Published in Spring 2023

The managed learning services segment of the corporate training market has long been a thriving one. Comprised of four primary service categories — content development, training administration, training delivery and learning technology management — managed learning services “are an important part of the training industry because they supplement efforts that companies cannot perform internally,” according to Training Industry’s “The State of the Learning Services Market” report.

While the COVID-19 pandemic caused significant disruption, as some companies reduced their training spend or put their initiatives on pause altogether, managed learning service providers have continued to adapt to evolving workforce needs, bringing new and innovative offerings to the (now, mostly virtual) table.

This approach seems to be working. The managed learning services market continues to see growth year over year, with Training Industry research finding that the size of the learning services market increased by 6% in 2021, by 5.7% in 2022 and by 5.5% in 2023.

NIIT is somewhat of a household name in managed learning services, operating for nearly 25 years as an end-to-end provider of services that include content and curriculum design, learning administration, learning delivery, strategic sourcing and learning technology, in addition to its business consulting and advisory services.

Within the past five or six years, however, the company has accelerated its growth even further, says Sailesh Lalla, NIIT’s chief business officer, by establishing trusted partnerships with clients that continue to look to NIIT for their various training and workforce needs.

While NIIT has long been a leader in the managed learning services market, the company has no plans of slowing down any time soon: NIIT closed two deals in the fourth quarter of 2022 — the acquisition of St. Charles Consulting Group and an investment in KNOLSKAPE, an experiential training provider — which support the company’s exciting plans for the future.

The Strategy

Even as growth continues, NIIT recognizes that there’s still room to innovate and bring even more value to customers, Lalla says. NIIT has been able to support these efforts by investing in new capabilities and in opportunities to tap into new markets.

Their $2 million investment in KNOLSKAPE in October 2022, was a “key initiative in NIIT’s endeavor to constantly bring more value to customers with a focus on talent transformation and workplace skills,” according to the press release. The funds contributed to KNOLSKAPE’s total funding round of $4 million.

Lalla says that KNOLSKAPE stood out in the market for its “interesting set of capabilities and products around immersive learning and talent development.” While still in its early, “scaling up” phases as a company, KNOLSKAPE is growing rapidly. Its solutions are designed to tackle some of the most pressing business problems today, from digital transformation to change management and front-line leadership effectiveness. NIIT’s investment will help the company “continue on its journey to innovation,” Lalla shares.

One month later, NIIT announced the acquisition of St. Charles Consulting Group. With the acquisition, NIIT gained access to an elite clientele of professional services companies and large business consulting firms, which Lalla says has helped NIIT scale its consulting and advisory practice “almost overnight.”

By taking a stake in an up-and-coming experimental training provider, and expanding its clientele, NIIT is positioned for continued business growth in the future.

Looking Ahead

A lot has changed since NIIT was founded, in 1981. But the managed learning services giant has proved it has what it takes to adapt to evolving workforce needs. Looking ahead, Lalla says that NIIT will continue to invest in training companies that are pushing the industry forward.

Ultimately, NIIT’s recent business growth shows that companies are doubling down on supporting and developing their most valuable asset to date: Their people.