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Prafula and Munjal Joshi, Harrow

After working in the care at home care sector for 20 years, Prafula Joshi was keen to become her own boss. With her husband Munjal by her side, Prafula took the plunge and launched the first Bluebird Care franchise in March 2007. Since then the couple has gone on to build a thriving business following the Bluebird Care model and have no regrets.

"I started out as a carer and over the years worked my way up to care co-ordinator at a care at home agency," reveals Prafula. "My husband Munjal worked in IT. We both reached a point where we had had enough of working hard for someone else and so discussed the idea of starting up a business of our own.

"Investing in a franchise was the safest way for us to become self-employed as we would have the back up and support of the franchisor. Care at home franchise Bluebird Care caught our attention because not only would it utilise my existing skills and experience, it was also a new franchise and had, we felt, the most comprehensive franchise package on the market. Having previously worked at a care agency with Bluebird Care Managing Director Paul Tarsey and Franchise Director Simon Dalziel, I trusted them straight away and knew they had the experience and drive to make the brand a success."

"We purchased the Harrow territory and then went on a one-week intensive training course, which taught us everything we needed to know in order to run the business. Since then, we have had ongoing support, which has been wonderful'It took us around three months to get our professional accreditation and Bluebird Care was behind us every step of the way. This included helping us with the documentation and answering any questions we or the accreditation body had about the way the business operated. Since then Bluebird Care has been a source of constant support.

"We love running our own business and like the fact we dictate the hours we work and are able to take holidays when we want to. Last year Munjal and I went to India for two weeks and later this year we plan to take another holiday. At present, we have three members of staff who help us run the office on a day-to-day basis and we are a great team!"