In 20181 had the privilege of welcoming you to our first year as a "publicstart-up". As we moved into our new premises and instituted an open-office culturewe have retained all the energy & excitement that accompany operating like a start-upwhilst at the same time benefiting from the wisdom of having done this for 25 years...our first25years.
Having accelerated through our infancy I invite you to be a part of our growing-upyears as we race into what is undoubtedly the digital age.
In our first 25 years we have leveraged technology Like no one else in our industry.From offering our first Mock CAT analysis online in 1999 to being lightyears ahead of ourcompetitors in terms of tech-driven innovation we were an Ed-tech company before the termeven existedLeave alone became cooL.
The environment could not be more pro-digital for the Indian youth today. Fromsmartphones with ever-faster data connections to consumption of electronic content inyottabytes Young India is watching shopping pooling andmost importantly foruslearning their way into a world where content is at their fingertips. With thenumbers now approaching 700 million there could not be a more exciting opportunity for anorganization as
uniquely poised like ours to wade into.
As an Ed-tech company we are utilizing this opportunity in three unique ways:
1. Training Gen-Z for potential careers using the multitude of data thrown their way through courses on Machine Learning Artificial Intelligence Digital Marketingetc.
2. Training organizations on how best to use the data they collect by conductingworkshops for CXOs to enable them to leverage AI-ML in the new world they find themselvesa part of
3. Providing business solutions for corporates using Data Science
Our initiatives in this space have attracted the right kind of eyeballs; and with theblessings of AICTE and through partnerships with Intel and Amazon we hope to see thisbecome a new & exciting first chapter of our next 25-year story.
I shall pause here before I get ahead of myself. After all this is just one of themany exciting things CL has done over the last year as we continue to stay committed toour focus of building a large respected company one that our shareholders continue to beproud of investing in.
Some of the big rocks of 2018-19 were
Consumer Business: Our BAU (Business as Usual) products continued to show steadygrowth; with our CAT and Law students setting new benchmarks for CL with their results.Despite increasing competition in this space CL continues to be the destination of choicefor many students thanks to the exceptional dedication of our teaching staff in our 200+locations.
Over the last year (and a bit) we have added new Test- prep segments like GATE CAand Civil Services which have opened up a market of 2 million+ aspirants for us that waspreviously not being catered to. After a year of integrating our acquisitions the earlysigns are positive yet come with their own set of challenges. The 100- pound-gorillaapproach is a slow & steady solution to this segment; we hope to significantlyaccelerate this process with an 020 approach more befitting the times. Chances are youwill hear more about these in the coming quarters. A similar approach might also work whenwe tackle other gorillas in the IIT & Medical Test- Prep space.
Corporate Business: For Kestone too 2018-19 was an exciting year; wherein weestablished the aforementioned Data Science consulting practice. Kestone's revenues grew24%; and we added to our presence in Singapore and Dubai by opening up a branch office inthe US to grow our international business. Our 'integrated marketing solutions' approachin addition to geographical expansion should see margins in this business improve in thelong-term.
Meanwhile our investment in creating properties like Inquizitive Minds (quitepossibly India's largest quiz) and Melting Pot (an Innovation Summit where industrymeets academia) appears to be paying off. As does our investment in Accendere whoseinnovation platform WAINConnect.com now caters to 75000+ innovators and has garnered inexcess of $1.5 million of funding.
The growth of WAIN besides our exciting new projects like Data School offers thebonus of developing a hard- to-replicate ecosystem where colleges and schools chase usfor partnership opportunitiesrather than the other way aroundmaking itpotentially easier for our Test-Prep businesses like CAT GATE etc. to flourish.
Peeping into Our Future
The coming year should see our back-end teams working hard on completing our merger. Asyou are probably aware we are consolidating five of our subsidiaries into the parententity. In addition to greater business synergies and operating efficiencies this shouldalso improve our RoCE. The Stock Exchanges and SEBI have approved the merger; theapplication will next move to NCLT in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile our front-end teams will be engaging in their daily P&L battlesleveraging technology content and their unwavering desire to deliver nothing but theabsolute best to our customers.
Knowing that our present is in excellent hands a few of us will look further aheadinto developing the next 100- crore product line for CL. Professional reskilling couldwell be that segment using technologies like Cloud and Voice. Job-orientedoutcome-driven sachet customized... for an audience of one.
|With appreciation |
|Satya Narayanan R |