Narayana Group of Educational Institutions, which has an estimated annual revenue of ₹3200 crore and operates schools, professional colleges, and coaching centres among other educational facilities, plans to increase its offline presence by opening 25 more schools by the academic year 2024–2025 with an investment of ₹125 crore. 

It currently operates 649 educational institutions across 20 states, of which 354 are schools. Puneet Kothapa, President of the Narayana Group of Educational Institutions, told businessline that its target segment is the aspirational class—the middle and upper middle class— and it is their demand that drives its choice where and how to locate schools. 

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“For us, it is the population base. If there is a decent-sized population of around 3 to 5 lakh people, we will start a school in that place. Of course, we do a location survey to find our market. Currently, our goal is to start one school in every district in India. In fact, after Covid-19, we started schools in 12 new cities, including Madurai, Indore, Ludhiana, Amritsar, and Jammu.” 

Describing Narayana as an aspirational brand, he added that they realised the need to be located where there is an aspirational class, which is also the largest segment in the country. In terms of employee strength, it has a headcount of 40,000 people—20,000 teachers and 20,000 non-teaching staff. 

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Narayana Group, which has an existing investment from Morgan Stanley, aims to raise $100 million in the next 3 to 6 months. 

“Until about 7-8 years ago, 90 per cent of our schools were located in the Andhra-Telangana region, which has now shifted to 66 per cent. We want to build a national brand, so we will invest in our growth. Prior to this, around five years ago, we raised ₹500 crore from Morgan Stanley.” 

Additionally, the group is also examining the competitive exam space and plans to introduce new courses. “We intend to begin competitive exam coaching for the LSAT and SAT because there is an increasing number of students who want to pass these exams.” 

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“The way we are planning to go is through the integration of the preparations for these exams into our school curriculum,” he added. It intends to launch these exams by the 2024–25 academic year. 

As to whether getting listed is on the chart, he said that once the brand is strengthened nationally, they may go for listing in about 3 to 4 years.