In October 2019, private equity firm Blackstone had bought stake in AESL to build an omni-channel education company.
Test preparation firm Aakash Educational Services (AESL) has set up a wholly-owned subsidiary, Aakash Edutech (AEPL) for the digital education business. The new entity will offer an online platform for students to access live test preparation classes and live tuitions with self-study materials.
The press statement said AEPL will comprise of Aakash Digital and Meritnation businesses. While Aakash Digital that offers online coaching for competitive exams was started seven years ago, 11-year old Meritnation which offers live classes to school students was acquired by AESL in January 2020.
AESL is among the top five players in the test preparation space in India. In October 2019, private equity firm Blackstone bought a 37.5 percent stake in the company. Here, reports said that AESL was valued at around Rs 3,600 crore. Blackstone also has permission from the Competition Commission of India to hold 51 percent stake in AESL.
Aakash Chaudhry, Director and CEO of AESL said that the new subsidiary will further strengthen AESL’s competitive positioning not only in digital education but will also further enable its offline student offering across its 200 classroom centres, teaching over 2,50,000 students.
For the subsidiary, the company has also appointed Narasimha Jayakumar as its CEO. Jayakumar was a chief business officer of Shubhloans.com.
Aakash Digital enables students preparing for JEE, NEET and grades 8-12 school, board and competitive exams get access to online test preparation at home. The ed-tech platform offers live online classes, recorded video lectures and online practice tests.
Meritnation caters to K-12 (kindergarten to Class XII) students with over 25 million students across all major boards.Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, all test preparation classes, as well as school lessons, have moved online. This is because of the nationwide lockdown that has forced students and teachers to stay indoors.