Britain's Capita Group to target schools

New Delhi, Sep 18 (IANS) Britain's Capita Group targets to expand its business aggressively in India by offering software services and support to schools that will help raise their standards and cut administrative expenses, a senior company official said.

Capita SIMS, a unit of FTSE 100 British firm Capita Group, recently started offering software services to Indian schools.

"Currently, we are providing the services to seven schools. Our target is to cover at least 20,000 schools in the next three to four years," said Graham Cooper, head of product strategy at Capita SIMS, told IANS in an interview here.

He said the new information system and software services will help raise standards and reduce administrative costs in Indian schools.

"We are providing our services to the majority of schools in the UK. Our focus will now be on India. We see huge opportunities in the Indian markets," Cooper added.

He said in the next couple of years, India will be Capita's largest markets outside Britain for school information management systems (SIMS).

"In UK schools, we are providing our services for more than 25 years. We are covering around 22,000 schools. Our target is to reach this number of schools in India in just three to four years," he said.

The company has started offering its services to some top ranking educational institutions like Doon School in Dehradun in Uttarakhand and British School in New Delhi.

Cooper said Capita SIMS India operations would be handled from its office in Bangalore.

He declined to specify the amount of investments and fresh hiring the company would do for its expansion in India.

"We will share those details at the appropriate time. But what I can tell you is that India is a focus market for us - we will be opening new offices, hiring more people and make substantial investments," Cooper said.

Headquartered in London, Capita is Britain's biggest business process outsourcing and software services firm, with a group turnover of 3.35 billion pounds ($5.33 billion) in 2012.

Cooper said Capita's information management system offered several unique features and can help in creating a collaborative platform for learning by enhancing the accountability of students, teachers and parents.

"SIMS gives headteachers a quick snapshot of their school's performance. They can know at a glance how many students are on track to pass their exams, which teachers need more training to boost results and how many parents are behind in their fees," he pointed out.

"It is a complete school management tool that has been developed following extensive consultation with schools across the globe," said Cooper, adding the company has extensively studied the requirements of the Indian schools.

(Gyanendra Kumar Keshri can be reached at gyanendra.k@ians.in)

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