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KV's ChanakyaShaala┬« 

Seeking help from a Stronger King

A Businessman from UP once approached me for consultancy to set up an educational academy for his son. He had own commercial place in a category A city, and his son was a fresh Engineer from a prestigious Institute. He wanted help in establishing his own Brand of coaching centre for +2 level entrance courses. Finances were extremely comfortable. 
Education is a lucrative Business these days, but also a Business with cut throat Competition. There are two types of people successful in this Business. One category is professors in individual subjects who already have an established brand name. Other category is pure commercial academies with huge advertisement budgets, and specialized faculty for each subject. The category which suited my client was the second one. 
Chanakya says that If a King is unable to ruin the enemy’s undertaking, and is also unable to protect his own from enemy’s attack, he shall seek the help of a stronger king. Now consider this in terms of the case mentioned above. Education Business has reached maturity stage of Product Life Cycle, and the only way you get students is by creating your own share in the same pie. Client’s Son was extremely intelligent, but a fresher. He couldn’t take on the already established professor’s. Thus, heavy advertisements and attracting students in good numbers was the only option. 
We had two options. One to set up own brand, and another to set up some strong Brand’s Franchise. We considered a few Franchise options. Three strong National level Brands were already there in the city, and the Brand which we were considering was at best at par with the other three National Brands. Thus, in Chanakya’s terms this Brand could have failed to attract the competitor’s students just on the value of its Brand name. Also, in case of similar such Brands establishing the Business in the city, this Brand could have possibly failed to create a Brand loyalty for itself, and would have been just another shareholder in a limited pie. 
Thus, the only option left to us was to establish the institute in own Brand. Chanakya had clearly said that key to success in such a situation lies in seeking help from a strong King. I did the site analysis and found his place fit for opening up a good eating joint. The Building had three floors. I advised my client to take up a strong franchise for opening eating joint for youngsters at the ground level, and to set up the institute at 1st and 2nd floors. This eating brand should be strong enough to attract the desired target segment. Second issue was to decide the target segment. I advised him to attract students who are not toppers but are average students. Apart from studies, these students have other issues on their mind while choosing an institute. One such issue was the eating place. We listed other such issues pertinent to that location and target segment, and designed a Marketing strategy. 
Franchise with a leading Brand was finalised for that eating place, thus satisfying Chanakya’s condition of a strong King. In a few months, in the month of January (the right month for targeting students for entrance level courses), the institute was launched. First year was average, as expected, but second year gave a strong base to this institute. Now they are planning to establish their own franchise network. 
© Kujnish Vashisht, Expedient Consultants
www.sharepundit.com , www.chanakyaneeti.com

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