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Thursday, April 14, 2011

AISECT Franchises Low Cost Education Training Franchise Model To Reach Rural India.

Santosh Choubey
Q&A: Santosh Choubey, Founder, AISECT

'We plan to expand to 15,000 centres in the next five years'

The All India Society for Electronics and Computer Technology (AISECT) was established in 1997 to take the information technology revolution to rural India. It provides rural folk training in IT-related skills, enabling them to gain employment or start an entrepreneurial venture. Pravda Godbole spoke to Santosh Choubey, AISECT’s founder and managing director, about the organisation and its future plans. Edited excerpts

What is AISECT all about?
It delivers computer and IT tutorials and services like government-to-citizen (G2C), business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B) and e-commerce, apart from programmes in hardware and networking, vocational skills and programmes in rural development. We also have formal educational institutions, including central India’s first private university (Dr CV Raman University), among other.

Is AISECT involved with the under-privileged and tribals?
We are involved in various activities for backward classes, tribals and women. We have formed self-help groups in tribal communities and they are linked with markets for sustainable livelihood activities.

Has AISECT been the subject of a World Bank-IIM(A) case study?
In 1999 it was listed as the only sustainable and scalable model for ICT penetration across semi-urban and rural India in the World Bank-IIM(A) joint study. AISECT is the recipient of several prestigious awards and its work has been lauded by Nasscom.

Who has developed your educational and training programmes?
We have a complete team constantly creating and upgrading content across all programmes and languages.

What is the course fee?
We offer short-term certificate programmes, diplomas, post-graduate diplomas and graduate programmes. The fees range from Rs 3,000 to Rs 12,000, depending on the course.

What is the business model on which AISECT works?
AISECT reaches out to students and the community through franchisees. The AISECT headquarters is the central strategic body which provides various facilities and services to the franchisee network. The franchisee invests in making himself a good education centre, recruits faculty and coaches the students.

How do you plan to achieve your expansion targets?
We currently exist in 8,500 centres across 4,069 cities in India and plan to expand to 15,000 centres in the next five years by means of focused entrepreneurship development. Our strategy is to incentivise existing franchisees to induct others into the system. Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and UP are some very promising states.

How much do franchisees need to invest?
The cost ranges from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 for a large centre in a district headquarters or a large town, and Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 for smaller locations. An investment of anywhere between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 10 lakh is required, depending on the size of the centre.

When was the MoU with Indira Gandhi National Open University signed?
It was signed in October 2009 with the objective of delivering quality higher education in semi-urban and rural India. All the AISECT courses are now available with the added advantage of IGNOU certification. Further, AISECT-IGNOU study centres have also been established to administer IGNOU’s graduate and post-graduate programmes.

Will AISECT enter any new spaces and/or markets?
Research says that developing countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Vietnam, Nepal and Myanmar exhibit similar consumer needs as India. So these markets will also become AISECT’s focus.

Are you also into business process outsourcing?
AISECT eMerge is a rural business process outsourcing unit that leverages the strength of the AISECT network in rural and semi-urban India to deliver high-quality back office services. Data entry, scanning, photo-copying and other non-voice operations provide a good source of income to franchisees. We have now begun pilot operations of this division.

Source:Business Standard / Pravda Godbole /  April 12, 2011

Tags:AISECT, AISECT Franchise, IT Franchise, Low cost franchise,  Low Cost Education Franchise, computer training franchise, santosh choubey, rural franchise, rural education franchise.

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