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Now NIIT eyes Russia, S Africa, Saudi Arabia

March 16, 2007 09:45 IST

NIIT Limited, a provider of IT training, learning and knowledge solutions, is set to expand its overseas presence by expanding its chain of IT education training centres in a few emerging countries and by entering new geographies.

The company will soon enter Russia, South Africa and Saudi Arabia through tie ups with local universities.

"We have a presence in many countries and we are looking to enter some key countries like Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and further expand in Mexico and China. We plan to complete this in a year's time," said G Raghavan, president, Individual Learning Business, NIIT.

He said that Russia was a fairly vast market as far as IT is concerned. The company is looking at multiple models to penetrate it.

"For Russia, we are looking at multiple models, starting from NIIT Inside Model, retail education model and corporate training. Our plan is to become an integral part of the IT education in Russia," Raghavan added. The curriculum offered by NIIT is now available in six international languages including Russian, which the company is offering in Kazhakasthan.

Presently, NIIT offers learning and knowledge solutions in 30 countries, with its chain of about 5,000 training centres. In Mexico, the company has one training centre in Durango and is planning to expand further. In Individual Learning Business, bulk of NIIT's revenue comes from the domestic market at present followed by China, where the company has over 125 centres. The company is looking to expand further in China.

"We have grown well in China quarter after quarter. Our plan is to expand more centres and work with provincial governments to increase their ICT manpower," Raghavan added.

NIIT's China business is growing 35 per cent and contributes 7 per cent to its revenue of $250 million.

NIIT is also planning to launch programmes for both the global and international market. The company is planning to roll out its Multi-Modular Service programme, a popular IT education programme, it is offering in overseas markets, to many other countries. The programme, which has been designed on the lines of G-NIIT which is offered in India, is offered in six countries at present.

In India, the company is planning to launch new programmes in emerging areas like storage technology, security and software testing in the next 12 months, said Raghavan.

Besides, the Network Labs programme, test-piloted by the company in Delhi and Chennai last year, will be rolled out across the country this year, he added. Network Labs' programme is a 12-month programme for training infrastructure management professional.

According to Vijay K Thadani, chief operating officer, NIIT, the company is looking at the North Eastern states for expanding further.

"We already have a centre is Guwahati. We are planning to set up a centre, in any place with a large population of students, closer to universities," he added.

Following the launch of NIIT Institute of Finance, Banking and Insurance, with equity participation from ICICI Bank, NIIT is now planning to introduce a similar institute for insurance professionals. "We have declared that after banking, our next step would be insurance. We are considering partnering some insurance company, for setting up the institute.

About 120 students were enrolled in the first programme at IFBI which aims at preparing skilled professionals for financial services sector.

Bibhu Ranjan Mishra in Chennai/Bangalore