The Mexican edutainment brand, KidZania, will launch its first theme park in India in April 2013, in R City Mall in Mumbai with Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan as a strategic investor in the venture.
Khan owns 26% in ImagiNation Edutainment India Pvt Ltd, which holds the franchise for the India operations. The remaining 74% is owned by Singapore-based KidZ Inc., owned by Comcraft Group, Xander Group and Maxfield Management Ltd.
“We invest close to $15-25 million on each park. The Mumbai one the investment is around $20 million (Rs 100 crore). We are hoping to breakeven in the first year itself,” KidZania India Director and CEO Sanjeev Kumar told Business Standard. The Mumbai theme park is spread across 75,000 sq ft with over 75 role-playing options for kids via 60 establishments. KidZania is about real life experiences, empowering, inspiring, and educating kids through role-play, such as being a chef, pilot, surgeon, nurse, lawyer, fire-fighter, police officer, actor, reporter, artist, newscaster, photographer etc. Kumar said that while the first centre will be self-funded, for the next two centres – in Delhi NCR and Bangalore – the company will look at various fund raising options. Meanwhile, talking about his interest in the venture, Khan said, “I am a believer in business where we can create a product to touch the hearts of end-consumers. Here in KidZania, there is a product which is close to my heart, it is for kids and it is entertaining.
All that I want to do.” As a concept, KidZania combines education and entertainment rendering real life experiences that empower, inspire and educate children. It engages kids between 4 to 14 years with environmental stewardship, career exploration and social consciousness activities. It’s built to the size and scale for children and emulates the workings of a real city. The entry ticket for the kids will be in the range of Rs 700 for five-hours and it will be all inclusive. “We will also have subsidised rates for kids who can not afford the tickets as a part of CSR partnerships and we also run mobile vans in cities where we will reach out to more people with out audio visuals,” Kumar further added. The revenue come from ticket sales and brands partnerships. World over, KidZania is present in seven countires with 11 centres and 12 more under development to be launched by 2014. It has brand partnership with over 500 brands including Unilever, P&G, Nestle, Cadbury Kraft, HSBC, DHL, Mattel, Honda, Emirates Airlines, Coca-Cola, Hyundai, HP, Sony, Dominos and Pizza Hut.