Zee Learn tanks on NSE debut, but co remains upbeat on biz

Zee Learn tanks on NSE debut, but co remains upbeat on biz

Mumbai: The recently hived-off education arm of the Essel Group, Zee Learn, made a smart debut at Rs101 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday, but plummetted to Rs22 within the first few minutes of trading.

Nevertheless, the company remains upbeat on its expansion plans and the business prospects in the burgeoning sector.

“We are committed to improving the human capital of the country through innovative teaching-learning methods. The proceeds from the capital market will be used for aggressive expansion plans towards the school solution vertical," Zee Learn chief executive officer Sumeet Mehta told reporters here.

Under the school solutions vertical, Zee Learn had tied up with Japan’s Gakken J Holdings in October to launch the ‘Zee Learn Gakken Science Academy’, which aims to introduce innovative learning methods in schools.

“We have set a target to reach 70 schools by March, 2011, through initiatives to improve conceptual understanding and develop scientific aptitude amongst students by hands-on learning experiment tools," he added.

Mehta said 80% of the company’s revenue comes from its pre-schools and Mount Litra schools segments and he expects this trend to continue in the coming fiscal.

Going forward, he said, “The company is planning to increase the number of Mount Litra schools to 300 from the present 75. Of this, we are planning 20-25 to be our own and the others through the franchise model."

Zee Learn has earmarked Rs500 crore toward various initiatives over the next five-year, of which 40% has already been invested in a Dehradun university and schools, Mehta said.

In another initiative, the company is collaborating with the Gujarat government on its Ekalavya residential schools for tribal children.

“We are also in talks with many other states for similar initiatives and we hope by next quarter, we will have something concrete on this," he said.

The revenue of the company between April and September stood at Rs20 crore and Mehta said he expects the trend to continue going forward.

The company had demerged its education business from ETC Networks into Zee Interactive Learning Systems (Zee Learn) from 1 April, 2010.

Zee Learn’s businesses include Kidzee, Kidzee High, Kidzcare, Zee Institute of Media Arts (ZIMA), Zee Institute of Creative Arts (ZICA) and the Zee Career Academy (ZCA).