Kalpathi Group enters ed-tech space with Rs 50 cr investment in new venture

Topics EdTech | Startups

Suresh Kalpathi said the key USP will be high quality and affordable education
The Rs 4,000 crore Kalpathi Group has entered the $1.96 billion ed-tech space by launching Veranda Learning Solution with an initial investment of around Rs 50 crore.

The 25-year old Group, which was started by Suresh Kalpathi with his two brothers, has business interests in education, software services, property development, finance, and entertainment. The Group also runs a VC fund called Kalpathi Investments. It started SSI and went on to become the first Indian IT company to be listed on the London Stock Exchange. It also acquired Aptech.

Veranda will offer training programmes in test preparation for all competitive exams in India and abroad, including IIT JEE, NEET, GRE/TOEFL/IELTS/GMAT, IAS, State PSC, Banking/Staff Selection/RRB, CA/ACS related exams, Medical, K-12, NTSE and Olympiads. Veranda will also offer courses in software development namely databases, languages, development tools, cloud/analytics/big data/AI/ML platform.

Suresh Kalpathi said the key USP will be high quality and affordable education. “If you make it affordable, volumes will come and it will be profitable also. We proved the model in SSI a few years back.”

He added that not many players are in the affordable segment and he sees a good opportunity for Veranda. In the first year of operations, it will have five different verticals built organically and through acquisitions.

The edtech is targeting an Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) of Rs 100 crore in the first full year of its operations and Rs 1,000 crore ARR in three years.

The Indian online education market is expected to grow to $1.96 billion by 2021 and to $4.87 billion by 2024.

Veranda will be focusing on a 360-degree approach to the learning process. Subject matter experts will give weekly live lectures to students and clear all their queries. Each student will have a counsellor assigned to him or her, to ensure that he/she stays on track and is motivated to meet deadlines.

Veranda will be using adaptive AI for quizzing, where the difficulty of questions will change depending on the student’s performance. This will ensure strengthening of foundation and concept understanding, while providing abundant practice.

The curriculum will include video & audio content and presentations of the highest quality, to enable lecturers to engage with minimal distractions. The courses will be structured as a mix of video, reading and assessment-based learning to ensure concepts are effectively received by students. This will be supported by a continuous follow-up from the Veranda faculty to ensure commitment to the course schedule and is backed by an “Always Available” student support system.

In 1991, Suresh Kalpathi along with his two brothers Kalpathi S. Aghoram and Kalpathi S. Ganesh set up SSI Ltd as an IT training provider in Chennai. SSI later acquired Aptech and grew into a global provider of education, consultancy & software services SSI went on to become the first Indian IT company to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Kalpathi Group's VC fund focuses on Affordable Housing, HealthCare Services, IT, Agriculture, and Dairy and the AGS brand in the entertainment business that includes production, distribution, and exhibition being now one of the largest production houses in South India and the largest privately owned multiplex chain in Tamil Nadu. The group also owns a renewable energy business under the name of Dindigul Renewable that supplies power to large corporations such as Hyundai Motors.

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