ISB, Hyderabad based SONG Fund Invests in Affordable Education and Healthcare

 | August 03,2010 10:52 am IST

SONG Advisors, backed by the Soros Economic Development Fund, Omidyar Network and Google, in academic partnership with the Centre for Emerging Markets Solutions (CEMS) at the Indian School of Business (ISB), has made its maiden investments in affordable education and healthcare.


Expressing his happiness, Ajit Rangnekar, Dean, ISB said, “We set up a partnership with the investors out of a conviction that business schools have to go beyond their traditional boundaries to support the development of a profitable small and medium enterprise (SME) sector that has outsized social impact.

I am delighted that SONG has made its first investments. The Fund, the investee companies and the ISB will all benefit immensely from each other.” Professor Reuben Abraham, senior advisor to the fund and Executive Director of CEMS at the ISB, said, “Our aim is to be a catalyst in improving access to risk capital in the SME segment, which is crucial to job creation. In addition, we like to focus on sectors that can contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of India, like education, healthcare, agriculture etc.”


The first investment is in K-12 Techno Services, a school management company currently offering integrated school management services to affordable K-12 schools in Andhra Pradesh. Sequoia Capital was a co-investor in the round. Speaking about the investment, M. Venkatanarayana, Managing Director of K-12 Techno Services said, “We are delighted to partner with SONG and Sequoia and believe that this partnership will enable the company to expand rapidly in the affordable school education segment.”


Vishal Vasishth, Managing Director of SONG Advisors who will join the board of K-12 Techno Services said, “There aren’t many private schools that offer affordable high quality education today to low-income markets. We believe that K-12 will help bridge this gap and provide a template to improve the quality of affordable school education in India.”


The second investment is in Eye Q Vision, an affordable eye-care hospital chain based in Gurgaon, which operates 8 eye care hospitals on a hub and spoke model across Haryana, Delhi, Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh and is planning to expand its network to another 20 towns in the next 2-3 years. Mr. Vasishth of SONG Advisors said, “The Company has proven the viability of the affordable eye-care model in North India and is ready to scale the model with the potential to touch the lives of over 500,000 people in the next 5 years.” Rajat Goel, CEO of EyeQ Vision said, “The organised eye-care market in North India, though currently at a nascent state, is rapidly developing and we hope to be a leading player in this market over the next few years.”