Manish Vakil talks about his dream – Tumbles

Working with kids to help them grow up in a fun environment can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. The right expertise and experience to do so can go a long way in making it a successful business. Tumbles is your destination franchise if you are looking for successful franchise options in the kids franchise industry.

Manish Vakil, the founder and CEO talks about his dream – Tumbles. This was started with the goal of fighting obesity and providing mental and physical development for the kids through STEM education. He has a B.S. in Finance from Rutgers University and has a history of owning and operating a variety of profitable kid-focused businesses prior to founding Tumbles.

1. How did you enter in the franchise business?

I started in the franchise business as a franchisee 15 years ago. I bought area developer rights to an education franchise in 2005, then bought another education franchise in 2006 and then an entertainment franchise in 2007.

2. Where and how did the idea of your concept come from?

When I was operating the three franchises, I asked the Franchisors’ if I could have the locations next to each other as they all served a different need and also would give economies of scale with marketing and staff, but was told I could not as some of them looked it as competition.

I kept running the businesses and over the years I noticed how much the combination of the businesses would provide me with savings and a better business model, so I started searching for a business that would allow me to utilize the rental space I have, staff and marketing and could not find one, so I decided to create it myself.

3. What inspired the brand name?

In order to speed up the growth of the business, I bought a distressed asset and retooled the operations, program and actually took the name they had and shortened it.

4. What is the story behind the brand’s logo?

Tumbles is a very simple but easy to remember name and I wanted to make it fun and memorable at the same time, so we played with the logo quite a bit to come up with something that people can relate to globally.

I wanted the brand name to be the logo originally but that was hard so we went with the “T”. If you see the arm of the “T” is inverted which showcases a child doing a cartwheel and also a fitness pose or a bodybuilder showing the muscles. Kids and adults alike enjoy fun and that is what we wanted the logo to showcase.

5. What makes your brand different from your competitors?

Tumbles is definitely a different brand as we are the only ones to have a combination of programs. We have our Gym program based on developmental milestones and the only STEAM program based on bodily-kinesthetic learning, which means a person’s ability to process information physically through hand and body movement, control, and expression. Our Gym allows us to deliver this unique learning which is becoming more and more valuable in this global world. This is the true definition of an Edutainment business. This allows the franchisee to truly have a business that has multiple revenue streams.

6. What are the essential qualities that you look for in a franchisee?

We look for partners that have a passion to get into the Edutainment and Health and Fitness industry with prior business experience.

7. How long does it take, on average, for your franchisee to realize their investment?

The answer to this question depends on many variables but looking at our existing location it can take anywhere from 1.5 years to 2.5 years.

8. What was the major challenge you faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?

Our biggest challenge was the operations and software systems we wanted to build to support the franchisees in the beginning. We believe we have to have a solid foundation to build a successful system. We had to sacrifice fast growth to make sure we have a great support system, so that is what we did. Now we have the systems built and can focus on growth.

8.1. What is your best achievement?

Our best achievement has been to get our first location open and now we have completed our first Master country agreement as well.

9. How does your business day start?

Our team never works off a daily basis but more a weekly and monthly basis as we have our milestones, but the most important question we ask ourselves is: Is what we are doing today going to add value to our partners and end customer? “. This answer has to be yes in order for us to move forward.

10. What was your best moment throughout your franchise career?

There are two moments actually, first when we signed our 10th franchise deal and when we signed our first international deal.

11. Where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?

We have now completed 5 years with 8 locations, with 5 more locations to open by early next year. In the next 5 years, our goal is to have another 100 units open as we have built the system and support to drive growth.

12. Any tips you want to impart to our readers who want to be in the franchise industry?

I would say there are many Franchisors’ out there, but make sure you are able to build a good relationship with whomever you get into business with as it is a long term commitment.

Franchising is a great way to diversify your business and a great way to get into a new industry. The Franchisors’ should be able to provide the industry know-how and proven system to succeed.


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