Wall Street English gets wider rights
Wall Street English Thailand Co, the operator of language learning centres, has won the master franchise rights to open Wall Street English branches in Cambodia and Laos.
According to chairman Matthew Kichodhan, the company won the master franchise rights over the last two months to replace a previous contract that allowed the company to open branches only in Thailand.
Mr Matthew said the company will spend 600 million baht from now to 2020 to expand the business.
Under the new contract, the company can also expand Wall Street English via the franchise scheme, alongside its own investment.
"This will make us expand our business faster than in the past," Mr Matthew said.
Wall Street English Thailand Co is under SET-listed Wave Entertainment Plc, which launched the English-language learning centres in Thailand in 2014 with seven branches.
The company currently operates 14 branches, including the latest one set to open today at The Mall Shopping Center Bangkapi. The company plans to double the network's size to 28 centres across the country by 2020.
Of the 14 future branches, 10 will be franchised and four will be under the company's own investment.
Franchisees are estimated to spend 3-4 million baht each for a Wall Street English centre of 130 square metres and 10 million baht for one of 350 sq m.
Both franchise types are expected to break even within two years.
By 2020, Wall Street English Thailand forecasts revenue to reach 1.5 billion baht.
"Education is one of the fastest-growing segments," Mr Matthew said. "There are over 100 on waiting lists who want to help Wall Street English centres expand. With significant demand beyond the capacity of the current centres, we decide to expand via franchise basis from next year."
He said demand for learning English continues to grow in Bangkok and upcountry because of the establishment of the Asean Economic Community in 2015 and the Eastern Economic Corridor scheme that will lure more foreign investment to Thailand.
"This will drive the country's development and transformation," Mr Matthew said. "English is an essential skill for the transformation, as well as a tool for personal career advancement."
Wall Street English is the world's largest premium English training network, with more than 400 centres in 28 territories. Wall Street English has a 44% share of the overall English training market globally.
Mr Matthew said Wall Street English's business in Asia ex China grew by 17% in the first nine months of the year. Thailand saw outstanding growth of 31% in the period, he said.
Olarn Phirintharangkoon, chief executive of Wall Street English Thailand, said the company has opened three Wall Street English branches this year, including the one opening today.
Wall Street English at The Mall Shopping Center Bangkapi will have a new format with modern design and a large social area.
About 10,000 people study at Wall Street English, 46% of whom are students 15-22 years old.