Delhi NIIT morphs; targets retail, healthcare | india | Hindustan Times
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Delhi NIIT morphs; targets retail, healthcare

The company is shifting beyond its origins as a software coding teacher to seek new pastures in emerging areas, reports Archana Khatri.

india Updated: Aug 01, 2007 20:40 IST
Archana Khatri

Delhi-based NIIT, which for nearly three decades has been known as an information technology training company, is shifting beyond its origins as a software coding teacher to seek new pastures in emerging areas, having repositioned itself as a global talent development corporation.

In this, it is plucking a leaf out of old rival Aptech, which is also diversifying into areas like aviation to tap millions of career-seeking youngsters.

The company, which has spun off its software service division as a separate listed firm, is betting on decades of mastering the broader business of a franchise-based training management, which it can use for any industry that needs skilled people.

After software, call centres and a brief dalliance with entrepreneurship training, NIIT started a successful programme for financial services. It is now targeting hot new industries that are hungry for a talented work-force – and willing to pay for it. "We are looking at training of manpower for retail, hospitality and healthcare industry,” Vijay Thadani, NIIT’s chief executive, said earlier this week.

Chairman Rajendra S Pawar said NIIT would seek to partner “a domain expert, an industry or a consulting partner".
NIIT has had a good run in partnering ICICI Bank to train banking and financial service professionals, taking a qualitative leap from its IT-centric years. Retail is a sound opportunity, with both malls and organized formats such as hypermarkets, supermarkets and discount chains taking off.

NIIT has already entered into an arrangement with the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata, to provide an executive (mid-career) management education programme in retail management under an initiative branded NIIT Imperia.

The managing director of Bharti Enterprises, Rajan Bharti Mittal, while addressing the PHD Chamber of Commere and Industry on Tuesday, said talent was a crunch issue.

"Exponential growth requires more talent than is currently required. Training and development of manpower and potential tie-ups with universities and setting up dedicated retail institutes is an opportunity in the emerging retail sector in India,” he said.

A recent study by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on employment potential, undertaken for the Planning Commission, revealed that the healthcare industry could see 6.1 million new jobs being created by 2010, while retail could add 9 million more.

The hospitality sector will feel its own pinch as it plans to add 40,000 new rooms between 2008 and 2010.