Welcoming the first of many

After meeting with prospects at a standing-room-only discovery day, David Graham and the Code Ninjas team went on to sign their first UK franchisee.

Welcoming the first of many

After meeting with prospects at a standing-room-only discovery day, David Graham and the Code Ninjas team went on to sign their first UK franchisee. A team of four friends and associates will launch the first ever Code Ninjas centre on British soil in autumn this year.

When introducing your franchise model to a completely new market, it’s imperative that you cross all your t’s and dot all your i’s. When we invited prospects to meet with us in central London, for our Discovery Day, we presented them with a comprehensive and detailed overview of what it means to be a Code Ninjas franchisee. Because that’s how we like to do things around here – we’re detail people. This is a quality we look for in all of our franchisees, but what else did we look for in the UK’s first?

Awarding your first franchisee in a new market is a completely different to awarding later down the line, when the brand is more established in that region. The first franchisee in the new market will undoubtedly have more of an entrepreneurial mindset and is likely to be more willing to take risks than your average franchisee. The trailblazer is going to get a kick out of being number one, will be excited at the thought of being able to help shape the brand in a new market whilst also understanding the importance – and the advantages – of following the proven business model. Something I liken it to is when you have your first child. Parenting is new, it’s exciting…and slightly terrifying. You learn to communicate with your first-born in a way that will benefit the parent-child dynamic as your family grows. Your first child is often an independent thinker, a great communicator and will set a good example for the younger children that follow. The first franchisee, in many ways, is very similar.

Whilst there will always be that slight feeling of trepidation, my Code Ninjas support team and I are certain that we’ve found the right man – or men, in this instance – for the job. We opened 75 Code Ninjas centres in the US in 2018, so sourcing the talent isn’t the problem. And, as we’d hoped, there was a queue around the block when we invited prospects to come and meet with us in the UK a few months back.

The team that will be bringing Code Ninjas to the UK are four long-term friends and associates from Pinner and Harrow. Whilst it’s a happy coincidence that these guys come as a four, individual franchisees are also welcome! We were impressed by their complementary skill sets and combined passion for their community. Prasad Prabhakaran, Srinivasa Rao, Sridhar Bhat and Sharath Iyer have varied experiences in their own specialist fields of technology, finance, telecoms, operations and education. Truth be told, you probably couldn’t find a team more qualified to launch our first UK-based coding centre – they’re a Code Ninjas homerun!

It’s probably useful to note that experience in the sector isn’t a prerequisite for the perfect franchisee. In fact, most franchisors put the work-ethic and dedication of a prospect before relevant experience in the field. It’s no fluke that Prasad, Srinivasa, Sridhar and Sharath approached us with combined experience in very relevant sectors, but we were more impressed with their commitment to their community. They all have kids of their own and, between them, their children attend schools within walking distance of their soon-to-be, state-of-the-art coding centre. Plus, Prasad has made no secret of the fact that all of their kids love tech. In fact, that’s how he found out about Code Ninjas – he was looking for a fun and engaging coding course for his daughter. When he realised they didn’t really exist, he decided to open his own. Dad of the year, right? All jokes aside, these guys understand the value of the Code Ninjas programme in the UK and see it doing incredible things to the landscape of kid’s coding education in years to come.

The race is now on for others to follow in their footsteps. And with 50+ attendees at our second UK discovery day, chances are it won’t be long before we’re welcoming others to the Code Ninjas international family.

David Graham
David Graham