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Hotline: 1800 102 2007
Dec, 04 2019

Smart Institute Raises Funds To Fuel Big Expansion Plans

With the new funds, Smart Institute, which currently operates in about four cities, plans to expand its presence to 30 cities across India in the next five years while also focusing more on the development of its edtech platform.

By News Editor
Smart Institute Raises Funds To Fuel Big Expansion Plans

Smart Institute has raised between $1 million and $3 million as part of a larger funding round from an undisclosed Indian family office.

The firm, a part of Mumbai-based Shahani Group, is involved in a number of things in the educational space that includes operating a range of colleges, an edtech platform ask.Careers as well as a placement company for graduates.

Akhil Shahani, Managing Director of the Shahani Group, said, “We are creating a range of colleges around India through our education technology platform where we are able to create employable graduates by developing their soft skills as a very key component of the curriculum that we teach.”

With the new funds, Smart Institute, which currently operates in about four cities, plans to expand its presence to 30 cities across India in the next five years while also focusing more on the development of its edtech platform.

“We are raising $50 million over the next two years in our first tranche, we are looking to raise around $30 million which we hope to finish by December 2020,” Shahani stated.

Operating Model

Smart Institute has a franchise model, where apart from the infrastructure, almost everything including the hiring of teachers, is company-operated.

This approach is helped by the ask.Career ecosystem in place, said Shahani. “Once he gets interested in the course, then we connect to him through the process of the online module, he comes to our offline location.”

It also ensures that students sitting across franchises receive the same quality of education.

“The only way to do that is to be very, very agenda-driven and to control all aspects of the teaching,” Shahani added.

Expansion

Apart from growing the number of franchises and reaching more cities, the company is also focused on scaling up the technology deployed in the ask.Career ecosystem.

The company is planning to add another app, one aimed at recruiters, where they will be able to browse through a list of students to hire, depending upon their skill levels.

With all the student data that it is collecting, Shahani said they also are tapping artificial intelligence and machine learning to create an analytics platform that would be able to provide students with feedback in real-time.

Focus on Smaller Cities

The company is focusing more on tier-II cities, considering the gaps that exist in such places.

While students in the smaller cities face a dearth of good, quality education, even banking, and service sector companies looking to hire local talent face difficulties, according to Shahani.

“Our focus really is to get these tier-II kids into entry-level white-collar jobs, that is where our model is,” he said.

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