What Motivates Kumon Parents To Become Entrepreneurs And Open Kumon Centers?

Kumon Instructors come from all walks of life, but many of them have two things in common: They are both parents and entrepreneurs.

A high percentage of Kumon franchise owners learned about Kumon when their own children went through the program. For many of them, watching their kids gain confidence and succeed in school by using the Kumon Math and Reading Program was enough to convince them to open their own center.

“As a Kumon Parent, I could see the greatness of the program,” says Meenu Gupta, now the Instructor of Kumon Centers in Broomall and Exton, Pennsylvania. “I was very happy in my (former) job, but I could see how much Kumon helped my son, and I wanted to offer that to other children in my community.”

Education franchise owner based in Pennsylvania

Nothing Is More Rewarding

Gupta was always passionate about education. With a degree in electronics and communication, she worked for a telecom company in India and as an IT manager when she first came to the U.S. When her son was 4, she enrolled him in Kumon with her boss’s child.

“I really liked the Kumon Program and could see how well he was doing in it,” she says. “I was a very involved parent and knew an instructor from New Jersey who encouraged me to think about opening my own center.”

When she took leave from work to have her second child, she began to really think about opening her own center. She opened the Broomall center in 2017.

Now in 10th grade, her older son is a straight-A student who completed the program in reading in eighth grade and is very close to completing math. “He could be a speaker for Kumon,” his mom says. “He could see how much it helped him with vocabulary and writing. He writes for his school magazine now.”

 She is proud of the difference she’s made in the lives of her students. “We’ve had students who are now at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school, come back to say thank you. Nothing could be more rewarding.”

When parents come to Gupta and say they will have to pull their children from Kumon to let them swim or play soccer, she asks them to think about their students’ futures. “Do you want your kids to go to an Ivy League school? They can’t do that without outside help. School is only 180 days per year.”

I Was Lucky To Be Able to Make the Drive

Ankita Patel, the Instructor at the Kumon Center of Forney, Texas, and the Kumon Center of Tyler, Texas, remembers sitting in the waiting room at the Kumon Center where she took her young son. It was 50 miles each way from the hotel she owns and operates with her husband to the center and took nearly an hour to drive each way. “It dawned on me how far I was driving to help my child soar, and how lucky I was to be able to manage that drive,” she says. “But I knew it was not feasible for all parents to make that trip and bring their children to Kumon after work. I started looking into options to open something nearby to help so many kids who were not able to get the benefits of Kumon due to the drive time.”

In 2011, Patel created a solution for parents like her, opening the Kumon Center of Forney.

Patel’s son started talking very late, when he was about 3½, and it worried her. With Kumon’s help, however, he caught up quickly, got ahead of his classmates and skipped second grade. In May, he graduated high school. He’ll be enrolling in the pre-vet program at Stephen F. Austin State University this fall.

Her son was also her guinea pig, Patel says, when she was just starting out. “You have to constantly be coming up with new ideas and techniques because children are not one-size-fits-all, and so I tested everything out on him. It must have worked, because he was my center’s first dual program completer,” she says. 

“I love what I’m doing now,” she says. “I wanted to be in the community and make a difference in the lives of kids. I love seeing the smile on a child’s face when they leave the center thinking, ‘I can do this!’”

I Worried About My Kids

Before she joined Kumon, Nita Modi, the Instructor at Kumon Center of Cambridge South in Ontario, was a research associate at the University of Waterloo. With a biochemistry and biotechnology degree, she worked in the lab and was shocked by how many college students she met who did not possess basic math and reading skills. “I was worried about my own kids. And when I realized my son was finger counting in first grade and misspelling words that were not being corrected, I began researching. I reached out to a cousin whose kid went to Kumon, and she encouraged me to enroll my son.”

Modi’s son thrived in the program. In eighth grade, he was doing 12th grade English, and in ninth grade, he was doing 12th grade math.

“I did not take my first grader to Kumon because he was struggling. I took him because I didn’t want him to struggle,” Modi says. “I was so pleased that I enrolled my daughter in the pre-K program as soon as possible. And for both of them, high school was a piece of cake.”

By the time her son was in high school and her daughter was in fourth grade, she was sold. Her sister-in-law suggested she look into opening her own center, and she filled out a form the next morning – even before she told her family that she was thinking about starting a business. She opened her center in 2015 and says being a Kumon Parent herself has helped her keep students and parents engaged.

“It takes a lot of perseverance to sustain Kumon. It was easy for me to motivate the kids when they got bored and the parents, when they got tired of it. Being a Kumon Parent helped me understand every aspect of Kumon – the patience required, the business end, the worksheets.”

She says running her own center has not always been easy, but it has always been fulfilling. “To run a good center and be there for the kids keeps it interesting. I tell them I am there for you during this journey. The three of us are in this together – the kid, the parent and the Instructor.”

About Kumon Franchise

In business for over 60 years, Kumon is consistently ranked #1 in the education category by Entrepreneur magazine and this year, Kumon was ranked #6 in the Top Ten of the entire Franchise 500® list. Investment starts at less than $65,000 and Kumon offers up to $34,000 in incentives—veterans may qualify for an extra $10,000 bonus. Opening a Kumon Franchise is ideal for individuals with a passion for education and for helping kids. See if Kumon Franchise is right for you.

About Kumon Math & Reading Centers:

For kids from pre-K to high school, Kumon is a math and reading academic enrichment program that goes well beyond traditional tutoring, unlocking the potential of children to achieve more. Through daily practice, the individualized approach helps children develop strong math, reading, writing, and grammar skills. Students develop confidence, increase focus, and improve study habits. Kumon Instructors guide kids through their individual curriculums, helping them set and achieve goals.