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March 6, 1998


NIIT plans Rs 1.25 billion investment

Email this story to a friend. NIIT Limited is planning to add 100 information technology-training centres every year for the next three years.

The centres will be set up in the country and abroad.

Three hundred such training centres will be set up, involving a capital outlay
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of about Rs 1.25 billion.

NIIT is planning to set up these centres through various options including the joint venture route, franchise option or through wholly owned centres.

The company will invest Rs 5 million for setting up a fully owned centre in the country, while as in a franchise outlet, an investment of Rs 800,000 to Rs 3.5 million would be incurred.

In the case of joint ventures, significant investments are expected, especially in overseas centres.

However, a company spokesperson declined to comment on the number of overseas centres and investment details.

Meanwhile, the company is focussing on China and Indonesia as part of its international expansion plans.

NIIT launched the first such education training centre at Shanghai, a fortnight ago. It is a joint venture between NIIT, the TVE group of Hong Kong and the government of China.

The size of the investments may differ, taking into account the city, size and type of centre and the number of students.

An NIIT centre usually has three types of rooms including a classroom, a machine room and a mind room. Students are expected to attend each class once a week. NIIT offers comprehensive support to these centres in terms of the hardware and software and advertising.

HCL chairperson Shiv Nadar remarked that the Southeast Asian meltdown would not affect NIIT's overseas plans.

He asserted that the company is insulated from any ill effects of the crises as it continues to bag large dollar-denominated orders.

Expressing confidence about the Asean economy, he said that a recovery is in the offing, as fundamentals including vast infrastructure, embedded technologies, human capital and credibility of brand names remain strong.

Nadar added that NIIT's product portfolio of multimedia titles is expected to increase by another 100 titles this year. NIIT is aggressively marketing 195 multimedia titles that have been developed by its educational multimedia division.

According to Vice-chairman Rajendra S Pawar, the company is working towards the highest certification of SEI-CMM Level 5, by reviewing its core technologies and methods to move up the value chain.

NIIT's software facilities have achieved the Level 3 certification. The company has also made its first foray into electronic commerce with the setting up of the NIIT CBT store on the Internet. It recently entered a joint venture with a leading Japanese systems integrator, CSK Corporation, to address the systems integration business emerging from Japan.

The company announced a 35 per cent dividend this year, which is 2.5 per cent more than in the previous financial year.

The company registered a growth of 52 per cent in its global turnover to Rs 4.307 billion for the year ended September 30, 1997. Profits after tax have grown to Rs 680 million with the share of the international business in total turnover rising to Rs 1.78 billion.

- Compiled from the Indian media

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