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Monday, Mar 04, 2002

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Aptech to consolidate overseas operations -- Plans Rs 10-cr expansion

Vishwanath Kulkarni


INFOTECH training major Aptech Ltd is planning to consolidate and expand its overseas operations. The company, as part of its two-pronged strategy, has already established presence in 52 countries in seven different regions where it plans to consolidate this year. The seven regions are China, South Asia (India, Bangladesh), West Africa (Nigeria), South Africa (South Africa and Namibia) and Latin America, Central Asia and East Asia.

``We are now planning to invest and consolidate our operations to become market leaders in these territories,'' said Mr Pramod Khera, Managing Director, Aptech Ltd. The company planned to invest about Rs 10 crore this year, he said.

Aptech's international operations bring in about15 per cent of its revenue. "We expect to increase this to 50 per cent over the next two years," said Mr Khera.

Aptech's major expansion this year will be in China. The company, which claims to have been fairly successful in the Chinese market, has already set up some 75 centres and enrolled nearly 10,000 students.

``We intend to increase the number of centres in China to about 200 this year,'' Mr Khera said, adding that lot of content was being translated into Chinese. The company expected the contribution from the Chinese market to go up to 25 per cent of its overseas revenues from the present 10 per cent, he said.

Aptech has devised a global curriculum - ACCP (Aptech Certified Computer Programme), which it expects to launch later this month and in early April in all the 52 countries. Mr Khera said the company was also translating content into Spanish and Portuguese as it intended to tap the Brazilian market in the near future.

The company's multimedia training division - Arena is also planning to expand its operations. Arena has around 250 centres in seven countries, which it plans to increase to 300 by the year-end. Of the additional 50 centres planned, nearly 20 will come up in India and the rest in the Philippines, Korea, Ireland and South Africa.

Aptech is also planning to get aggressive with its corporate and technology training division - Asset. "We are adopting the international model for corporate training and have empanelled working professionals and freelancers to conduct corporate training in different cities,'' Mr Khera said. The company is eyeing a 15 per cent share of the Rs 200-crore corporate training market in India.

Mr Khera said that multi-branding of products as a de-risking strategy had helped the company to ride out the slowdown wave. Last year, the revenues were affected to some extent because of the slowdown in the domestic market. "However, the market is looking up this year and from next quarter, we expect the business to pick up significantly," he said.

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