Aakash Educational Services bets big on digital edutech, remote learning demands

CHENNAI: Aakash Educational Services has readied its new subsidiary, Aakash Edutech to ride the remote learning wave. In order to combine its various digital offerings under a single entity, Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL), one of the foremost names in the test preparation sector, set up a new subsidiary Aakash Edutech Pvt Ltd (AEPL) to ride the remote learning and digital education wave since the spread of the pandemic. The wholly owned subsidiary of AESL will look at accelerating the company's digital edtech business. “Apart from being one of the largest offline players, AESL is also one of the largest online live tutoring players in India today," said Aakash Chaudhry, Director and CEO of AESL. He said that the company already had a robust online tutoring mechanism before Covid-19 struck but that with the 'new normal' being something that calls for a hybrid model that is a seamless blend of both digital education and in-person mentoring, he said this was a strategic move to strengthen their foothold in the space further. "The new subsidiary will further strengthen AESL’s competitive positioning not only in digital education but will also further enable its offline student offering across its 200 classroom centres, teaching over 2,50,000 students," he said. The new subsidiary will comprise Aakash Digital and Meritnation businesses. AEPL will provide an online platform for students to access live test preparation classes and live tuitions combined with self-study materials. To spearhead AEPL’s digital portfolio, the company also appointed industry veteran, Narasimha Jayakumar as its CEO. Jayakumar was till recently CBO of Shubhloans.com. "AESL has seen significant growth in the last decade, becoming one of the largest education companies in the country. The formation of AEPL will aid our push into newer areas and cutting-edge education technology, enabling us to deliver long-term value to our students, employees, investors and other stakeholders," he said. While Aakash Digital was started 7 years ago, Meritnation, which started in 2009 was acquired by AESL in January 2020.Aakash Digital enables students preparing for JEE, NEET and grades 8-12 school, board and competitive exams get quality online test preparation at the convenience of their home. Meritnation is India’s 1st online learning platform for K12 students with over 2.5 crore students across all major boards. It caters to the learning needs of school students from Class I-XII across leading educational boards and harnesses the power of technology to deliver personalised and engaging content to nurture the student's learning curve.