Franchising is a well-understood and widely practiced business model. It has proven itself successful in a huge range of fields, including education. In fact, the model is perfect for educationists and entrepreneurs everywhere who are looking to offer different visions of learning to an eager and enormous marketplace.
All this is why franchising has become a multi-billion-dollar global industry right now, but what does the future hold? Dr. Varun Gupta, Executive Vice President at On Sky Global (www.onskyglobal.com) explores that question in this piece, where he expands on four key developments that he believes will shape the industry's future moving forward.
1. Covid-19 will have a major impact
The global pandemic has quickly promoted franchises and their benefits to parents everywhere. While some have always been wary or suspicious of private education, others are realizing that it may offer the only viable course of competitive learning for their children as their public schools shut down. Many franchises were already prepared for a pivot to the online learning world, something with which public schools are still struggling.
As the crisis deepens and more parents engage in social distancing, the prospects for well-placed franchises offering online education options are positively transcendental. TheJournal already predicted growth of 12.75% in India of online learning from 2017 to 2021. Covid-19 may affect the final number, but that growth looks set to remain in some form.
2. There will be a huge expansion in innovation
While things get tougher economically and medically, there is only one path for the private franchises --- innovation. I predict that this crisis will spark a new education revolution, resplendent with innovation and creativity that will be working hard to make online education more viable. Franchises will be at the forefront of that innovation and will be the first to put these new methods and practices into action.
This is fully in line with the tradition of franchises, who have always sought to explore new dimensions to learning. Take LearningRX, for instance, and their "brain training" model that teachers critical thinking. On Sky Global also seeks to make learning more flexible by allowing you to combine your skills and set a pace that suits your current life.
3. Technology will be embraced even more tightly
Franchises have long embraced emerging technology as they seek to hone and improve their craft. Franchises invest heavily in it as both an efficiency move and to keep them at the cutting edge of market competition. Franchises will likely be looking to increase their hold on new apps, VR/AR learning experiences and online tuition platforms.
4. There will be overall continued growth, even if slowed at first
Up until the end of 2019, the education franchise industry has experienced phenomenal growth into a multi-billion-dollar global sector. There is no doubt that factors like Covid-19 will hamper that pattern, but I still predict that thanks to their flexibility and resources to invest in new technology, education franchises will continue to experience growth in the long-term, even if there's a short-term dip or slowdown.
What's the verdict?
In truth, the future of education franchising is hard to predict outright. As countries like China emerge from the initial attack of Covid-19 and being a return to normal life, we will start to see if the fear of outbreak truly dies with it. Those fears may prompt a surge in demand for the things I mention above.
Franchising still has a bright future around the world, thanks largely to the ability of franchisees to adapt to changing circumstances, adopt new technology and meet the quickly changing needs of the marketplace.