Sunday, August 3, 2014

Big Bang entry in Indian education scene – HDFC School

            In a move to broad base its catchment area, HDFC Group has finalized the location for its first school.

            Sector 57-Gurgaon will have the privilege of having the country’s first HDFC school, which will be run by the housing finance major's wholly-owned subsidiary HDFC Education and Development Services.

Though the school will start functioning only from next academic year (2015-16), it will accept admissions for nursery to standard III from this month. The HDFC School will have classes up to standard 12.

The fees structure is not yet made public but there are indications the school will positioned as ‘international school,’ with monthly fees upto  Rs10,000/-.

HDFC Education and Development Services was formed last November.

The background preparations were going for the last two years, and HDFC was  in talks with real estate developers, who already work with the bank for its housing loan arm to provide HDFC with infrastructure available to set up schools.

The company is open to take over defunct schools and run them. HDFC already has an educational loan unit — Credila Financial Services — in which it raised its stake to 51 per cent in July. Credila plans to leverage the distribution network and customer base of HDFC Bank to expand and also bring down the cost of funds.

Apart from schools, HDFC also plans to have two skill upgradation centres in Hyderabad and Ahmedabad to train people for the financial services, back office and hospitality businesses. These centres will operate from rented premises and hence the uptime will be less as compared to full-fledged schools.

The push into education is being spearheaded by HDFC's Delhi-based managing director Renu Karnad.  Besides setting up its own schools, HDFC will also be providing school management and other allied services.