Monday, September 10, 2012

Etoos Academy plans to invest Rs. 1.5 billion over the next 3 years

Etoos Academy Pty. Ltd is a South Korean education company that has ventured into India with a coaching centre in Kota that focuses on preparing students aspiring to join the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). Choi Young Joo, a director of Etoos Academy in Kota, spoke to Mint about the reasons for moving to the town in Rajasthan that’s known as the capital of India’s educational coaching institutes and expansion plans. Edited excerpts:

What brings you to Kota?
As an education company we wanted to expand our horizon and India is the right place. People in India are focusing on education, especially on (institutes such as) IIT. Environment here is quite similar to Korea. We have a good expertise in online coaching and this can significantly reduce cost. We can be a customized content provider to students (preparing for admission to top engineering schools).

You came eyeing the IIT entrance market but in the last few months things have changed. How has it affected your plan?
There is a downfall in the student flow this time if you are talking about the IIT market. Last year, 4,500 students came to us both for long-term and short-term courses. This year, it is 3,500. IIT market has 500,000 students, the AIEEE (All India Engineering Entrance Examination) market has 1 million. If you are focusing on all segments (including school boards and other engineering universities), then no problem. We can look at study-from-home material, customized test-prep for expansion. We have a long-term view on India. The first three to five years will be time for investment and then we will harvest.

What’s your expansion plan?
To begin with Delhi... We want to have centres in 15 cities. We have invested Rs. 300 million since we started our operations (in 2011). In next three years, by 2015, we have plans to invest some Rs. 1.5 billion more. As India grows as an economy, we will grow with it.

You are emphasizing on customized online test-prep market. Please explain.
If somebody wants to read just a chapter or section, let’s say of mathematics or physics, we can give him that. It’s more of demand and need-based. We have both long-term course spanning over eight months and short-term of one or two months. We aim to give students level-wise test-prep, problem-solving, supplementary education. We believe that offline market is about the top 30% and rest is the online market. In India, we can expect some 20-25% revenue from offline mode and rest from the online segment.

Source: Mint, September 10, 2012

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