Triumphant Institute of Management Education Pvt Ltd (T.I.M.E.), India’s leading test-prep institute with a pan-India presence, has paid Rs 60 crore to acquire a majority stake in Veta, Asia’s largest academy for teaching spoken English.
“T.I.M.E. is no longer in the limited area of test-preparation, but in the much larger space of education and training. The company is constantly diversifying and entering into new areas. The acquisition of majority stake in Veta is part of this overall expansion strategy of T.I.M.E. Our expertise in content development and franchisee management will further the success of Veta,” the company commented on its acquisition.
Incorporated in 1981, Veta, formerly known as Vivekananda Institute, has more than 250 centres across India and caters to various levels of learners. It also offers Veta Best, a self-tutor pack for learners who have no access to a direct training centre. The spoken English academy claims to have trained more than 2.2 million people till date. Established in 1992, T.I.M.E. today operates out of 204 offices, located across 107 towns and cities in India. Also, more than 50 IIT/IIM graduates form a part of the team, which takes care of coaching and running the T.I.M.E. academy.
The academy offers a wide range of programmes, not only for national and state-level entrance exams like the CAT, MAT, IIT-JEE and AIEEE but also for international ones like GMAT, GRE, IELTS and TOEFL.The academy has also has introduced training programmes for CA CPT (Chartered Accountancy Common Proficiency Test), bank PO & clerical exams, GATE and CSAT. Plus, the academy has forayed into the pre-school segment with T.I.M.E. Kids. Currently, the pre-school chain includes 35 schools across the four southern states. T.I.M.E. academy reported a turnover of Rs 188 crore for the fiscal year 2010-11.As far as future plans are concerned, T.I.M.E. expects an increase in the number of students – from the current figure of about 150,000 to about 300,000 by 2013-2014. It will also actively pursue acquisition opportunities in the field of education and training.
The education sector has seen an increasing interest from PE players, with investments of $190 million across 23 deals in 2010, compared to 10 deals worth $128 million in 2009, according to VCCedge, the financial research platform of VCCircle.There are several education-focused PE funds, as well as generic growth capital funds, who are now eyeing this space. For instance, Kaizen Private Equity, which is raising a $100 million fund for the sector, has secured funding from HDFC, India’s largest mortgage lender, and World Bank body International Finance Corporation (IFC). Another player is Milestone Religare, with dual focus on education and healthcare.