Essel group to invest Rs500 cr in education in 5-7 yrs

Essel group to invest Rs500 cr in education in 5-7 yrs

Chennai: The Essel group would invest about Rs500 crore in the next five to seven years to expand its education portfolio, a top company official said on Thursday.

“Over the next five to seven years, the Group will invest about Rs500 crore in setting up 300 schools, which will be a combination of group-owned and franchise models," company chairman Subhash Chandra told reporters after announcing setting up of 50 schools under Zee Learn brand across the country.

The group has already invested Rs100 crore of the proposed Rs350 crore for 50 schools, some of which would be owned by Essel and others through franchisee models, he said.

“For taking 50 schools to 300 by 2015, the group will invest Rs500 crore," he said.

Investments also include the Group’s first University being set up in Uttaranchal. “The group started construction of Himgiri Nabh Vishwavidyalaya at Uttaranchal on 60 acres and it will open its doors by end of 2011," he said.

Chandra said the education group’s turnover as of March 2010 was Rs100 crore and is expected to reach Rs800 crore by 2015.

He said ETC Networks Ltd (education division of the Group) would be merged with Zee Learn to form a new entity.

Under the proposed 300 schools, the Group has a vision of targeting one million students in the next five years,he said.

Zee Learn CEO Sumeet Mehta said all the 300 schools would be affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Two hundred of them would be set up under “partnership mode."

He said the South Zone alone would have 100 schools over the next five years in addition to 16 at present.