Thursday, 10 November 2011

HDFC plans foray in education via wholly owned subsidiary: Renu Sud, MD

Yes, the strategy basically emanates from the fact that we think that there is a need for education. India needs more schools which is well known to everyone. Also, the fact that we want to get into the employability programme where once you are leaving college and you want to do a job to make people more employable. So the need is very clear and the reason why we were looking at targeting the middle income sector really was because that is where we have operated in HDFC over the last so many years. 

What we did for housing we thought whether we could also target the same category of people where we could set up quality educational institutions at reasonable price and reasonable cost. We intend to start our first two schools maybe in the tier 1 cities but eventually the idea is to have four to five of our own schools and manage many more schools and those could be in the tier 2 and tier 3 cities. 

There are a lot of schools in India today where they have fund shortage. They have the school, they have the building, they have the students but they are not able to actually take the whole process forward. So these are the two options we are looking at and it is very small effort. It is a small step. So very honestly, I really do not want to talk much about it in that sense. It is a very tiny step that we are trying to day. Hopefully in the next few years, we should be able to talk about something once we have done something. 

Just wanted to get a sense of how exactly this is going to be structured, how you are going to be executing this. So we believe that the foray is going to be via the subsidiary route, how much initial capital are you looking at possibly? 

Right now the HDFC board has approved investment of 100 crores of equity and as we go forward, as required the board will continue to approve whatever we need. Yes, it is a separate entity, which is going to be calledHDFC Educational and Development Services and there would be some bit of leverage. We would be taking loans also in the company and it starting off with a school, hopefully it should be in Bangalore where we have actually finalised the land and the second most likely is going to be in Gurgaon and slowly we are in the process of looking at various locations using the HDFC relationships and knowledge and property etc.

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