(10-01-2017, 07:35 PM)karlmarx Wrote: Picked up yesterday's copy of Business Times and noticed the huge front cover ad for OFS.
Looks like they are trying hard to get more students. The central theme of their ad positions OFS as a more holistic alternative to MOE schools -- which has seen increasing foreign student enrollment over the past decade.
Looking forward to its next quarterly.
It was a nice advert indeed but, at the end of the day, I don't think there is that much differentiation between the top international schools. However, areas where OFS seems to be trying to differentiate itself seems to be :
(1) It offers a lot of mothertongue language tuition for non-English native speakers including languages such as Swedish, Hebrew, German etc. That seems to be a bit of a niche and could help attract students who want to focus on their mothertongue as well as English
(2) Chess is mandatory in the lower primary school and they seem to be focusing on offering coding a well.
Whilst more and more foreigners are putting their children into Singapore schools, I still think that this will remain small minority, typically for the less well paid expats. The more well-paid ones will want their children to go to an international school that follows a similar curriculum to other international schools globally and hence the kids can move to a new school in a new county without any disruption.
OFS has a decent reputation but I think they severely under-estimated how much less attractive the Pasir Riis location is compared to more centrally located international schools.
At the end of the day, OFS is faced with a relatively large fixed cost and needs more students. It is the classic case where you need a certain amount of students to break-even and then after that each additional student is highly profitable. At the moment they are only breaking even. If the economic cycle turns, then they will be well positioned to take advantage of it as they have significant spare capacity (from memory, they can accommodate another 1000 students) and earnings could rocket but in the meantime, they need to stem the declining student numbers and focus on cash flow break even as well as refinancing their SGD bond in a few years time.