PTI | New Delhi, June 12 | Updated on: Jun 12, 2022

The concept of online education is here to stay.

Test preparation major Aakash Educational Services (AESL), owned by Byju’s, is confident of growing at 60-70 per cent this year, with its business momentum driven by market demand, hirings, the addition of new centres, and an increase in student count, a top official said.

AESL’s positive commentary assumes significance given that the reopening of schools and colleges in the offline mode has hit the business models of many new-age edtech startups.

Abhishek Maheshwari, CEO of Aakash Educational Services, said that AESL continues to log robust growth in the volume of students, the number of centres and other key metrics, and expects to hire 2,000 to 3,000 people in the next 12 months.

“Our digital business is growing too, and overall, we are growing at an unprecedented rate. This is due to our value proposition, track record based on results, the mix of technology, delivery and content, as well as geographical reach,” Maheshwari said.

Plans for the next academic year

Aakash plans to add 50-60 new centres by next academic year, to meet market demand. It has nearly 300 centres now and is also looking to expand space in 100 of those in coming months.

Aakash Educational Services Limited added 4,000 employees in the last nine months taking its overall headcount to over 8,000, and is looking to hire 2,000-3,000 people in the next 12 months, to meet the requirements of growing student count.

The active student tally is expected to be more than four lakh this year, double the pre-pandemic levels.

“Education, in a country like India, is about outcomes. So ultimately, you can acquire as many customers, but you have to be able to produce outcomes in some meaningful manner at every stage,” he said.

Players need to focus on students, and around delivery, for a long-term play. The concept of online education is here to stay, and it is up to players to prioritise the right metrics to gauge performance.

“In our system, we track results and success rates of students. Obviously, we are also a business, so we track sales. But one of the key monitorable for us is results,” he said. Measurements on parameters such as what percentage of students qualify, are marks improving month-over-month, is syllabus being completed on time, are key “and because we measure that, people are focused on delivering that,” he pointed out.

“The reason we are here 33 years later is because of that. We may have a good or bad year in sales. But the fact that we deliver results with single-minded focus, is the reason why we will be here 10 years later too,” he added.

Published on June 12, 2022