When Raj and Veenu Parkash first enrolled their daughter in Lightbridge Academy, they never thought that it would lead to their next business venture. But today, 15 years after opening their first center, the husband and wife team are thriving in their North Brunswick, New Jersey neighborhood.
The Parkashes were first inspired to open up their own Lightbridge Academy location after they were both trapped in New York City after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Realizing that neither one of them could get to their daughter quickly in the event of an emergency, they decided to look for a business ownership opportunity that would allow them to work closer to home. Because they loved Lightbridge Academy’s unique Circle of Care philosophy—which places equal weight on the needs of everyone in a child’s life—as parents, they wanted to learn more about how they could open their own location.
Since then, the Parkashes have successfully launched two Lightbridge Academy centers, with plans for a third location already in the works. And to say that they’re making the most of the climbing demand in the child care industry would be an understatement. In fact, their North Brunswick-Renaissance Center just achieved 100 percent occupancy.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled for Raj, Veenu and everyone who works alongside them in their North Brunswick center. They are in a highly competitive marketplace and reaching this milestone takes a commitment to excellence in education and service to all families. Their entire Lightbridge Academy team truly shares our passion for enhancing the lives of children and those around them,” said Brenda Febbo, chief marketing officer for Lightbridge Academy. “Lightbridge Academy’s goal is to bring the highest quality educational child care services to as many families and communities as possible. Franchisees like Raj and Veenu are proof that, with the right leadership, Lightbridge Academy centers thrive. We’re looking forward to celebrating 100 percent occupancy at other locations.”
According to the Parkashes, Lightbridge Academy’s business model has played a significant role in achieving this lofty 100% occupancy goal. The brands core values and Circle of Care philosophy helps to drive extreme customer loyalty. In addition, Lightbridge Academy is built on a proven business system that’s easily replicated, so franchisees can focus their efforts on local area marketing to reach more potential customers. Business challenges are overcome through a comprehensive support system and the Lightbridge Academy’s franchise team provides the Parkashes the necessary support and guidance.
But the road to reaching full occupancy doesn’t end there. Raj says that their center has been able to reach this point by establishing strong relationships with their staff, parents and other members of their local community.
“Our success as franchisees ultimately comes down to how we treat other people. That’s why we work together as one big family. From the teachers to the parents and children that walk through our doors every day, our number one priority is creating a positive learning environment that’s filled with the best care,” said Parkash. “We work very hard to build and maintain strong relationships with the families who entrust us to care for their children while they’re away at work. We still see children who graduated from our center 10 years ago and they continue to come back to our annual gatherings and other community events. Our Circle of Care extends far beyond our center walls.”
In addition to that focus on building strong relationships, the Parkashes are also tapping into the growth potential behind the child care industry. From summer camp to traditional programs that run throughout the school year, there’s always an opportunity to bring in the next generation of Lightbridge Academy families. And to ensure that they’re staying on track and maintaining 100 percent occupancy, the Parkashes work closely with their center employees—including center director Lisa Calicchio—to move in the right direction.
“Raj and Veenu are incredible hands-on owners, which has absolutely played a role in our center’s success. Parents know that they’re going to see a familiar face when they drop off or pick up their children, and the sense of community and family we have here is hard to find anywhere else,” said Calicchio. “Like any business, moving forward comes down setting goals and delivering on your promises. When you combine that with our unwavering passion for the Lightbridge Academy brand, you end up with something really special. I couldn’t be more proud to be part of this Lightbridge Academy family.”