The NIIT Story

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR033
Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 1989 - 2002
Organization : NIIT
Pub Date : 2002
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : India
Industry : ITES

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

From the early 1980s, the demand for a workforce, which had computer skills, was increasing among Indian corporates. This was mainly because the economy was becoming more IT-oriented. Unlike the developed countries, in India, basic computer education was yet to become a part of the educational system.

Only in a few engineering and computer science colleges offered computer education. This led to the emergence of small, regional IT training institutes offering low-end courses, focusing mainly on creating a general awareness about computers. Soon, the industry started attracting students in hordes and by the mid-1990s, it was growing at around 30-35% per year. By 2001, the global IT training market was estimated to be around $16 billion, of which India's share was $350 million. NIIT was the first company to start a chain of computer education centers in the organized sector in India imparting IT training to a broad spectrum of people including students, IT professionals, school children and managers. Entrepreneurs Rajendran, Pawar and Vijay K Thadani, who were working with HCL promoted the company in 1981.1

HCL's founder, Shiv Nadar rendered support to the venture with the required capital. In 1982, NIIT started its operations, setting up centers in Bangalore, Karnataka and soon expanded to the rest of the country.

In 1989, NIIT got recognition from the American Council on Education(ACE),2 which enabled its students to get credit exemptions from around 1700 university members of ACE. Over the next few years, the NIIT brand became synonymous with IT education in India. Though its courses were not recognized by any Indian university, its placement records were rather good and the company was able to sustain the inflow of students. In 1993, the company came out with an initial public offering of 3.6 million shares. In the same year, the company diversified into the software development business with the development of instructional software products to be used as teaching aids in schools. In 1994, NIIT implemented ISO 9001 standards and was certified by BVQI3...

Excerpts >>

1] Hindustan Computers Limited (HCL), formed in 1975, is one of the top 10 software companies in India.

2] Founded in 1918, ACE is a body for coordinating association for higher education in the US. The 1800-member ACE acts as a forum for discussion of major issues relating to higher education.

3] Bureau Veritas Quality International (BVQI) is a wholly-owned subsidiary by Bureau Veritas for third party management system certification. Accredited by around 30 accreditation bodies, BVQI is one of the most widely recognized certification body for ISO 9000 quality standards.


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