Hexaware Technologies Ltd founder Atul Nishar has launched an education technology company, Azent Overseas Education, along with his daughter Priyanka, offering online and offline counselling for overseas education.
After having founded a computer education institute, Aptech Ltd, in 1986 and then Hexaware in 1990, this is Nishar’s third entrepreneurial venture. He had sold his stake in Hexaware Technologies to private equity firm Baring Private Equity Asia in 2013.
“Azent is a combination of both education and technology. The idea is to look at more areas within the education field and make it into a tech-driven education company," Nishar, also the chairman of Azent Overseas Education, said Tuesday in an interview.
“There is a need for an organized player in the overseas counselling market and, therefore, ours is a public limited company with long-term goals, and much higher compliance and governance standards compared to other firms in this space. There is also a social objective that we want to serve with this company as the most important thing for any family in India is their child’s education. That is why it is all the more critical to have the right, impartial and ethical guidance to help students build their career," he added.
The education advisory firm is being started with an initial capital outlay of ₹250 crore which will be used over the next three years, said Nishar.
At present, it has centres in Mumbai, Thane, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru, with a team of more than 80 people, including 25 counsellors.
“We plan to add another five centres by the end of this year, with an initial focus on western and southern parts of India for the physical centres," said Nishar.
“Overall we would expect to send around 1,000 students for studying abroad within the next 12 months and look to break even in the next three-four years," he said. “We would prefer to expand offerings through acquisitions of tech-driven startups that offer education support to students over the next three years."
The firm seeks to offer guidance to students in selecting the right course and university in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland and Singapore. The counselling service, which will also help students with applications, visas and pre-departure processes, will run through Azent’s physical and online centres.
“While there are various packages priced, according to the services offered and the number of applications made by a student, it could cost a minimum of ₹22,500 to avail online counselling on our platform," said Priyanka Nishar, vice-chairperson, Azent.