentation Post Commissioning Training – Subject enhancement
Academic Planning – Curriculum Management to Implementation CBSE Affiliation, ICSE Affiliation Process
30 – 45 DAYS 240 – 330 DAYS 240-360 DAYS 180 – 210 DAYS 365 DAYS

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