Sunday, 23 October 2011

Aptech enters retail education with mobile classroom

Computer education major Aptech has expanded into imparting skills for the fast-growing retail sector through a mobile, low-cost delivery platform.
It has launched a pilot project at a mall here which is targeted at working professionals in the retail space, but Aptech officials said it will gradually serve aspirants as well. This innovative model involves turning a shipment container into a classroom that can move around the cities.
“Retail will require 5 million professionals by 2015. It’s a good opportunity to be tapped, especially considering that there is a need for quality of the workforce...our initial target is to train 20,000 students in the next three years,” Aptech MD and CEO Mr Ninad Karpe told PTI here.
Aptech has tied up with non-profit Trust for Retailers and Retail Associates of India (TRRAIN) to launch the retail module through the 18-seat container-classroom, Mr Karpe said.
To begin with, Aptech and TRRAIN have designed an 18- day course focusing on every aspect of the retail sector, including communication skills. The programme also involves tie-ups with mall managements.
TRRAIN founder Mr B S Nagesh, who is also the force behind Shoppers Stop, said once retail associates in a particular mall are taught, the container-classroom will move to another mall.
It cost Rs 5.5 lakh to convert the container into an AC classroom having all necessary furniture, fixtures and learning equipment, Mr Nagesh said.
Mr Karpe said Aptech’s staff will be employed to teach students while the company has a revenue share model with TRRAI for every student.
Besides adding more container-classrooms, Aptech and TRRAIN are evaluating having collapsable classrooms that can be erected and folded up quickly, he said.
After covering Mumbai malls, the partnership will target malls in rest of Maharashtra and later take the model to Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad, Mr Karpe said.

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