Are you setting up a new school?
Are you creating a new school in India? Do you have land on which you plan to set up a new school? Or maybe you want to buy land to set up your new school? Do you have an existing school and are now planning to create another new school? Before you embark on any one of these, do read this article – not only will it help save investments but also ensure that you create a school that will be successful.
Creating a new private school is a big project – it involves significant infrastructure investments and upfront costs, while the return on investment comes over a long period of time. Agreed that the returns are good in the long run, but they are not guaranteed for all schools. As competition increases and a sufficient number of schools have already been created, the chances that another one will make good return on investment is reducing. These are some of the points to consider before starting a new school, that can help guide you decisions:
Does your town or city need one more school?
A brief survey of your town or city will tell you if there is a dearth of schools there. In our experience, A, B and C class cities and towns in India already have sufficient schools and not all of them are able to achieve 100% occupancy. So why would you want to create another and add to the chaos?
Our surveys also show that most schools in these places are similar in nature – they have a standard classroom based learning environment that delivers the CBSE curriculum with some additional extra curricular activities. Progressive, younger and educated parents are looking for more – international curriculum, experiential learning, exposure and a truly 21st century learning environment. If your town or city doesn’t have many schools offering all this, that is the kind of school you should create, so it stands apart from the crowd.
Do you have sufficient funds to create a good school?
Gone are the days when schools could be started by creating a small building on a large piece of land, and expanded slowly with the fees being received from students. Instead, schools are now being created on smaller pieces of land to reduce investments and are vertically built to add capacity. They are also constructed with a lot of facilities to showcase at launch from a marketing perspective. All this requires significant upfront investment. It is wiser to plan the investment, the phases in which it would be done, the sources of the investment and then start the project. You would not want to be in a situation with an incomplete school and exhausted funds.
Patient capital and patience:
The capital investment in schools can span 4 to 5 years or longer depending on the school project plans. The return of the investment can further take anywhere between 4 -10 years. As the investments are locked in during this time, we term it patient capital. In the first few years of the operations of the school, the revenue might be lower than expenses. Despite this, expenses cannot be curtailed as that would compromise the quality of education being delivered. Every investor’s patience is tested, the ones who can continually invest and maintain the quality of operations are significantly rewarded.
Planning an innovative, new school:
Once all of the above are sorted, you need to plan an innovative new school. Consider international curriculum like the International Baccalaureate or the Cambridge Assessment International Education. Implement experiential learning or problem based learning. Look at strategies for delivering 21st century education. Accordingly, design the building and infrastructure to deliver your choices in a planned way. Keep in mind that the building should be flexible enough to incorporate future needs. Invest in essential services – of a school and educational consultant who can guide and keep costs in control.
With all of this, you should have a good future-ready school that becomes that city or town’s top choice in a matter of a few years. In our experience, all the investments done can be recouped back in 5 to 10 years, and thereafter, it can offer an additional 30-40% ROI, year after year.
Newton Schools has completed several greenfield school projects.
For all inquiries regarding setting up a new school, please contact us.