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TIME to open 30 preschools this year

Itishree Samal  |  Chennai/ Hyderabad 

Triumphant Institute of Management Education (TIME), a Hyderabad-based training institute which is into tests, prep-coaching, preschools and k-12 schools, is planning to take TIME Kids, its preschools initiative, pan-India by 2015.

As preschool is emerging as a key segment in the education space in India, TIME has plans to add 30 preschools by the end of this year, Manek N Daruvala, director of TIME, told Business Standard.

TIME currently has 67 schools present across the four southern states, and in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Preschools cater to children in the age group of one to five. Globally, preschools are primarily day care centres for children in this age group, while in India they are seen as an early training ground for children to develop skills.

“With the growing number of working parents, they are now sending their children to preschools for learning various activities,” he said.

Over the last three to four years, the preschool segment is growing at a faster rate. According to Technopak Advisors, the preschool market in India currently pegged at $2.4 billion and is projected to grow at 35 per cent annually to touch $8 billion by 2015. In India, only 1.1 per cent children in this age group go to preschools.

“In India, the preschool segment is getting crowded with both organised players, including Kidzee, Zee Learn and Euro Kids, and unorganised local players who have one-two centres in a city,” he said.

TIME, which entered the preschool space in 2008, is taking a state-by-state approach for expansion. “The quality of teachers is a major concern in the preschool space. So, we have adopted a state-by-state approach, ensuring good teachers and finding franchise partners,” he said.

To open a preschool requires 1,000-2,000 sft space and an investment of Rs 5-7 lakh. The fee typically starts from Rs 1,500 and depends largely on the location of the preschool.

TIME expects its revenues from its non-core area to grow higher than its core business – MBA coaching – in the coming years.

According to Daruvala, MBA coaching now contributes 65 per cent to TIME's total revenues of Rs 221 crore, and it is expected to grow at 15-20 per cent in the coming years. Its non-core segment, including preschools, k-12 schools, tuition, GMAT and other coaching, is expected to grow at over 30 per cent.

Revenues of the 20-year-old institute touched Rs 221 crore in the last financial year, from Rs 10 crore in 2001-02. “We are expecting a 20-25 per cent growth to reach Rs 250 crore this financial year,” he said.

TIME has trained more than 1.15 million students, including 175,000 last year, since its inception in 1992. The company expects the number of students to be trained annually to increase to 200,000 by 2013-2014.

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First Published: Tue, July 03 2012. 00:14 IST