By KWANCHAI RUNGFAPAISARN
Matthew Kichodhan, chairman of Wall Street English Thailand, said the market for English-language schools in Thailand was growing.
“I see English-language education as a fast-growing industry, fuelled by an ever-increasing need for people to speak English as the global language. There are lots of market opportunities for English schools in Thailand,” he said.
“The country has become an international hotspot for the tourism, automotive, innovation, technology and logistics industries. With an increase in foreign investment and international communication, English has become an essential skill for transformation as well as a tool for personal career and business opportunity advancement,” he added.
Matthew said Thais practising English often think hard about whether what they are saying is correct or not. This makes them get stuck and they become shy to use or speak English. But the new generation seems to be more focused on real communication rather than patterns, he said.
“Our strategy here is to grow our business through people and business expansion in Thailand. We have positioned the brand as ‘English Learning and Lifestyle Centres’. We have a premium brand, based on our heritage, but also modernised and digitally enabled for today’s and tomorrow’s customers to promote effective learning.”
He said Wall Street aims to be “the most supportive and motivating learning experience by providing the best teaching experts, innovation tools and techniques. And, of course, we will double the size of the business by the end of 2020,” he said.
Matthew said Wall Street English has opened three new branches in 2018 and plans another 14 throughout Thailand by the end of 2020.
“We will double in size from 14 to 28 learning centres through company-owned and franchise business, generating an estimated Bt2 billion in revenue,” he said.
Olarn Phirintharangkoon, chief executive officer of Wall Street English Thailand, said the key challenges of today and the future are that learning centres must be reactive. “What worked a year ago might not be the best approach now. It’s not the big eat the small but the fast that eat the slow. Business conditions change continually. We have to keep up with the market. I also believe that English-language schools should build up an in-depth picture of what customers want and how they behave,” he said.
Olarn said the demand for English is predicted to increase in the coming years, driven by the prevalence of the language in business, accelerating globalisation, and a desire to invest in language skills for personal growth. “I think one of the main challenges is how we can help people learn English throughout the country, because Thailand is not only Bangkok. That’s why we’ve launched the franchise business model to expand Wall Street English outside Bangkok. At Wall Street English, we have been operating successfully for over 15 years in Thailand. We have a proven educational method, world-class curriculum, and extensive experience in English-language education, allowing fast ramp-up and scalability of the business,” he said.