top of page

Make Money While Others Study, with Navneet

If you have an older sibling, chances are that you’ve studied from their old books, instead of buying new ones. And if you’re lucky enough for the syllabus to change in between, you will get a set of fresh books instead.


But younger siblings across the country aren’t the only ones to benefit from syllabus changes. Even the ones publishing books and study material see a spike in new sales at each migration.


Remember the ‘Digest’? The popular publisher of this saving grace, Navneet, is a listed company, which, as an adult, you can now make money off!


For the last 6 years, there has been no change in syllabus, leaving Navneet with flat revenues from its publishing business (40% of its total revenue).


However, after this long boring period, there is a big change coming - the NEP, or National Educational Policy, which is about to make some dramatic changes to the syllabus, and perhaps even provide a catalyst for Navneet (and you) to make some money!


What’s the Deal with NEP?

In 2020, the government introduced the transformative National Educational Policy (NEP-2020), bringing a host of changes. However, the implementation of this policy has been severely delayed.


The state boards of Gujarat and Maharashtra, where Navneet derives most of its revenue, have yet to implement the new policy due to execution challenges.


This is a big opportunity for Navneet since the policy not just changes the curriculum significantly, but also gives an option to students to study in 22 different languages.


This would mean Navneet has the opportunity to create new products to support the updated textbooks, translating into increased revenue streams.


The management anticipates changes will begin next year, potentially driving a high-teen growth rate in Navneet’s publishing business for at least 3–4 years, starting in FY26.


Some of NEP Has Already Begun

While the state boards are yet to see the implementation of NEP; so far, CBSE has taken a tiny step towards it. It has implemented the NEP for classes 3 to 6 (something is better than nothing!).


Smart of Navneet - it foresaw a shift in the market from state board to CBSE, and strategically acquired a company called Indiannica Learning (formerly Encyclopaedia Britannica India) in 2016 to enter the CBSE market, expand its reach and correctly position itself.


And boy Navneet was right! From 2018 to 2023, CBSE enrolments in Maharashtra surged by 24%, while state board enrolments fell by 10%.


Navneet was hence able to not just save its revenue stream, but even add to it. The average annual revenue per user (ARPU) of an SSC-medium customer is between Rs 3,000 and Rs 3,500, while that CBSE is double of that.


Navneet seems to be doing fairly well in this segment. It has increased its reach from 8,500 CBSE schools in FY23 to 11,000 in FY24, out of which the company is confident that ~6,500 schools will prescribe Navneet books to their students.


But yes, the real kicker would be when NEP implementation starts at scale!


It’s Not All About NEP Though

With high-growth hopes for Navneet’s publishing business (40% of total) pinned on to the government, fate for the rest of the business has been in Navneet’s own hands!


Navneet gets the rest of its revenue from selling stationery. Through brands like Gala, Youva and Vikas, it sells writing books, drawing books and non-paper stationery in India as well 30 other countries.


While the publishing business has been stagnant over the last few years, Navneet has been getting its growth from stationery. Over the past three years, its revenue surged by an impressive 26% CAGR, outpacing the pre-COVID 3-year CAGR of 15%.


Looking ahead, Navneet intends to continue driving growth from this business, with capex of Rs. 110 crore, which at a 3.5-4x asset turnover ratio would translate to annual revenue of ~Rs. 400 crore, which is 23% of FY24 revenue.


Over the next 3-5 years, the company can drive a robust 15% revenue CAGR in the stationery business. New text books or not, people are definitely going to get new note books to write in!


But Won’t Books Become Irrelevant?

Navneet is in the business of publishing books and stationery, which although is seeing growth right now, has a justifiably questionable future.


And like every other traditional business, Navneet too has taken steps to transform to digital solutions. For starters, it has already created digital versions of its books, and it provides an interactive experience by allowing students to see videos, use bookmarks, and leave comments.


Other than that, it has also made several strategic investments, marking a presence across categories, bringing in expertise and even expanding curriculum.

Company Name

Business

Customers

Products

Investments

K12

Provides elementary education through 'Orchids, the International School'.

Schools (B2C & B2B),(Kindergarten to 10th grade)

Learning Management Systems (LMS)

14.92% stake (Invested Rs. 120 crore)

SFAPLAY

Fully integrated digital and on-ground multi-sport platform, partner of IOA Tokyo Olympics 2020, CWG 2022, Asian Games 2022.

Sports (B2C & B2B), Schools, Athletes, Government

SFA Tech - Game Management System (GMS)

14.29% stake (Invested Rs. 75 crore)

beGalileo

AI-driven personalised adaptive learning math platform for kids, generating a learning plan for each child based on standard and grade-level curriculum.

B2C – Kids aged 4-16 years (USA and Middle East)

Math & Coding Curriculum, Summer Camps with influencers

46.84% Stake (Invested Rs. 19 crore)

Tinkerly

STEM-based learning kits for kids offering online coding classes. Enables building technical skills and job-related skills for the future.

B2B – Schools

Coding Curriculum, STEM Kits, STEM Labs

14.40% Stake (Invested Rs. 5 crore)

Even though these businesses are currently loss-making, posting a Rs. 65 crore loss in FY23 and a Rs. 40 crore loss in FY24, the company is optimistic that it will become EBITDA break-even from FY26 onwards and will play an important role in the company’s analogue to digital transition.


Summing It Up

While a digital transformation seems a little far away, there are more immediate triggers for Navneet, which can result in high growth over the next 3-5 years:


  • Mid-teen growth expectations in the stationery business, led by heavy capex, and product and geographic expansion

  • High teen growth expectations post the rollout of NEP for both CBSE and state boards


Looks like the brand that helped you study and pass exams might just help you make money!

5 views0 comments

Comentários


bottom of page