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Devish Gala

Interview: Devish Gala, CEO, Navneet FutureTech Partnerships

August 20, 2022

Navneet FutureTech Partnerships (estb.2022), a wholly owned subsidiary of Navneet Education Limited (estb. 1950) has invested over Rs 200 crores in edtech-based start-ups as part of its strategy to scout and nurture companies providing tech-based solutions to key stakeholders like students and schools in the education sector. Speaking to Dipta Joshi of Education World, Devish Gala, CEO, strategic partnerships and tutoring – Navneet FutureTech Partnerships, points out how empowering the country’s unorganised private coaching institutes makes for a compelling business opportunity.

What was the objective behind launching Navneet FutureTech Partnerships?

Navneet FutureTech is committed to providing students with the best edtech products in both academic and non-academic fields like sports too. Since building these products in-house would be time-consuming, we launched Navneet FutureTech partnerships to primarily seek out companies that provide good edtech products to consumers. We are open to investing or partnering with such companies to provide products to our consumers under the Navneet FutureTech umbrella.

Tell us about the companies you have partnered with or acquired and how much have you invested in them?

We have made strategic investments in several companies like ‘BeGalileo’ (Rs 16.5 crore), ‘Tinkerly’ (Rs 5.25 crore), ‘Sports for All’ (SFA) (Rs75 crore), and ‘K12 Techno Services Private Limited’ (Rs 118 crore). We have also acquired ‘Genext Students’ (Rs 6 crore).

What was the thought process behind these investments and acquisitions?

We wanted to target key stakeholders in the educational ecosystem and have been keen to invest or acquire companies that can provide a wide range of services or even offer specific solutions keeping in mind the needs of our stakeholders. We invested in ‘BeGalileo’, which is the world’s leading mathematical programme for children between 3-14 years of age, ‘Tinkerly’ which partners with schools to transform their classrooms into STEM labs, ‘SFA’ which is a fully integrated digital plus on-ground multi-sport platform and K12 Techno Services which helps schools upgrade themselves through technology.  We have acquired ‘Genext Students Pvt. Ltd.’ which empowers tutors by automating their everyday activities and helping them to focus on their core activity- ‘teaching’.

Which of your acquisitions or investments is likely to garner a lot of traction in the current educational scenario? Why?

We believe that our acquisition of Genext Students Private Limited (GSPL) (in June 2021) will provide huge traction since the proposition to empower coaching institutes remains untapped potential. The country’s coaching institutes are unorganised and most of them are not yet digitally automated. That makes a very compelling business opportunity for us since we understand the after-school market like no one else. We believe our SaaS (Software as a Service) platform will professionally empower coaching institutes to reduce their time in administrative activities before, during, and after the tuition class. This will give tutors more time to focus on their core activity which is teaching.

Similarly, I see a lot of scope for ‘Sports for All’. As India’s largest fully integrated multi-sport platform for the youth, it brings all key stakeholders of sport together on a trusted and transparent platform for a seamless experience. The education sector has extensively evolved in the last decade. Hence, the academic needs of students and parents have also grown consequently. The upgraded teaching methodologies, blended with effective use of technology have been the main idea behind K12 Techno Services,   i.e. to pave the way for a global approach towards education. K12 Techno Services with its band of services, facilitate schools to leverage their strengths.

Most online educational companies are now looking to have an offline presence as well. What does the trend signify?

We at Navneet have always believed that one can never get replaced with the other. Both online education and offline education have their advantages and disadvantages. Blended education will be the way forward and thus we are committed to providing the best of both worlds to the students and tutors through Navneet books and Navneet FutureTech products and services.

What about the future excites you?

Acceptance of technology by all stakeholders in the educational ecosystem and their willingness to adapt excites me the most. I believe we are on the verge of seeing a significant shift in the way education is provided and consumed. Non-academic courses, coaches, and tutors will emerge as a significant vertical in the future of the edtech world.

Also read: How ed-tech is changing the game for vernacular learning

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