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'Institutions Are Looking At Our Technology To Improve Students' Exp'

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Raj Mruthyunjayappa, MD, APAC & EMEA, Talisma Corporation (Campus Management is a part of Talisma Corporation) met with BW|Businessworld and spoke about priority market and business opportunity with the evolving higher education space in India.

What are the business expertise and domains that Campus management deals with?
If we look at education specifically, Campus Management is among the few end-to-end technology platform providers operating on a global scale.

Campus Management is working with major private and government institutions to provide products and solutions in the general area of student admissions, student services such as academics, hostel, library, labs, scheduling & services integrated with learning management systems & overall student information systems (SIS) for complete student lifecycle management. We have also developed and implemented solutions to cover the entire eco system of the universities, which includes Students, faculty, administration, vendors, alumni etc. This comprehensive system will enable universities and colleges to scale the operations in a very effective way.

Why do universities need such products?
Campuses are now becoming more proactive and responsive in areas such as onboarding, interactive learning, and student lifecycle management. By taking wedges of different markets, we are seeing competition for students; we are seeing the importance of relationships across the entire student lifeline whether it's fund raising or some sort of constituent relationships. Additionally, the interaction between components of the academic ecosystem such as students, faculty and authorities is changing and institutions are increasingly focusing on distance education and e-learning to minimize infrastructure costs. We are also seeing a transformation happening where there's competition for students today. As the competition among universities increases, they will increasingly turn to technology like ERP and CRM solutions for the cutting edge.

Do you have any tie-up with Indian universities/institutes/colleges? Name a few of them.
Currently, we are working with around 40 colleges and universities in India. Leading institutes like Manipal University, SRM University and IIM Udaipur etc. are using our solutions. We are also the technology platform provider for National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and few other government projects for skill development.

How important is India as a market for Campus Management?
India is a priority market for us and there is tremendous business opportunity with the evolving Higher education space in India.

Educational institutes have become more competitive. Students have more choice about which university or college they are going to. Thus, the institutions across the country are looking at tools like our technology to improve students' experience, as technology brings in higher transparency, and improves governance and efficiency.

India is the third largest nation in the world in terms of student enrolment and has the largest number of Higher education institutions in the world. But as per data available, only 22 percent of government run institutes have implemented an ERP solution and this is indeed very less as compared to say Australia where over 80 percent of institutions have already implemented an ERP solution.  Also, the adoption of higher education specific applications in India continues to remain low.Hence,there is a scope for us to grow in the untapped market.

What are the emerging trends - adoption and relevance of technology in the Higher Education space in India?
Higher education is a 5,000 crore industry in India and is in the midst of a transformation. Annual enrolment in higher education has grown steadily at 6.3 per cent over the last decade; the GER (Gross Enrolment Ratio) is nearly 17 per cent. The Indian government has set a target of achieving a GER of 30 per cent by 2020. That means the number of student enrolments in higher education will double.

In other words, India will need at least 500 more universities and 50,000 more colleges in the next 7 - 8 years. While it may not be possible to set up infrastructure for 50,000 colleges, what will emerge is a blended model, as it is prevalent globally.

The adoption of technology in India is growing but it's still in nascent stage. Primarily, in the private education sector where institutions are using technology for student acquisition, admissions and student services. Additionally, institutions and using mobile SMS for student acquisition & mobile applications for student services. In larger institutions, Smart card access, hall ticket printing, marks sheet download and few other basic automations are put into place. There is a lot of opportunity to bring the complete Eco system together under a centralised system.

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