The education sector in India has been stagnant for quite some time now. But every now and then, there comes a person who changes the whole game with their approach. That person in today’s story is Byju’s founder, Byju Raveendran. In this blog, we will shed light on the life of one of India’s most successful Ed-tech businessmen. So let’s get started.
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Early Life of Byju’s Owner
Byju’s Founder, Byju Raveendran was born in the Azhikode village of Kerala in 1980. His father and mother were both teachers. His father used to teach physics, while his mother taught mathematics. He completed his primary and secondary education from a Malayalam medium school where his parents were teachers. Looking back at the time, he remembers how he used to skip classes and then later on take the same classes at home.
After completing high school, he joined Government Engineering College, Kannur, to pursue his Bachelor of Technology degree. After completing his B.tech, he started working in a multinational shipping company as a service engineer. In 2003, Byju Raveendran was on a vacation where he helped one of his mates to study for the CAT exam. He then took the CAT exam and scored a perfect 100 percentile. He was shocked, so he took another test and again scored 100 percentile. After helping CAT exam aspirants for the next 2 years and getting good results, he quit his job. This is when the Byju’s founder knew what he had to do.
Beginning Of Byju’s
Raveendran knew that this was his call and this was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. So, in 2007 he started Byju’s classes, which was basically a test preparation business. His small business grew to stadium-size classes quickly and during this time he also met his future partner Divya Gokulnath, who was a student in one of his classes and was also a fellow engineer.
In 2011, Byju’s founder, Raveendran and his wife, Divya Gokulnath founded Byju’s. The business quickly created a buzz as it was one of the very few Ed-tech companies in India at that time.
In this new company, he started offering online courses for different competitive exams within India like JEE, UPSC, NEET and CAT. In 2015, when smartphone users started to increase, he changed his outlook on the company and launched a mobile app that can be downloaded and used on student’s handheld devices. Then in October 2018, the company expanded its market to the US, the UK and a few other English-speaking countries. This turned Byju’s from a startup to a unicorn.
In 2021, Byju’s was in advanced talks to acquire another leading Ed-tech company in India, Vedantu. However, the deal fell apart due to pending regulatory approvals. Nevertheless, by 2022, Byju’s become the most successful Ed-tech company in the world with more than 33 million active users and 2.2 million paid users. Moreover, since its beginning in 2015, Byju’s app has been downloaded a whopping 150 million times with users spending 71 minutes a day on average. This was the life goal of Byju’s founder and he had achieved it at the young age of 41.
However, Since 2021, the company has been in dire straits in terms of financials. In the beginning, Byju’s was doing just fine but as time went on, Byju’s financial struggles started. At its peak, Byju’s was worth more than $22 billion, but it quickly fell down to around $5 billion because of a multitude of legal troubles.
As a business organisation, Byju’s couldn’t file their financial reports on time. Then they skipped interest payments for their term loan. On top of that, many US-based investors also accused Byju’s of hiding $500 million. This load was a part of the deal between Byju’s and Aakash Institute where Byju’s acquired the test preparation company for a price of $1 billion. Even after all this, Byju’s could not get back on track and it is struggling to this very day.
How Is Byju’s Doing Today?
Byju’s founder, Raveendran started Byju’s as a medium to fulfil his passion but it quickly grew into a multi-billion dollar business. Many people attribute the rapid growth of Byju’s as the reason for the company’s current situation. As of now, Byju’s is trying to get back on its feet and has managed to climb back to a valuation of $12 billion. Even after that, Byju’s future still hangs as throughout its span, the company has managed to accumulate an extraordinary amount of debt. They have also let go of many of their employees citing cost-cutting as the reason.
Byju’s was the brainchild of Byju Raveendran. Although the company is in its worst time ever, we should never completely count it out. Only time will tell whether Byju’s will survive or not, but one thing is for sure, Byju’s revolutionised the Indian Ed-tech sector with its immense growth.