What started as a collaboration talk with Byju’s ended up as a takeover deal worth $1 billion for Aakash Educational Services, in one of the most expensive deals in India’s burgeoning education space. In an interview, Aakash Chaudhry, managing director and co-promoter of the test preparation firm, spoke about what prompted him to sell the three-decade-old brand to a six-year-old startup and his plans to open centres outside India. He also explained how Aakash’s tier-III town expansion in India will provide Byju’s a launchpad to increase its market share beyond cities and metros. Edited excerpts:
A 30-year-old established brand gets sold to a six-year-old startup. What does it mean for the market?