CASE Studies

case studies Turnkey Advisory
Recent Case: Team Experience

Complete Turnaround of a large National Preschool Chain

A major “Business Performance” challenge in 2008, this was an ailing national Preschool Chain struggling to meet the running costs. To add to their rues, they were going down on Consumer preference in spite ofhaving a national footprint. This was reflected infalling enrollments & inability in charging the existing fees. The task was divided into three key parts:
1) Customer Preference Challenge
2) Business Strategy Challenge
3) Strategic Execution Challenge

1. Customer Preference Challenge

We did an initial set of Parent Focus groups & some in-depthinterviews with parents (couples), followed by some visits at competing Preschools. Among others, there was an interestingdiscussionbetween parents at Bangalore, a mix of housewives, Bank executives &IT folks.This in-formal discussion in hindsight became pivotal to the study. We asked parents to share concerns for their child, followed by dreams& plans for future. We explored the areas parents liked about their child’s preschool followed by what they thought was the role of Preschool in their child’s development. Wegave them cuesto talk about Fees, facilities, infrastructure & so on.
Case Study
Figure.1. Customer Preference Challenge

Some Observations from the Focus Groups
a) Mothers were more active in the discussions
b) Consistent voice from the group about how their child has some peculiar habits & how they were always concerned about their child’s well being
c) A continuous urge among parents for individual attention for the child

This was followed up with in-depth interviews with the parents in pair, i.e. mother & father. There were some key statements (KS) through the focused discussion pointers (DP), leading to the two defining insights
DP 1. What are your dreams for your child’s future?
KS 1. Want my child to pursue his/her own interests, want to provide all resources
DP 2. What are your concerns for your child?
KS 1. Would my child get personalized attention in the school?
KS 2. My child is different from other children, I don’t wanther to be under pressure
While a complete understanding of the consumer is difficult, practices based on key insights can add great value to a brand. We have shared our team’s real experiences under education advisory and education consultancy about turning around a large but ailing business in this case. It pays off to drop assumptions and listen carefully. It was important to set up the hypothesis clearly & validate it with a number before moving to the next step. The decoding of this insight in a simple sentence led us to an actionable insight. The key for the brand then was to stay consistent.
We got a complete new brand identity based on thesestrong insights, followed by conceptualization of a communication campaign based on the key insights, leading to a complete turnaround of the Brand.
» We learnt the importance of in-depth interviews with broader discussion pointers& foundthat; powerful insights emerge from unaided & uninterrupted experience sharing by the parents.
» It’s rewarding to have the brandpositioned on a key insight deep rooted in customer’s concern or belief.
2. Business Strategy Challenge

An in depth study spread over 35 days culminated to a Restructuring Strategy. While, it was imperative that the Brand was repositioned, it was perhaps more important to restructure the key pivots of Business Operations. Organization’s leadershipwas sure that they needed remodeling of not just their own (Franchiser) Business Model, but also the Franchisee Business Model.
case studies
We started with the big rocks mainly for the Franchisee, & the key parameters influencing these hurdles on the ground. We next segregated them into three heads of Environment, Franchiser & Franchisee. We understood each Business Model in depth & the logic built behind each key parameter. We had a clear eye on the Business Logic throughout. We scanned the competing Business Models both in India & abroad, while coming back to the core rooted issues faced by the Franchiser & Franchisee.

With a clear focus on the end goal, we developed a robust Strategy Blueprint with a medium term horizon (3-5 years). The approach took into account the On-Ground hurdles to achieve this & hence a Transition plan was formulated nationwide. This meant not just a transition of a signage, but more importantly it meant transformation of the Business Model, Terms of operations, Academic & Financial Process. The approach helped in the complete transformation of the Business into one of the most successful Preschool Business riding on a redefined Strategy Blueprint.The Business was turned around &scaled up to a Profitable large Business, spread across more than 300 towns with-in a record period of 15 months

» Its imperative to be consistent with the customer, or else one may easily be lost in the crowd. Brands gain in equity with consistent delivery of its promise over time as the Consumer is constantly evaluating.

3. Strategic Execution Challenge

We faced a couple of big hurdles in realizing the best out of the Repositioning strategy & the Business Restructuring Strategy. The newly drawn Strategy Blueprint needed a couple of key areas for it to work. Some of them like Business skill, Admission led on-ground work & Key Account Operations were missing. Since, we still needed to take those initial defining steps, we worked out an alternative mechanism to cover up on the missing elements. This came through in form of a specially built module encompassing Training, Case study building & Action Planning. In hindsight, this proved to be crucial for the success of this project.

Net-net, The brand grew phenomenally, beating all records in three-digit percentage, becoming the most successful Preschool Business in a record fifteen months period. Enrollments grew three fold, along with a 35% improvement in Average fees per student, Franchisee attrition went to an all time best of 0.5%, an improvement in Turnover by 80%+ along with a 200%+ improvement in profitability saw the complete Turnaround of this national Preschool Chain.

Summary note

A major “Business Performance” challenge in 2008; this was in form of an ailing national Preschool Chain struggling to meet the running costs. To add to their rues, they were going down on Consumer preference in spite of having a national footprint. This was reflected in falling enrollments & in their inability to charge the existing fees. The task was divided into three key parts, Customer Preference Challenge, Business Strategy Challenge, & Strategic Execution Challenge.With a clear focus on the end goal, we developed a robust Strategy Blueprint with a medium term horizon taking into account the On-Ground hurdles.

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