Peter Markovitz is the President of Mathnasium, a franchise chain of neighborhood learning centers that specialize in math instruction. Mathnasium has more than 450 learning centers open or under development. Mathnasium franchisees have opened centers in North, South, and Central America; the Caribbean; Europe; and Asia. Two new Mathnasium Learning Centers open every week. In its 2013 rankings, Entrepreneur magazine placed Mathnasium on its list of the Fastest-Growing Franchises and on its list of Top New Franchises. Prior to co-founding Mathnasium, Markovitz was the Founder and President of Futurekids, an education company that has taught millions of children in 76 countries around the world.
Why does Mathnasium teach only math? Aren't you limiting the size of your market?
We don't believe that depth of market is necessarily controlled by breadth of offerings. It is one thing to tell parents that you can competently teach any subject at any level at any time, and quite another to deliver on that promise. Parents know when learning centers don't deliver. It is revealed on a child's report card. So rather than doing everythingand excelling at nothingwe choose to excel at teaching math.
Math is central to a child's education in this scientific age. And we believe that no one teaches math better than we do. We get extraordinary results at an attractive price. This explains why parents around the world are enrolling their children in Mathnasium in droves. When there isn't a center in their area, parents often ask to be placed on a waiting list. They want their children to be first in the door when a center does open near their homes.
Of course, we lose customers who might want beginning reading, or advanced biology, or freshman Spanish. But learning centers that attempt to address all these subjects suffer because a multiplicity of offerings strains their business model. By focusing on and delivering quality and value for a slice of the market, we give our customers exactly what they want. And because we give them what they want, we are not only growing fast, we are actually poised to capture the entire market. Teaching math is a very large market indeed. After-school math instruction is a $5 billion marketand it's growing fast.
Mathnasium was founded in 2002. Your growth has been extraordinary. What's your secret?
There is no secret. We are simply trying to do the right things. Sometimes I think that our growing success stems not from extraordinary insight on our part, but rather quite ordinary insight, even common sense. Great benefit accrues to us because there is a tradition in education of not doing the obvious and the necessary.
In other retail and service sectors, enormous attention is invested in systems and strategies designed to maximize value for the customer. But not in education. When a mother buys a vacuum cleaner for her home, she is optimistic that the appliance will function with high efficiency. When she spends twice that amount on a month of tutoring, experience has taught her to be pessimistic. She does not expect to see a significant difference in her child's performance. She acts because she is desperate, because she has to try something. This is tragic because at every age children have a vast reservoir of potential.
Our franchisees experience the exhilaration that comes from helping children realize this potential. That we can do so at about half the price of other learning centers constantly surprises parents. And the efficiency of our system is enhanced by furious demand and a dearth of meaningful competition.
Beyond the power of our methods, I attribute our growth to an approach which
wraps our potent education system around an efficient business model. It is
efficient because our resources are focused on delivering a single product. We've
created a powerful business vehiclethe equivalent of a Formula One race car in
franchising. Great vehicles attract great drivers, so our franchisees are
And our corporate team is second to none. Shant Assarian, our Chief Operating Officer, continuously raises the bar on systems and standards, while Larry Martinek, our Chief Instructional Officer, and Co-Founder David Ullendorff relentlessly refine our proprietary education system so kids are truly engaged and achieve astounding results. The Mathnasium educational program is one of the most comprehensive and innovative curriculums ever produced for teaching math.
We have four constituents: the Mathnasium parent company, Mathnasium franchisees, parents, and children. The company must serve us all.