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January 29, 1999

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NIIT prepares to snatch number one global position

Email this story to a friend. NIIT Limited has worked out a multipronged strategy to more than double its turnover every two years and become the largest computer education company in the world, displacing IBM Global Education by 2002.

"Our aim is to become the biggest education company in the world for which we have to grow at a rate of about 60 per cent from the present 51 per cent to overtake IBM Global Education (with a current revenue of approximately $450 million) and be a global player with local advantages in various markets," NIIT Chief Executive Vijay K Thadani has been quoted as saying.

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The Rs 6.48 billion computer education and software major has earmarked $100 million for acquiring a software services company in the US.

This will be funded by internal accruals and leveraging the balance sheets of both NIIT and the US firm. A special purpose vehicle is also planned.

"The acquisition is to be funded through a combination of the three options, including creation of an SPV," Thadani explained, but ruled out the American depository receipts route.

According to him, internal accruals would amount to about $25 million, while $30-40 million could be whipped up by leveraging NIIT's balance sheet.

Meanwhile, in a major foray in the European market, NIIT has bid for three British government projects.

If awarded, each is likely to generate about 1 million in revenue in the first year. Thadani said over the next three years, the 1:2 ratio of international and domestic revenue would be reversed.

More education centres would be opened abroad, he added. Last year, NIIT added 12 international centres in countries like Malaysia, Singapore and China. It is aiming at setting up 30 more outside India in the next fiscal and 70 centres by 2001.

"In education and training, our big bark will come because of the Web," Thadani said, pointing out that because of superior products NIIT would carve out a niche in this sector. Since NIIT is being built up as a "global company with local advantages", special efforts are being taken to project that image. The US subsidiary of NIIT has an all-American front with the sales and marketing team comprising Americans.

Similarly in Japan, to give the joint venture with CSK Corp a local flavour, the company has been named JIIT. In the rest of Europe market, where language is an obstacle, NIIT is pushing its technology based training programmes to grab a market share.

- Compiled from the Indian media

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