Education Mar, 17 2010

Holistic approach towards IT education

By Ramanjit Kaur
Holistic approach towards IT education

Indian Institute of Hardware Technology (IIHT) a prominent name in the IT education and training industry, is known worldwide for its latest technology related courses coupled with hands-on lab sessions. In an interview, N Murali Mohan, VP, Global Learning Solutions, IIHT shares the success story of his company.

Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Could you please shed some light on the inception of IIHT?

N Murali Mohan (MM): IIHT was established in the year 1993. It has its business operations as training and trading company that used to trade IT codes. During the course, the founder of IIHT found a huge requirement in the IT hardware industry as the IT industry is going rapidly towards software. Therefore, with the vision and skills, we entered in the hardware training industry to meet the rising demand of the hardware companies for the ultimate growth of IT sector.

RK: How IIHT is different from other education centres? What is the USP of your franchise system?

NMM: We are known for unique and career oriented courses, which are not provided anywhere else. We have pioneered Macintosh technologies, CompTia and many more in India. We also have started a course called IT IMS (IT Infrastructure Management Services), which is not available anywhere in the world. We also promote HP Education Services to the corporates in India. We impart training to HP customers through its HP certified trainers and on HP infrastructure. We have brought new dimensions and direction to the IT education and training industry in India.

RK: What are the various courses offered by IIHT?

NMM: IIHT has got three categories of courses, academic, career, and modular. Under the academic section, we offer graduate, post graduate courses while in the career category, there are courses such as ACHNP, GIMS, GNet Pro, IT IMS. In modular section, students are offered Microsoft MCSA, Sun Microsystems SCSA, Security CCSA, Cisco CCNP, CCNA, Red Hat RHCE and many more courses.

RK: When did the company started franchising? What has inspired the company to take the franchise route?

NMM: We adopted franchising in 1996 as we found it an easy model to replicate. An IT education and training centres require ingredients such as courses, course ware, delivery system, processes, evaluation system, and good pool of trainers to run it successfully. So, through the franchise route, it becomes easy to replicate the entire structure at different geographical area. This is the reason why we have taken the franchise way to expand our network.

RK: What are the eligibility criteria for selecting the franchisees?

NMM: We look for well educated franchisees having flair for education. Technical qualification is always a preference but if the franchisee is lacking in it then inclination towards technology is a must for them. S/ he must be capable of investing the requisite amount of money that may range from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 40 lakh.

RK: What kind of support and training does a franchisee get when partnering with your company?

NMM: We help our franchisees right from the layout of the centre till recruitment and training of the staff. We also transfer the business know-how to our franchisees and also get them technology affiliations from the major IT companies. Besides this, we also take care of the delivery system, training, qualification, learning management services, providing self based e-learning. We also help in evaluating the students, which is directly monitored from the head office. In addition, we have our regional and area offices close to our partners across the nation in order to support them closely.

RK: How many centres does the company presently have? What are the future target locations?

NMM: Presently, we have around 250 centres across the globe. Out of this, 50 centres are company owned and rests are all franchised. We are looking at the tier II and III cities to enter our brand as the need for education and the potential to run a business is very high.

RK: Any advice for the aspiring entrepreneurs?

NMM: The education industry is a goldmine, as it not just gives you good returns over investment but also gives immense pleasure in creating professionals who get jobs thereafter. All an entrepreneur needs to keep in mind is his/ her commitment towards the students.

RK: What are the future plans of the company in terms of expansion through franchising?

NMM: We are aiming to reach the target of 400 centres by the end of this fiscal year. Besides this, we also have plans to tap many potential countries in Africa, Asia, and Southern Europe. It is conducive in terms of cost effectiveness to run remote infrastructure management services and outsourcing can happen to these countries.

Related: Educating rewards

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