We all must have heard the iconic Bollywood megastar, Shah Rukh Khan, in an advertisement saying “Come fall in love with learning”. Yes, you heard it right. It is the tagline of India’s biggest and most valuable ed-tech startups, Byju’s. In today’s scenario, Byju’s is a student’s most trustworthy companion. It has laid the foundation for a breathtaking disruption in the Indian education sector and its methods of teaching.
But, the fundamental question arises that how this magnificent idea of teaching students online came into existence. Well, the passion for teaching led to the inception of the ed-tech startup which now has achieved a milestone of being a decacorn (A Silicon Valley term used for startups worth more than $10 billion).
Byju’s - The idea of Teaching
Byju Raveendran - the brain behind BYJU’S hails from a coastal village situated in Kerala where he started going to a local Malayalam medium school and excelled at sports like Cricket, Football, Table Tennis, and Tennis.
He was a bright student and particularly mathematics and science enticed him the most. So, thanks to his propensity toward math and science, he ended up getting a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Soon, he landed up a job as a service engineer in a multinational firm in Singapore.
As his destiny decided once his friends who were preparing for the CAT exam requested him to guide them as Byju was immensely brainy at Mathematics. Surprisingly, he also took the exam for fun & self evaluate. You would be astounded to know that he scored the perfect 100 percentile score in the exam.
Students now completely depending on online learning to fulfil their daily learning needs – Byju Raveendran
His zeal towards teaching advanced him to quit his high-paying job and start preparing students for CAT which is an exam to take admission in the prestigious business schools in India.
MBA Coaching by Byju
He felt a void in the way of teaching in India. At the outset, he only started coaching MBA aspirants from the terrace of a friend’s house. Owing to his uncanny and astute method of teaching, the students’ number skyrocketed from 40 to 1000 in some years.
The crucial point came when he was coaching more than 20000 students from different states and arenas were sold out for his prep class. An entrepreneur was in its making.
Birth of ed-tech startup - Byju’s
While he was imparting education to students, he felt a loophole in the conventional method of teaching as students had a huge dearth of logic and they zeroed in on grades.
Well, as they say, that an entrepreneur is nothing but a problem solver.
To bridge the gap between students and logic, he founded an ed-tech startup named Think and Learn in 2011, which is the parent company of BYJU’S.
He made efforts to cater to the demands of the majorly untapped education market in India.
The idea was to provide a platform on which plausible educational content could be provided to students which they can access by sitting in their homes through their mobile phones and tablets.
The stellar idea of the product transmuted into reality in 2015. BYJU’S- The learning app was a subscription-based product proving online classes to students from 4th grade to 12th grade. It offers students coaching for competitive exams like CAT, NEET, JEE which are quite eminent among youngsters.
The inception of this ed-tech startup revolutionized the scenario of the education market in India and a lot of other similar startups entered the market.
Byju’s - Making of a Brand
Gradually with each passing day, Byju’s has become a household name in India as it has more than 3.5 lakh annual subscriptions. The core competency which makes it innovative from other ed-tech startups is the presentation of the educational content.
Apart from teachers, it collaborates with a lot of graphic designers and videographers to make its educational content alluring and fun for students.
It is a perfect example of an innovative startup as it is a blend of superior quality educational content with a great interface and presentation.
One decisive feature which has paid rich dividends to the startup is that it majorly focuses on the subjects which present difficulty to budding minds of students i.e. Mathematics and Science. But, with its motion graphics and animations, it has ignited the interest of students in these subjects due to which BYJU’S has reached 2000 cities in India.
A job of a great teacher is to make the subject matter as easy as possible to understand and that’s what an innovative ed-tech startup, like Byju’s, has done with the concoction of Media, content, and tech.
Besides this, the engagement rate is quite high for the students as it is providing lots of free content. Also, students are given a chance to keep a vigil on their progress by interactive and fun learning quizzes and competitions. This subscriptions based revenue model has done wonders in the branding of the company.
Soul of Byju’s Ed-tech Startup - Marketing
Marketing is one of the instrumental aspects behind the success of a company as it came to no surprise that Byju’s has used strong promotional tools to market itself. It roped in the heartthrob of the nation Shah Rukh Khan as its Brand Ambassador which helped to reach the wider audience of India.
In the last 3 years, It has taken giant strides on the path of growth and prosperity by growing at a CAGR of 200%.
Byju’s - Funding across the years
The modern age startups are scaling their business through fundings from investors and venture capitalists. There has been a multitude of funding rounds being done which has valued BYJU’S at more than $10 billion and an interesting fact is that it is the first ed-tech startup in India to do so.
BYJU’S has secured millions of dollars in funding from world-acclaimed private equity firms like Sequoia Capital, Tencent holdings which is a premier Chinese investing conglomerate, Owl ventures, etc.
Interestingly, this ed-tech startup is the first startup to receive funding from Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative pegged at $50 Million. Earlier this year, BYJU’S has secured funding of $130 million from an American Investor.
The market fit product of Byju’s has allured a lot of potential investors because the product is unique and difficult to replicate. This type of product has not even been seen in developed economies like the USA and China.Conclusion
In compendium, the story of this disruptive ed-tech startup Byju’s proves that Innovation is the key to solutions in the market. Creating a new age learning-oriented product has resulted in the conversion of offline class experience to a fabulous online class experience.
Today, it has the expertise of 700 people in the product team, 200 people in the content team, and 200 media professionals which are imparting the education which is going to bring prosperity into this country in the years to come.
Byju’s has proved that Learning is a fun activity and if we offer education in an interactive and relatable way, then the study can also become a recreational activity for the growing minds.