Allen Career Institute, a leader in India’s test preparation space, has launched a wholly-owned subsidiary, Allen Digital, to take on the multi-billion dollar edtech companies, a month after raising $600 million (Rs 4,500 crore) from James Murdoch's Bodhi Tree Systems.
The education company said on June 14 it planned to go outside India with the launch of Allen Digital, without specifying the geographies. It would offer a blend of digital and offline learning options through Allen Digital, the company said.
"The ubiquity of digital will allow us to achieve scale at a faster rate without having to compromise on the quality of teaching,” said Anand Maheshwari, Managing Director, Allen Digital Pvt Ltd.
The company’s online foray comes at a time when many edtech companies are looking to launch physical centres as competition heats up in the offline space with Covid-19 restrictions easing in most parts of the country.
SoftBank-backed edtech unicorn Unacademy in May announced a plan to set up offline tuition centres. The company plans to open more than 15 centres over the 30 days across nine cities, including one in Kota, a small town in Rajasthan that has emerged as India’s coaching with several IIT-JEE test preparation centres.
The Maheshwari brothers of Kota, who have built the Allen coaching empire, have a monopoly in the test-preparation segment, especially in their city.
“Over the past three decades, Allen has emerged as the top destination for competitive examination preparations. In the current environment where options are plenty, but pedagogy has been questionable, we felt the need to extend our services to more students who are not in a position to relocate to avail our services," Anand Maheshwari said.
The company said it would also provide a platform for a curated range of non-science courses in the short and long term and offer workshops and crash course formats through Allen Digital.
It also plans to provide students with mentor support, online and offline support, career counselling and psychological counselling.
Recently, in a video shared internally with employees, Brajesh Maheshwari, co-founder, Allen Institutes, said the company would not allow educators to return who were leaving Allen for money.
The video went viral on the day Unacademy opened an offline tuition centre in Kota to capitalise on the growing demand for physical tuition classes.
Maheshwari warned educators, saying that Allen would black list the ones leaving and joining other companies only for “money”.
In a YouTube video a few years back, Rajesh Maheshwari, the oldest of the four Maheshwari brothers, proclaimed to be the “Don of the coaching industry”.