Sunstone Eduversity: Making the most of college buildings

The start-up partners with colleges and universities to provide industry-relevant education to students, by utilising the existing physical infrastructure.

Piyush Nangru final

India is a hugely oversupplied market as far as higher education is concerned. There are about 50,000 colleges (i.e. about 70 colleges per district) catering to 1 crore students (i.e. about 200 students per college).

“We don’t need more colleges,” says Piyush Nangru, co-founder & COO, Sunstone Eduversity. “Instead, we need to focus on improving the quality of education we provide to our students.”

About three years ago, Nangru and Ashish Munjal (co-founder & CEO, Sunstone Eduversity) realised that these 50,000-odd colleges mean the country has the physical infrastructure in place for higher education, but it needs to be utilised in a better way.

That’s when Sunstone Eduversity was born.

The start-up partners with colleges and universities to provide industry-relevant education to students, by utilising the existing physical infrastructure. Essentially, it picks up a programme (let’s say BBA at a particular university) and then runs that programme.

Sunstone Eduversity is spread across 24 campuses in 18 cities. In the next five years, it aims to be the largest higher education provider in India. In partnership with universities, it recently added BBA, MCA and Online MBA programmes, and will introduce undergraduate programmes such as BCA, BCom and BSc this year. It aims to enrol over 22,000 students across 35 cities by the end of 2022, and more than 50,000 students by expanding to 100-plus colleges by 2025.

“In almost all campuses we have partnered with, every year we have grown 2-3 times in those campuses,” adds Nangru. “Institutes partner with us because they get more students and their infrastructure gets better utilised.”

Sunstone Eduversity not only provides quality education to students, it also helps them with placements. “We have an exemplary placement record,” says Nangru. “In the first batch of 2019, of all the eligible students, 97% got placed and many students had more than one offer in hand.”

Sunstone Eduversity not only provides core academic skills to students but also the soft workplace skills. While for core academic skills it usually utilises the existing campus faculty (after providing them the required training), for workplace skills it uses a mix of existing faculty and its own faculty. “The aim is to ensure standardisation,” says Nangru. “No matter a student is at a campus in Guwahati or a campus in Bhopal, she will get a similar educational experience.”

In October 2021 it raised $28 million in a Series B funding round led by WestBridge Capital, Saama Capital and Alteria Capital, and is planning its next phase of expansion after witnessing growth of 400% over the last year and a half.

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