BYJU'S-owned Aakash Educational Services eyes 60-70 pc growth this year

With the reopening of educational institutions, Aakash Educational Services (AESL)'s business momentum is going strong, driven by market demand, hiring, and new centres.

Test preparation major Aakash Educational Services (AESL), owned by BYJU'S, is confident of growing at 60-70 percent this year, with its business momentum driven by market demand, hiring, the addition of new centres, and an increase in student count, a top official said.

AESL's positive commentary assumes significance given that the reopening of schools and colleges in the offline mode has hit the business models of many new-age edtech startups.

In fact, the market is rife with reports of layoffs, and some edtech startups—which had announced ambitious plans and fundraising at the peak of the pandemic—have shut down operations over the last few months.

Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO, BYJU'S

Abhishek Maheshwari, CEO of Aakash Educational Services told PTI that AESL continues to log "robust" growth in the volume of students, the number of centres, and other key metrics, and expects to hire 2,000-3,000 people in the next 12 months to meet the requirements of growing student count. Aakash Educational Services Limited added 4,000 employees in the last nine months, taking its overall headcount to over 8,000.

Aakash Educational Services Ltd—which provides test preparatory services to students gearing up for medical and engineering entrance exams, school and board exams, as well as other foundation-level examinations—was acquired by BYJU'S last year in a mega-deal valued at almost $1 billion.

Abhishek observed that the students' return to classrooms (as pandemic moderates) has strengthened AESL's proposition, thanks to the hybrid model it has built with digital layers which continue to give added flexibility.

"Our digital business is growing too, and overall, we are growing at an unprecedented rate. This is due to our value proposition, track record based on results, a mix of technology, delivery and content, as well as geographical reach," he observed.

Aakash plans to add 50-60 new centres by next academic year to meet market demand. It now has nearly 300 centres and is also looking to expand space in 100 of those in the coming months.

Edited by Kanishk Singh