For Ashish Gandhi and Sapna Chordia, what was originally supposed to be a tutoring program for their son turned into a business investment and life change for the entire family. Gandhi and Chordia enrolled their son into a local Sylvan Learning in 2015 to help with his writing skills. Very quickly, Gandhi realized how beneficial the program was for his son.
“It dawned on us how quickly he improved his writing skills and how the center utilized technology and old school techniques to teach children,” said Gandhi. “You get the kids to write on paper but supplement with technology and that combination really helps my son get more involved and experience a whole new realm of learning. We found the program to be quite helpful for him, which made us look into it more seriously as a business investment and a way to give back to the community. We can help people out using the experiences and lessons we’ve learned with tutoring options.”
Gandhi and Chordia opened their Sylvan Learning location in Reston, Virginia in June 2017. Their son still attends the program and now, the husband and wife team are able to draw upon their backgrounds to help other students in the community while achieving their dreams of owning a small business. Prior to becoming a Sylvan franchisee, Gandhi worked as an IT Executive for a financial institution and managed the internal banking infrastructure. He also has been in real estate for more than 14 years as a licensed agent in Virginia. Both of these skills help in his day-to-day work running his Sylvan Learning location.
“My real estate background helps me with the sales and customer relations aspect of running a Sylvan Learning location. My IT background provided me with the management experience of how to run a business, manage employees, finances, budgets and scheduling and the overall planning and operations of the center,” said Gandhi.
For Sylvan, franchisees like Gandhi are exactly what they are looking for: the balance of hard skills with a background in technology and business with the soft skills of sales and real estate to build up a business and engage with the local community.
“Ashish pays incredible attention to detail and he’s a hard worker,” said Courtney Wells, franchise development specialist at Sylvan. “He has a great background with management and entrepreneurial experience. He has been on top of everything since the beginning and he is one of those franchisees that give good, candid feedback to fix a few procedures on our end. At the end of the day, he is a family man, and the work he’s doing makes a difference to his and his family’s bottom line and overall happiness.”
As Sylvan Learning continues to focus on growing across the United States, franchisees like Gandhi and Chordia are part of the next generation of Sylvan franchisees that can take their backgrounds from their former careers and implement them into their franchise.
“Ashish and Sapna are exactly the type of franchisees we’re looking to partner with to grow the Sylvan Learning brand,” said Georgia Chasen, senior director of franchise development for Sylvan Learning. “Their son was a student so they saw the benefits and positive impact of the program directly, plus their backgrounds align with the type of skills needed to successfully run a Sylvan Learning franchise.”
Although he has only been in business for a little more than a month, Gandhi is already thinking about opening his next location.
“My goal is to expand to a second territory, or even a third,” he said. “I’ve been impressed by the support from Sylvan’s corporate team and look forward to growing with the brand.”