Start-ups have played and are continuing to play a vital role in the development and growth of industrialization and economies all over the world. With the rate of innovation and generation in knowledge getting faster, the rate of increase in new start-up companies has also increased.
ByjuRaveendran, a man in his mid-thirties, founded and is running India’s most-loved edtech company in a way that only he can. A charismatic teacher, an accidental engineer and an extremely successful entrepreneur, Byju is a man wearing many hats, and for a man like him, they all fit. He is changing the way that India learns with the help of his company, Think & Learn, which he founded in 2008. But what is it that Byju’s is doing differently than a million other coaching centers are not? We have to look at the man himself first if we want to answer that question.
Byju was born and brought up in a family of teachers and education has been a very important thing for him since his childhood. Growing up, he topped the CAT Exams twice but instead of going to any IIM, he dedicated his life to fulfilling other people’s dreams of getting there. He started with offline coaching classes with just a few students and in a few short years since then is running, what is arguably, the best technology-based learning company in the country.
Always a man with a vision, Byjurealised that his outreach is severely handicapped if he taught in offline classes only. So he began giving online video classes. He searched for the best teachers in the country for all subjects and brought them onboard to give video lectures. But that is not the whole of it. These video lectures were mixed with 2D and 3D visualizations to make them more appealing and informative. This revolutionary idea made the company a huge success in a short time. The idea always was to make learning fun and addictive and Byju achieved that spectacularly.
At first, he was teaching only entrance exams aspirants. But he realized that if he really wanted to make a positive change in the country’s education scenario, he has to start at a more basic level. He felt that if students have a strong foundation, they have more chance of success later on in life. In his own words, “We are making an impact where it matters, and how students learn in those crucial years where they start failing (in a) subject, in the 6th or 7th grades. We know we are making a much bigger impact because we are changing the way India is learning today.” Today Byju’s provides coaching for classes 6-12, IIT-JEE Exam, AIPMT, CAT, UPSC, GRE and GMAT.
The main idea was that unlike other coaching classes that identify patterns and make students practice hundreds of questions without understanding the concept first, they would make the students understand the concept so clearly that whatever question is thrown at them, they will be able to solve easily. They understand that securing good marks is important in the Indian education system, but they have changed the way students can achieve that. If they can have fun and learn something by heart at the same time, it is a win-win situation for everyone.
Statistics says that there are more than 50 lakh students who have downloaded the Byju’s app, with over 2 lakhs of them being paid users. Additionally, more than 20,000 paid users are joining every month on an average, making it one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. But for ByjuRaveendran, these are just numbers. Making profits was never his objective, to begin with, nor does he bother about his competitors in the market. For him, his competition was always with himself.
The testimony to Byju’s spectacular success is not the size of his company and the number of people who have downloaded the app nor the numerous awards that the company has won, it is the way that he has changed the way students ‘Think & Learn’. For millions of students who have been touched by the way that he teaches, learning will never be the same again.