Etoos Academy, a South Korean coaching conglomerate, is all set to enter the Indian market and is currently setting up in Kota (Rajasthan) its first-ever institute for IIT JEE coaching. The institute will become functional by May this year.

Backed by the SK Group, one of the industrial conglomerates in South Korea, Etoos focuses on two major businesses, the e-learning website and its offline coaching centres. The institute provides coaching for Korean Scholastic Aptitude Test (KSAT) – the common entrance exam for professional colleges – much like the Indian entrance exams like IIT JEE, AIPMT and CAT.

“We understand the need of Indian students who struggle with traditional coaching systems. Hence, we thought of making it a liberating yet fun-filled education system for them. At Etoos Academy, we provide faculty-based, topic-based, level-based and time-based class options and ensure value for money,” said Sung Jin Kang, director (India), Etoos Academy. The organisation will set up its India headquarters in Gurgaon, Haryana.

There are quite a few players like Career Launcher, Mahesh Tutorials, FIITJEE, IMS and TIME in the country, which are growing fast in the entrance coaching segment. Also, the education sector in India has witnessed an increasing interest from PE players, with investments of $190 million across 23 deals in 2010, compared to the 10 deals worth $128 million in 2009, states a report by VCCEdge.

In 2009, FIITJEE, a leader in IIT entrance coaching, raised Rs 100 crore from Matrix Partners, a Mumbai-based venture capital firm. Matrix owns about 10 per cent in the company. Other test preparation companies who have raised private equity include Career Launcher (from Intel Capital in first round and under $10 million from Gaja Capital Partners in series B) and Mahesh Tutorials (about $12 million from Helix Investments).

According to a recent Ernst & Young report on education, Indian higher education system has established itself as one of the largest in the world, in terms of number of institutions and student enrolment. Higher education spends in India are currently estimated at Rs 46,200 crore and are projected to grow to nearly Rs 1,50,000 crore in the next 10 years.

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