Education May, 12 2016

"NIIT targets 30+ locations by 2016"-Shivan Bhargava

In an exclusive interview with Franchise India, Shivan Bhargava, Group President, NIIT Limited shares its wide range of programmes.

By Joyshree Saha

Elaborate about the various courses that your brand offers.

NIIT delivers a diverse range of learning and talent development programs to millions of individual and corporate learners in areas including banking, finance & insurance, soft skills, business process excellence, retail sales enablement, management education, multi-sectoral vocational skills, digital media marketing, and new-age IT. These programs are delivered through a hybrid combination of the 'Cloud Campus' online platform, satellite-based 'Synchronous Learning Technology' and a physical network of hundreds of learning centres in India, China and selected markets in Asia and Africa. The flagship multi-disciplinary course offerings include the industry-endorsed RevGNIIT program and a set of Post Graduate Programs for students from different streams, apart from a wide range of specialist short duration programs.

NIIT has also tied up with industry majors like ICICI Bank for NIIT Institute of Finance Banking Insurance & Training Limited, IFBI; leading business schools in India for NIIT Imperia; Genpact for NIIT Uniqua; and a joint venture with NSDC for NIIT YuvaJyoti Limited. Besides this, for the China market, NIIT has tied up with governments and software parks in Guian, Chongqing, Wuxi, Suzhou, Changzhou, Zhangjiagang, Haikou and Dafeng, for state-of-the-art public-private partnership centres.

Recently NIIT has introduced - StackRouteTM,an initiative to produce world’s best full stack programmers. StackRouteTMaims to create multi-skilled and multi-disciplinary programmers who can become key members of high-performance teams in top notch product engineering companies, start-ups, and IT firms. Further the company has also launched NIIT.tv – a digital learning initiative that brings skilling from NIIT classrooms to every digitally connected Indian, for free, at any time and place of their choice.

What is the USP of your brand?

Our USP has been the standardisation of student learning experience through our curriculum, teaching methodology, staff member selection and training, infrastructure and certification. The distributed education model with integrated process management aspects make NIIT’s franchising model stand out uniquely. The path-breaking franchisee-based business model of NIIT earned it the epithet of “The McDonalds of the IT training world” by none other than the Far Eastern Economic Review.

Typically for an investor who is planning to invest in the vocational education sector, what are the factors that he/ she should keep in mind?

The individual should:

  • Share the vision and values of vocational education sector.
  • Devote full-time attention to the venture or source professional help to run it.
  • The candidate should have complete knowledge of the regional and local markets.
  • Possess 1-3 years of experience in any functional area, preferably at the middle management level.
  • Be a first-time entrepreneur
  • Be self-employed in business.

What kind of training and support do you provide to your franchisees?

Training Support:

  • NIIT organises induction programs for new business partners and their staff
  • NIIT undertakes faculty and counselor training and certification
  • NIIT hosts sales and marketing training periodically
  • NIIT conducts ongoing training for new products

Systems Support:

  • NIIT designs the admission process
  • NIIT conducts online examinations for students
  • NIIT offers a special data management system for maintaining student records and managing center operations

Marketing and Advertising Support:

  • NIIT rolls out marketing and advertising initiatives at a national level
  • For region-specific advertising, NIIT provides aid to Business Partners, which is subject to a minimal charge
  • NIIT offers new business partners an initial start-up kit containing product brochures and promotional material, which is subject to a minimal charge.

Which are the markets where you have experienced the receptivity more as compared to other places?

NIIT by virtue of operating across Tier 1/Tier2/Tier 3 cities over the last 30 years has a clearly defined market plan for each of the segments. NIIT has evolved over the years and has kept transforming to match the speed and requirement of market. One recent big changeover was transformation from 4 businesses vertical to one i.e SCG (Skills & Career Growth).

How many study centres you are planning to open by the end of 2016?

NIIT franchisee model today has over 300 education centres, spawning across over 40 countries. We are targeting 30+ such locations by 2016, which will be franchise owned.

Franchise facts:

  • §Investment: 25-30 lakh
  • §Existing outlets (company-owned +franchise): Over 300 acros 40 cities
  • §Area: 1500- 2000 sqft
  • §RoI- Varies
  • §Breakeven: Varies
  • §Target cities: 30 + Cities
  • §Preferred location: Tier 1 and Tier 2
  • §Year of starting franchise operations: 1986
  • §Year of inception: 1981
  • §Franchise model: Unit Franchise

Related: Little steps towards big success

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