CEO of Aakash Edutech Private Limited (AEPL), Narasimha Jayakumar, shares his thoughts on the strengths of the company and its growth during the pandemic. Here’s what he has to say:
What do you feel is the biggest strength of our company right now?
Aakash Edutech Pvt Ltd (AEPL) that comprises Aakash Digital and Meritnation brands is a 100% wholly-owned subsidiary of Aakash Educational Services Ltd (AESL), a Blackstone PE portfolio company. AESL is the # 1 test prep’ player in India with 220+ offline centres across India. Aakash is consistently known for its high-quality teaching, strong pedagogy in sciences and for consistently producing the top rankers across IIT JEE and NEET.
As such Aakash Edutech has the wonderful opportunity to leverage the legacy of ‘Aakash’ as a brand and accelerate growth in the digital live coaching and tuitions market, by providing a cutting edge online platform for students.
How is the current situation affecting our business?
The growing popularity of online learning necessitated by the nationwide lockdown has provided a major push to the Ed-tech sector in India. With schools and classrooms in traditional brick and mortar establishments shut, students and parents across the country are increasingly exploring online platforms as viable alternatives that can help studies and preparation to continue uninterrupted. Some of the key drivers that are favouring growth in this sector are increasing penetration of high speed (mobile) Internet across India, growing confidence of students/parents in online platforms to deliver strong academic outcomes and convenience. The most successful Ed-tech companies will be those with hybrid business models (“Omni-channel”) that encompass physical classrooms and online learning. Aakash is the only player in the country that offers both at a pan India level, providing unmatched choice and convenience to students across India. A record 320 students from Aakash Digital secured 90% and above in the CBSE Board Class XII and X Examination results that just got announced.
What is your message for the prospective employees?
The Edtech space is where the action is. It is one of the very few sectors today that is hiring strongly and can offer exciting jobs to employees. The Edtech sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 52% to become a USD 2 billion industry by 2021. Some of the early numbers speak for themselves. For instance, in the quarter ending in June 2020, Meritnation registered an eightfold increase in minutes of live class consumed on its platform. Aakash Digital too witnessed a massive increase in its quarterly enrolments during the lockdown period as compared to the previous quarter across various geographies. We are confident of being able to deliver long term value to our students, employees, investors and other stakeholders.