Business Today

Education gets red hot

As India upskills, education becomes an investment haven.

By Pallavi Srivastava        Print Edition: October 21, 2007

Early last year, educomp Solutions, a Gurgaon-based firm that calls itself the Bloomberg of education, was trading at about Rs 300. These days, Educomp trades at about Rs 2,800. What’s behind the near ten-fold jump in stock price? Blame it on the boom in education. In the first quarter of 2007-08, its revenues jumped 198 per cent from Rs 9.37 crore to Rs 27.50 crore and PAT 218 per cent to Rs 5.97 crore. In that time, it acquired a small Singapore-based education company, Ask ‘n’ Learn for S$7.03 million and raised $80 million via foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs).

The idea: Expand within India and acquire companies overseas. “Our products and services are globally scaleable,,” says Shantanu Prakash, MD, Educomp.

But Educomp isn’t the only education firm that’s on investors’ radar. Everonn is another company like Educomp that is focussed on the so-called K12 (kindergarden to 12th grade) and e-education space. NIIT, which serves both corporate and retail customers, also offers courseware for schools and colleges. Aptech, which was earlier in the IT education and training space, has diversified to aviation and animation training.

Apart from these, entities like New Horizons India have risen to prominence in the recent past. “This is a great sector to be in as there has been fair growth in the market for sometime now,” says Alok Mittal, Managing Director, Canaan Partners India. Adds R. Kannan, Director, Everonn: “The investor confidence is a clear indication of where the sector is headed.”

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