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$100 bn investment potential in education sector over 5 yrs: Experts

NEW DELHI: The country's fast-growing education sector holds a
potential to attract a whopping $100 billion (about Rs 4.57 lakh
crore) investment over the next five years driven by demand for
skilled professionals and need for infrastructure development, say

Sector experts are upbeat about the growth visible now and believe it
could turn into one of the most preferred sectors for investment by
venture capitalists and private equity players going forward.

"The education sector presents an investment potential of $100 billion
over the next five to six years. Venture capitalists and private
equity players will have a role to play in the expansion going
forward," KPMG director Strategic and Commercial Intelligence Dushyant
Singh said.

Moreover, experts feel by enabling private participation in education,
private players can have a significant role in expanding the sector.

According to education and training provider Zee Learn, which is a
division of ETC Networks, there is huge growth potential in the sector
with increasing demand for educational institutions.

"The sector is not well capitalised and there is need and potential
for private investments in the space. To tap this growth, Zee Learn is
also planning to set up 20 more schools and 660 pre-schools in the
country this year," Zee Learn CEO Sumeet Mehta said.

The sector offers opportunities to increase capital as education still
lacks good-quality infrastructure in the country and investors have
the opportunity to build it, experts believe.

"The sector has various drivers for growth, including very low school
going population, need for educated and skilled professionals and
infrastructure requirements," Singh said.

However, there are some regulatory hurdles as an educational institute
in the country has to be a non-profit making organisation.

Singh said investors can become part of the sector through investments
in service and infrastructure providing for schools and institutions.

Moreover, there is a need for large players in the sector as the space
is currently fragmented, he added.

Meanwhile, Zee Learn's Mehta also said robust hiring will take place
in the sector in the coming years as the expansion in the education
sector is increasing the need for school teachers and other staff.

According to official statistics, the education sector faces a
shortage of 8,00,000 teachers in the primary and upper primary schools
and over the next 10 years, secondary schools would have to recruit
5,00,000 teachers.

Source: E.T

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