Kare Plus hits the spot for physiotherapist

When leading physiotherapist Krishna Kothwal spotted a gap in the market for qualified care staff in Northampton, he chose to invest in the Kare Plus franchise. After just one year of trading, Krishna explains how he is well on his way to establishing a lucrative business. Megan Dunmore reports

Kare Plus franchise owners Krishna Kothwal is the lead physiotherapist at St Andrews’ Healthcare in Northampton. As a professional working in the sector for over 15 years, he had been increasingly aware of the demand for qualified staff to provide healthcare services, not only to those at home, but also to hospitals and care homes.

Last year he decided – along with his friend and fellow physiotherapist, Vijay Guntuka – to investigate the opportunities for setting up a business providing care services. He spent considerable time researching his options before ultimately deciding on Kare Plus.

“We were very interested in the idea of running our own business alongside our careers as healthcare professionals,” Krishna explains. “We knew a franchise would be the best route, so we looked at all the various alternatives and decided Kare Plus was the right choice. It is a rapidly growing, relatively young company and we liked the energy and enthusiasm of the management team – they were as motivated and passionate about the potential for the business as we were.”

Between them, Vijay and Krishna invested in four territories. Vijay now operates Kare Plus in Scarborough and Bradford, while Krishna’s Kare Plus businesses are in Northampton and Kettering. To enable both men to pursue their full-time roles as their business builds, they employ managers to run their Kare Plus operations on a day-to-day basis. In Krishna’s case, his wife, a trained HR professional, also works full-time for the business, providing administrative support.

“We spent the early days recruiting staff,” Krishna says. “Now we have around 52 qualified nurses and care professionals on our books, so we have a good team on board. We’ve already made inroads into the private healthcare sector. We are also shortly hoping to achieve CQC (Commission for Quality Care) accreditation so that we can target potential customers for home care services too.”

In the last few months alone Kare Plus has won contracts with major care providers including Sense, Livability and European Care Group, all of which have a nationwide network. In addition, Kare Plus has announced the extension of several existing contracts, with Care UK, Four Seasons, Mencap and Scope.

“One of the biggest challenges for new franchisees is building up their business and developing a regular customer base,” comments Kare Plus Managing Director, Steve Welsh. “While franchisees are business owners, responsibility for their business development ultimately lies with them. At Kare Plus we make sure our franchisees have the best possible chance of success from the outset, securing national and local contracts that they can tap into and develop. A contract with a local authority may generate work for a few franchisees in the region, but a large group such as Dimensions, who confirmed a multi-million pound contract with us earlier in the year, have care facilities across the country and benefit the entire network. Our role is to give franchisees access to as many business opportunities as possible.”

Krishna concludes: “It’s early days for us still, but we’re getting there. We’re becoming busier and busier and once we have all our accreditations in place, we expect our business will really take off.”