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Surya Tutoring: Evaluating a Growth Equity Deal in India


The case focuses on two major challenges in deal making in emerging market economies—deal sourcing and negotiation—by focusing on a real (but disguised) Indian private equity deal. In 2010 Surya Tutoring was a fast-growing tutoring academy for high school students aspiring to gain admission to the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). Surya’s CEO, R. K. Sharma, wanted to expand its reach beyond Kota (a city of 1 million people in the northern state of Rajasthan), which had become the center of the IIT prep school industry and home to tens of thousands of students studying for the rigorous IIT entrance exam. Sharma knew there was vast untapped potential in the teeming Indian metropolises of Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, and Bangalore, as well as in foreign markets such as Dubai and Australia. 

Sharma had received term sheets from two private equity firms willing to finance Surya’s expansion. By the end of the month he needed to decide which to accept: the offer from big bulge bracket fund Blackgem, or the one from ZenCap, a small Indian firm based in Mumbai with which he had become intimately familiar during the past year.




Paola Sapienza, Vineet Bhagwat, Apaar Kasliwal

Date Published



Sapienza, Paola, Vineet Bhagwat, and Apaar Kasliwal. Surya Tutoring: Evaluating a Growth Equity Deal in India. Case 5-312-501 (KEL679).


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