Tahem Veer Verma, Co-Founder of Kings Learning, told The PIE News that already, around 20% of students at the schools are foreign nationals who are walk-ins.
“They are from Syria, Jordan, Sudan, Iran…” he explained. “That just happened, our plan was only next year to start looking outside of the country.”
Kings Learning has been set up in Bangalore and Chennai, with a new branch already planned to open in Mumbai soon.
Verma, whose father Sanjeev Verma operates the well known education agency Intelligent Partners in the Middle East, has partnered with an established English language teaching operator, UK-based Kings Education, to deliver the academic programming. A signature programme is co-designed by OUP too.
Tahem Verma gives us one minute of his time
Verma explained that by offering a combination of local and native English teachers and a high quality product, demand had soared among the white-collar workers of India who realised their professional ambitions were held back by a lack of good working English.
“There is a glass ceiling in English and if you don’t speak English, there is only so far you can go in the corporate world,” he explained. “Our students all recognise that.”
“At the same time, knowing English is a social status symbol.”
It is a predominantly part-time student that the school caters for, with teachers busiest on a Saturday and Sunday.
Verma explained that a four-week course costs US$150, “but two-thirds of our students will then re-enrol for further study”.
Colleges in India have also been approaching Kings Learning to request off-site delivery of English language training to students.
“Everyone recognized the need [for high quality ELT],” said Verma. “We thought that would be our biggest challenge, educating the market, but the market was ahead on that.”