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Software Consultant-Turned-Sylvan Franchisee NN Rao Engineered A Stellar Learning Experience for Residents of Allentown

Following a 20-year career in the software industry, this parent opened a Sylvan Learning franchise to benefit his own and other children in his local community.

By Allison Stone1851 Contributor
SPONSORED 2:14PM 03/26/20

NN Rao and wife Pradeepa Nidamanuru opened the first Sylvan Learning location in Allentown, PA in 2019. The pair met through their work in the software industry, and after over two decades of software consulting experience and two children, they knew the perfect next step was to open a Sylvan Learning franchise. 

It’s no secret that passionate parents make great Sylvan franchisees, especially parents like Rao and Nidamanuru whose own children have seen the benefits of supplemental education. The husband-and-wife team have two children, their daughter Srithulasi, a 12th grader, and son Srikar, who is in the first grade. Rao and Nidamanuru, who work as partners and co-operators of the Allentown Sylvan Learning, have Srithulasi and Srikar attend classes at the location. 

Rao moved to the U.S. from India in 2004 and shortly thereafter founded the Spandana Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) charitable non-profit committed to making a positive difference in education, health care and living conditions for those in need, in both the U.S. and India, which he still operates today. 

With a full plate working as software consultants and running a nonprofit, Rao and Nidamanuru had never considered franchising before purchasing their first Sylvan center, but realized it would be an excellent investment opportunity and addition to their local community. “I looked into competitors during my due diligence process, such as Huntington and Kuman,” said Rao. “I compared all the features between the different supplementary education models, and Sylvan definitely had the model that gives the best product to students, along with the right combination of modern technology and traditional approach to education.”

The supplemental and enrichment learning programs that Sylvan offers is compelling for not only its approachability for students and families, but its forward-thinking innovations to education. Sylvan Learning centers offer tutor-led services in subjects like ACT/SAT test prep, STEM learning known as Sylva EDGE and more. Sylvan instructors also have the ability to curate personalized lesson plans for each student through SylvanSync™, an adaptive platform that helps tutors develop and track progress in real time.

The Allentown Sylvan Learning was the first center in the area. “My children attended supplemental schooling in Allentown, so I have seen what is lacking in the other programs,” said Rao. “I believed something superior needed to come to the community, which propelled me to become a franchisee with Sylvan Learning.”

Rao and Nidamanuru have gone above-and-beyond and used their platform to offer discounted rates to first responders and their families, as well as scholarships to underprivileged students, veterans and active-duty military.

Rao and Nidamanuru are looking to open additional locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with an end goal of having four to five centers. 

The startup costs for a Sylvan Learning center range from $68,680 to $159,085. The franchise fee is $24,000. To learn more about franchising with Sylvan Learning, visit

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