Two Brand New Kumon Centres to Open Soon
Kumon Education South Africa embarked on an exciting journey in 2013 of totally revising our business model. Based on the great success of many of our 200 franchisees we determined that the best way forward for the business, and for our ultimate goal of reaching as many children as possible we needed to revise the way we do things.
You may know Kumon as the after school programme, but have seen it run from Church Halls, classrooms and various other venues not dedicated to Kumon. When we looked at our figures and who our most successful franchisees were we noticed several common factors which helped our successful centres become successful and in light of this began a whole revision of our Business Model.
The key things which encompass the Kumon business model which are different from previous years are:
- The Instructor / Franchisee must be committed to Kumon full time with no other employment.
- The venue has to be dedicated only to Kumon and may not share an entrance / facilities with another business.
- The venue needs to have permanent and visible signage.
These may not seem like huge steps, however it has taken some getting used to given that the public has generally perceived Kumon as a part-time activity and something that could be done outside of regular working hours, and a launch of the new way forward was held at the Business Opportunities and Franchise Expo in September 2012. After the expo interested parties were invited to attend Kumon Franchise Information Sessions held at one of our 3 branch offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. The model and way forward for Kumon has been received extremely well and many candidates have begun the application process with us.
Our application process is not a short one and it does require a lot of time and effort from our candidates. Kumon is not the kind of business where we are just looking for large sums of money for the rights to operate a franchise, but rather we are looking for a particular kind of person, someone who really sees the value of the programme and how it will benefit many children’s lives. Our application and training process can last up to 5 months, and given the permanent venue requirements, even after attending all the compulsory training we still sometimes have to finalise the venue. So, although you will not have seen many Kumon centres opening yet this year, brace yourselves as our first few candidates are in the final stretch and we are looking forward to two brand new centres opening in the very near future:
Diane Skinner signs her contract with Masaki Tsuda GM of Kumon SA
After completing her Bachelor of Commerce through UNISA as well as her Master of Business Leadership Diane entered the working world through the banking industry. She moved rapidly from being an entry level programmer to various management level positions in the IT world. She has held various management positions within the industry and most recently held the position of Architecture Executive. Her passion was always training and helping others reach their potential and she was instrumental in ensuring that mentorship programmes were developed when budgets for training were cut. She volunteered her time to Grade 10-11 learners in Eikenhof when they were without a Maths teacher and subsequently offered assistance for a BCom at UNISA to one of her students. She frequently gave time to various learners as a tutor for Maths and found great pride in knowing that all of the students she tutored passed Matric maths, and passed it well.
At the beginning of 2013 Diane began to realise that her heart was no longer in the Banking and IT world. She has raised two children, one a practising doctor and the other completing her education degree and has decided that now is the time for her to pursue something her heart has always been in – the development of people.
Diane knew about Kumon as her daughter had worked at a Kumon Centre in the South of Johannesburg as an assistant, and although the idea had always been in her mind, she had not found the right time to pursue it until hearing about the Kumon Franchise Information Sessions. After attending a session in March 2013 Diane decided that this was definitely something for her to pursue. The Kumon Method firmly aligns with her own belief in the importance of self-learning and the pursuit of potential.
After attending the Kumon Interview and completing the first draft of her Business Plan, Diane was invited to attend the Kumon Initial Training which began in April. The training requires a large amount of dedication and time from our potential instructors and Diane has now completed all pre-opening training requirements, and we anticipate her centre will open in August 2013 at the Colony Shopping Centre in Craighall.
Ashmini Kamabaran signs her contract with Masaki Tsuda GM of Kumon SA
Ashmini completed a BSC in Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Durban Westville in 1993, and after working as a part-time lecturer and educator moved with her husband to the Seychelles due to operational requirements of his business. She taught at the International School in the Seychelles for 4 years before deciding to leave the blue seas and white beaches to return to South Africa.
When Ashmini first enquired to Kumon she didn’t know much about it, and found it difficult to assimilate to the concept of self-learning, as all of her experience as a teacher had been about teaching. After a few conversations around the subject Ashmini conducted her Centre Visit and the whole Kumon methodology just clicked for her while watching a child complete a worksheet during centre time. This was a real “ah-ha” moment for Ashmini and she began to pursue the opportunity of becoming a Kumon Franchisee with enthusiasm, also realising the potential she can nurture in her own son who has just turned 5 years old!
Ashmini began looking at various venues and struck gold when she found out there was a suitable space in the Northgate shopping centre, at the Post Office side. Close enough for Kumon mommies to do their shopping, but tucked away enough that the centre won’t be disturbed by the hustle and bustle of this thriving shopping centre.
Ashmini has now completed the pre-opening Initial Training and is finalising the lease negotiations for her centre. We anticipate that the centre will be opening in August 2013 should everything go according to plan.
Kumon South Africa are so pleased to be able to introduce Ashmini and Diane to you and we will keep you informed of other developments in the recruitment area as they happen.