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BYJU'S - The Indian Startup being studied at Harvard

Updated: Sep 29, 2022


When thinking of revolution, we think about startups.

Combine revolution with educational accessibility, and we think of BYJU’S!

Being one of the highest valued Indian Startups, it has pioneered its way of catering to the needs of a large demographic.


1. The “What” and “Why” of Byju’s

Education is the most powerful tool any child can hold, and in 2011 - Byju Raveendran had the vision to reconstruct the way we educate, and thus, India's multinational educational technology company we often associate with Shahrukh Khan was born.

As of July 2022, BYJU'S is valued at US$23 billion and has over 115 million registered students. Its main target being middle and upper-middle class students, BYJU'S has earned more than just millions, and now stands synonymous with education technology and success.

To simply explain, education technology, abbreviated as ed-tech is an industry which uses modern technology to help facilitate collaboration in an active learning environment. BYJU'S is student centered, which is one of the main reasons why it is one of the most successful ed-tech companies.

BYJU'S is the only learning app from India to receive the most funding from investors as an ed-tech business.

The learning app encourages every student to learn the subject at their own pace, with interactive tasks to ensure a thorough understanding of each subject.


2. “It all started with a man who dreamt”- about the founder

Byju Raveendran, the founder of BYJU'S was born in 1980 to a Malayali family in the seaside village of Azhikode in Kerala, and grew up in a joint household. His father is a retired physics teacher, and his mother is a retired mathematics teacher.

Raveendran worked as a service engineer for shipping businesses before moving into the field of teaching and online education. He earned a mechanical engineering degree from Calicut University's Government Engineering College in Kannur.


3. “The initial push- through”- how did it begin?

Byju appeared for the CAT exam twice, passing with a perfect score every time. When friends and acquaintances started approaching him to share the several CAT exam hacks he had devised, he was inspired to launch an online education company.

He resigned from a well-paid career and started instructing students on the terrace of a friend's house. And it was from that terrace that he began his quest to become a successful entrepreneur.

Initially teaching only a few MBA hopefuls, he later went on to teach full-time coaching programs.

With the growing number of students, he founded BYJU’S (Think and Learn Private Ltd.) in 2011, with the motto "fall in love with learning" - with the support of his many students who had graduated from IIMs, to create instructional content for aspirants.

In 2009, Byju began an online video-based learning program for CAT, which was the first time he used technology in his teaching. He wanted to revolutionize the way children are taught, and succeeded by working hard and ascending the ladder to extraordinary success in a short period of time.


4. “The inner workings” – a brief about the business model

The business model of BYJU'S is based on Edtech (educational technology). It follows the freemium model, where some content is available for free, while some require subscription.

BYJU'S wants to revolutionize the education industry with its new pedagogy. It aims to make the entire process more holistic and remove the gaps with much enhanced teaching and study material. It strives to work upon conceptual understanding of subjects by teaching students from the very basics.


5. “Baap bada na bhaiya, sabse bada rupaiyya”- the revenue model

A freemium based business model is based on the concept of Sample Sales. Students can see sample or demo videos and if they like it, they can buy the entire course.

Various services offered by BYJU'S:

  • The life like online classes

  • The test, In -depth analysis and personalized feedback

  • One to one monthly mentoring session

  • Commerce (Class 11 and Class 12)

  • GATE

  • Parent Connect

  • Competitive Exam (IAS, CAT, GMAT, GRE)

  • LKG for children in collaboration with Disney

  • Ask a doubt by clicking pictures

BYJU'S has recently joined hands with Disney for the services aimed at the kids of 6-8 years where it has taken licenses of several Disney characters for teaching Mathematics and Science to young students.


6. “Investing through acquisition”- some Top acquisitions by BYJU'S

  • Great Learning ($600 million)

  • Toppr ($150 million)

  • Epic ($500 million)

  • Aakash Educational Services (close to $ 1 Billion)

  • Whitehat Jr ($300 million)

  • Osmo ($ 120 million)

  • Gradeup


7. “Maintaining the market credibility”- competitors of the business

Not only does BYJU'S face competition from international brands like Coursera and Udemy, but is in a tough competition with a handful of Indian startups like Unacademy, Vedantu, Toppr, Meritnation, Simplilearn, Khan academy.


8. “Building the network branches”– scope in the industry

According to Crunchbase website, BYJU'S is listed under five different industries due to the scope of the services and products it delivers to its clients. It is considered to be an education company, also it is an E-Learning business. Not only this BYJU'S is a Software developer and provider too. It covers a broad range of various categories with its mission to supply educational services to its customers.

While evaluating its stock market base, it has come under its umbrella only after 2021. Talks about launching an Initial Public offering (IPO) were prompted by the rapid success of the company as it revolutionized learning in a way nobody ever thought of. BYJU'S is one of the highest valued start-ups in India whose IPO is soon to be launched.

The company is planning to raise $400 million to $600 million through an IPO. Its pre-IPO fundraising has closed up with the company’s valuation at $21 billion. Banks like Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc., and JPMorgan Chase & Co., who are already acting as fundraisers, are expected to cooperate in this IPO.


9. “Decoding the pluses and minuses”

Pros:

• Economical- Learning through Byju’s app is cheaper as compared to traditional Coaching Center.

• Remote access- Students can learn at their own pace and comfort, virtually from anywhere at any time.

• Fun & interactive classes- Learning on Byju’s is a fun process. The interactive sessions help students to understand concepts in a better way.

• Quality Education- Byju’s employs highly qualified teachers and professors.

Cons:

•Expensive- Byju is a very expensive option for most of the students. The fee for the majority of the courses that are offered on Byju’s is really high as compared to other e- learning platforms.

•Pre - recorded lectures- Byju’s lays more Emphasis on pre- recorded lectures rather than teaching everything 1-1, keeping the charges in mind.


10. “What next?”- the future of the business

Speaking about the future, it is safe to say that the edtech industry is already growing at a very fast rate. The pandemic-imposed lockdowns has seen a shift to this new mode of training and people are adopting the identical tools now, due to the ease and versatility provided through the exciting technology. As quoted through the founding father of Upgrad, "India’s EdTech marketplace is ready to grow through 3.7 instances in the approaching 5 years, developing from US$ 2.8 billion (in 2020) to US$ 10.4 billion through 2025)

The diversification of courses offered by Ed- techs ranging from school level to grad courses accompanied with high penetration of low-cost internet is definitely an encouraging factor for the future of Ed- techs.

Nonetheless, the National Education Policy (2020) of the government is also in line with the aspirations of these ed-techs. The inclusion of coding in studies and emphasis on enhanced use of AI is a favorable decision for the future of these ed techs.


Provided to you by “Aspire”- a Student-Help-Book created to provide information and resources that are stepping stones in the journey of being a Chartered Accountant, Company Secretary and/or Chartered Financial Analyst. Through our services we aim to make the entire process much simpler and accessible to all through both free and paid subscriptions. We aim to bridge the gap of knowledge, resources and information for the aspirants.


Happy learning!


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