BYJU’s owned test preparation major Aakash Educational Services (AESL), is confident of growing at 60 to 70% this year, with its business momentum driven by market demand, hirings, addition of new centres, and increase in student count, a top official stated.
According to Abhishek Maheshwari, CEO, AESL, the company continues to log robust growth in volume of students, number of centres and other key metrics, and expects to hire 2,000-3,000 people in the next 12 months. Aakash plans to add 50 to 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. The company has added 4,000 employees in the last nine months taking its overall headcount to over 8,000,
Maheshwari observed that the students’ return to classrooms (as pandemic moderates) has strengthened AESL’s proposition, thanks to the hybrid model it has built with digital layers, which continues to give added flexibility. “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, mix of technology, delivery and content, as well as geographical reach,” Maheshwari said.
AESL’s positive commentary assumes significance given that reopening of schools and colleges in the offline mode has hit the business models of many new-age edtech startups.
He emphasised that Aakash’s business model is “robust” and “not driven by any hype”. Aakash is a cashflow positive business where growth is self-funded by revenue generated from operations. “We feel reasonably good about where we are, where we are heading, in terms of growth, and therefore, in terms of people we need,” Maheshwari added.
The active student tally is expected to be more than four lakh this year, double the pre-pandemic levels.
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.
He attributed the 33-year strong track record of Aakash Educational Services to its razor sharp focus on student performance and results.
Aakash Educational Services Ltd, which provides test preparatory services to students gearing up for medical and engineering entrance exams, school and board exams, as well as other foundation-level examinations was acquired by BYJU’s in a mega deal valued at almost one billion dollar, last year.
With inputs from PTI.