Leading child care and early education franchise business Lightbridge Academy recently signed the agreement for its 100th location. This newest store will be in the New York Metro area and will be owned and operated by Mit Desai and Pankaj Savaliya.
Savaliya received his engineering degree in India and then moved to America in 2001. There, he worked for a major food franchise brand and became a franchisee with that brand himself in 2007, eventually owning six stores with that brand and one with another large franchise brand.
Desai, who has a business degree, moved to the United States in 2005 and met Savaliya through a mutual friend. They first started a residential real estate company together before deciding they wanted to open a second business as partners. They searched franchise opportunities and landed at Lightbridge, a brand both were familiar with. Desai's aunt worked at one of the education centers, and Savaliya's three-year-old son was enrolled at one.
According to Savaliya, the food franchise business locations he already owns are 24/7 operations, so he was looking at franchise opportunities that would provide a work-life balance and Lightbridge fit the bill. He added that the corporate team's support has been outstanding.
The partners were attracted to the Lightbridge brand for other reasons, too, including its core values; its "Circle of Care" ideology that enables staff, the local community, franchisees, children and parents to work together to create a loving and trusted place for children to thrive; and the leadership team's strong commitment to franchisees.
Desai said his aunt, an employee of Lightbridge, always talked about its great values, culture and philosophy. Desai was happy to see that the corporate team not only talked about their values, culture and "Circle of Care" but actually did the work and embodied them, which was demonstrated to the partners on their Discovery Day.
Currently, Desai and Savaliya are searching for real estate in the New York Metro area with the help of the brand's corporate team, and they are already preparing to sign on for a second location.
Brand Senior Vice President of Franchise Development Mark Mele says the company is always thrilled to add enthusiastic franchisees. Franchisees are not required to have experience, noted Mele, but the company feels the partners' belief in and passionate attitude toward Lightbridge Academy's system and values and Savaliya's multi-unit owner experience will make them a great asset to the brand.
Started in 1997, Lightbridge Academy is a provider of child care and early education to children ages six and up, and they also offer special programs from children up to the age of 10 during breaks and school holidays in addition to a summer camp. With a total of 100 locations either already open or currently in the works, this growing brand is actively seeking franchises right now. The total initial investment to buy a center ranges from $2,546,228 to $5,020,735, and the leasing option runs from $541,228 to $733,635.