Kidzania to enter Delhi-NCR with Rs 100-crore investment, says chief executive Sanjeev Kumar!

Kidzania, the global chain of role-play centres for children, will invest over Rs 100 crore for a facility in Delhi-NCR, its chief executive, Sanjeev Kumar, has said.

The franchise licence for Kidzania in India is owned by Imagination Edutainment. Singapore-based KidZ Inc., whose shareholders are Comcraft Group, Xander Group and Maxfield Management Limited, owns 74 per cent of the franchise while actor Shah Rukh Khan owns the remaining 26 per cent. The chain is also present in Mumbai.

"The project funding will be done through 70 per cent equity and 30 per cent debt, Kumar said, adding that KidZania Delhi will be a 147-acre facility in Noida and will be ready in 2016.

"We are very bullish about the Delhi NCR market. While we will be targeting kids between 4-14 years and their parents residing in Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon and we feel there is a great potential in the surrounding cities of Sonipat, Panipat, Mathura, Agra and Meerut. Our feasibility report has also shown interest of inbound tourists and school groups from Punjab and Haryana. We are confident of hosting 600,000+ visitors in the first year," said Kumar.

The indoor theme-park, built-to-scale across three levels, will be spread over nearly 100,000 sq ft and have a capacity to host 1,800 visitors, based on a mix of 65 per cent children and 35 per cent adults.

Kumar said the operating cash break-even on an annualised basis in Delhi-NCR is expected within 12 months of the launch. The project is expected to break-even in five-six years.

The project will have new establishments that include an underground archaeology facility, a stadium and a hanging aircraft at the entrance. The concept is present in 20 cities including London, Dubai, Jeddah, Lisbon, Tokyo and its start-point, Santa Fe in Mexico.

The Mumbai facility has seen more than 700,000 young visitors, including those from over 300 schools, in the last 24 months. Children are allowed to take part in activities as professionals and also act as customers in establishments like the bank, aircraft, allowing them to learn, spend or earn their own currency called KidZos.

The Delhi facility has already signed on brands including Parle-G for a biscuit factory, Bajaj Electricals for a culinary school and an energy conservation hub, Kellogg's for a cereal factory, Big Bazaar for a supermarket, and E-Zone (electronics store), among others. The Mumbai facility houses over 36 brands.

Read the full article on Economic Times.