Sudhanshu Sinhal (23) is the youngest scion of the Sinhal clan to join the family business — Sinhal Classes, Mumbai (estb.1981), one of the city’s most well-known names in the private tutoring and public exams preparation business. Currently Sinhal Classes — a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinhal Classes Pvt. Ltd — manages ten tuition centres across the city, offering 12 study programmes and six test prep series to 4,000 registered students paying between Rs.7,500-1.16 lakh per course. It has been two years since Sudhanshu, a mathematics graduate of Mumbai’s prestigious St Xavier’s College, stepped into the academy founded by his father O.P. Sinhal (1942-2006), with the objective of diversifying this 27-year-old exam prep school’s operations into online coaching and tutorials.
Because of poor quality tuition dispensed in India’s K-12 and tertiary education institutions, and ill-qualified faculty, the country’s supplementary/ parallel education industry has grown exponentially. According to an Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) 2008 study, the private tutorials industry rakes in over Rs.10,000 crore annually. Jointly managed by brothers Sudhanshu and Sanjay, Sinhals Mumbai (as it is popularly known) offers supplementary tuition to students preparing to write the ICSE class X, HSC class XII, the MHT-CET (Maharashtra state Common Entrance Test for medical and engineering colleges) and AIEEE (All India Engineering Entrance Examination for engineering colleges). Moreover, now it offers tutoring to SSC and CBSE (class X) students as well.
And with considerable success. Students coached by Sinhal Classes consistenly top the ICSE class X, HSC and MH-CET exams in Maharashtra. “Our students learn from highly trained faculty, and interact with other students drawn from the best schools and colleges in the city. Our faculty devises and implements innovative pedagogies and learning techniques which enable our students to succeed. Now we are poised to play a more active role in the internet space, offering tutorials and tests through our revolutionary SinhalOnline.com,” says Sinhal.
He believes that the internet platform offers great opportunity for Sinhal Classes — with an established reputation for delivering high quality exam prep tuitions — to scale up its operations. “Earlier this year we uploaded thousands of online tests on SinhalOnline.com. Moreover I believe the power of social networking if extended to education will be tremendous,” says Sinhal.
And although Sinhal Classes is a for-profit business enterprise, its owners are not unaware of the right of the socio-economically disadvantaged to also receive high quality exam prep tuition. In 2006, inspired by America’s top universities which offer handsome scholarships to meritorious students, the Sinhal Classes Scholarships Fund with a corpus of Rs.1 crore was announced. Since then, scholarships of Rs.2.85 crore have been awarded to merit students.
The firm’s future plans include offering tuition over the internet to students worldwide to prepare them for the exams of ICSE, Delhi. “We have enrolled students in Singapore and Dubai, to coach them for the ICSE class X exam. And with our students securing the first and second ranks in Singapore this year, this initiative is sure to succeed,” says Sinhal.
Quite clearly new horizons are opening up for this pioneer exam prep firm, which is building on the foundation of a solid reputation.
Harshikaa Udasi (Mumbai)