Aptech Limited, on Wednesday, entered the preschool education sector through a strategic alliance with Mumbai-based Montana International Preschool.
Aptech, through the alliance, intends to extend its offering to 1,000 preschools over the next two years and has set a target of clocking Rs 25 crore this academic year and over Rs 60 crore in the second year, said Aptech executive director Anuj Kacker. Aptech is a leading a training and software-based education provider company.
Asked about the investment, he said 80 per cent of the cost will be borne by the franchise schools and the rest will be by Aptech but in effect it will be an asset light model for the company, while Montana will not incur any cost, except developing the curriculum and the content as well monitoring the schools in the alliance. He said Aptech will share a portion of its revenue with Montana, which is a new player in the preschool sector having entered only in 2013 and currently running 10 preschools in the mega-polis. When asked why a national player like Aptech tied with a little-known entity, Kacker said its their entrepreneurial spirit and the the quality of education that they offer.
Accordingly, the alliance, called Montana International preschool powered by Aptech (MIPA), will not be looking at roping in existing schools but very new ones or get entrepreneurs to start such schools. The alliance will also help them get bank loans, Kacker said.
While the new facility will be available immediately at the 10 Montana schools, the alliance plans to have 50 schools under the banner over the next two months. The second phase will see them entering the tier 1, 2 & 3 towns in the North, West and the South, Kacker said.
The alliance seeks to offer first-of-its-kind app enabling child safety monitoring, live view of child's activity in class, on-demand child video conferencing, along with host of other features, Kacker said.
The curriculum has been developed by a team of experts from Aptech and Montana, based on the Multiple Intelligence Theory, Reggio Emilia Approach, the Montessori and Playway.
Kacker said preschool market is about Rs 16,000 crore clipping at 23 per cent, making it the fastest growing segment in the education landscape. But almost two-thirds of the market is unorganised with no standardisation and very little emphasis on physical and cognitive development of the child.
Aptech, set up in 1986, runs over 1300 centers across 40 countries and has since trained over 6.8 million students in individual training and enterprise business.