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Top Franchise Leaders: Minoru Tanabe, President of Kumon

Minoru Tanabe first became involved with Kumon in 1991. Now, he leads the still-growing children’s enrichment education concept.

By Morgan Wood1851 Franchise Contributor
Updated 9:09AM 12/08/22

Kumon, a children’s education and enrichment concept, was first founded in Japan in 1954 by a father who was interested in cultivating a love for learning in his child. Now, there are over 26,000 units across the entire franchise system that facilitate 30 minutes of work per subject per day, driving students toward increased academic success.

Kumon’s model emphasizes the importance of students focusing on certain skills for short spurts of time. This, in turn, ensures they master prerequisite skills before moving ahead. Often, learning in this way accelerates students’ growth, impressing parents. This also allows Kumon to stand out from other learning concepts that simply push information toward students, regardless of their beginning ability or level of mastery at each step forward.

Minoru Tanabe, now-President of Kumon North America, has decades of history with the brand. He worked as an assistant general manager for Kumon Indonesia starting in 1991, moved to Kumon, Japan, in 1996, and began working his way up at Kumon North America in 1998. In 2013, he was appointed president.

In Kumon’s release announcing the appointment, Tanabe said, “I am honored to lead an organization full of dedicated franchisees and talented associates. With more than 20 years of experience with Kumon in three continents, I am confident I can help Kumon North America grow to the next stage of development.” 

“I am committed to delivering an excellent quality of service to children in North America, regardless of age, academic needs and background, to develop their potential to the fullest,” he added.

The prospect of developing students’ “potential to the fullest” continues to shine through in much of Kumon’s franchise development efforts.

On its FAQs page, Kumon says, “While Kumon can and does help students who have fallen a bit behind in school to catch up, and even surpass their peers, the greatest value of our unique approach is the impact it can make in a child’s success over time.”

The concept does something similar for its franchisees, allowing passionate business people to build a career and future that will allow for long-term success. Charlotte Immenschuh, owner of Kumon Math and Reading Center of San Antonio – Alamo Heights, shared her experience with the concept in a 2016 Entrepreneur interview.

Thanks to Tanabe’s leadership, Kumon has been on an upward growth trajectory for the last decade and continues to thrive with the partnership of committed franchisees and parents who want the best for their children.