Usha Martin plans chain of 200 schools

The Rs 4,700 crore industrial conglomerate Usha Martin Group has now turned one of its shell companies — Usha Martin Infotech — into a vibrant one.

The erstwhile shell company, now renamed as Usha Martin Education & Solutions (UMESL), has joined hands with Pearson Education, India to put in place a chain of 200 K-12 (kindergarten to 12th standard) high quality English medium schools across the country over a period of five years with a focus on non-metro towns and cities.

Disclosing this, Saugata Banerjee, director, UMESL, told Financial Chronicle that each of these schools would entail an investment of Rs 6 - Rs 7.5 crore and each would come up on a minimum space of around 30,000 sq ft. As starters, UMESL-Pearson would kick off 15 schools in West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand in the next academic session on rented spaces, Banerjee said.

Naveen Rajlani, vice president-school division, Pearson Education, told FC, “India is one of the most important market for us. Participating in K-12 schools will be a new experiment for us. We are also designing parental guidance and teachers’ training programme for the joint endeavour. We will let these schools access our rich digital and non-digital K-12 contents like books, worksheets, assessment tools and resources for teachers as well as our state-of-the-art ERP software for school systems.”

Banerjee said that Usha Martin Academy, which runs three centres in West Bengal and Jharkhand for advanced management and technical education, will also be brought under UMESL now. “Our endeavour is to blend the best of both the world (east and the west) and if this model succeeds here, who knows, we may take it beyond borders,” Banerjee said.

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