The international network of robotics schools ROBBOClub.Ru, created by the resident of the Skolkovo Foundation, the ROBBO company, is conquering the African market. The first franchise clubs opened in South Africa and Nigeria.
At the moment, students are being recruited to the ROBBOClub.Ru online school, as well as to the offline club in Lagos, the most populated city in Nigeria and throughout Africa (13 million people). ROBBO, the operator of the ROBBOClub.Ru network, is also supplying private schools in Nigeria with its innovative engineering classrooms for programming, robotics and 3D printing lessons.
ROBBOClub.Ru online schools have also opened in South African Cape Town and Johannesburg. More than 60 children are already studying there. It is planned to create an offline circle in Johannesburg during the year.
A partner from South Africa found information about the ROBBOClub.Ru franchise on the Internet and decided to open a business for his wife. A franchisee from Nigeria learned about the clubs from a Russian colleague from Japan; they studied together at a US business school. Seeing the interest in the franchise from African entrepreneurs, ROBBO launched an advertising campaign, the response to which, as they say in the Skolkovo company, confirmed the great potential of the network's development on the continent. As a result: ROBBO is negotiating with several more entrepreneurs from different African countries about the opening of individual clubs in large cities, and about the possibility of developing a network on exclusive terms. At ROBBO, Africa is considered a very promising region for robotics schools.
Pavel Frolov, founder of the company, notes: “The level of market development differs significantly in different countries. For example, in South Africa it is quite progressive; both its own and international EdTech companies operate. It is from this country that we have the most requests for a franchise. In Nigeria, the market is just emerging, the first projects appear. But in both countries, technical education of children, in particular robotics, is designated by the state as a priority area. And this is a significant impetus for the rapid growth of the market.”
Pavel Krivozubov, Head of the Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Department of the IT cluster of the Skolkovo Foundation, agrees that Africa is becoming one of the most promising markets for Russian high-tech companies. Many African states demonstrate a high need for the development and implementation of technologies, the training of IT specialists, and the modernization of educational programs. The solutions of the ROBBO company are aimed at training innovative engineers who will be able to ensure the technological development of their countries, P. Krivozubov is convinced.
The network of robotics schools ROBBOClub.Ru has been developing since 2015. The first overseas circle was opened in Finland in 2018. This is our own project ROBBO.
In 2019, a Thai partner bought a franchise for 10 clubs, the first of which opened late last year. In the spring of 2020, the first circles in Japan were launched - in Tokyo and Fukuoka, a partner appeared in Romania (Bucharest).
Now there are more than 130 circles in the network. Of these, 14 are own, the rest are opened by franchise partners.