This is Byju Raveendran's story. Byju, a graduate who started working as an engineer. During one of his work breaks, he sat for a CAT exam with no preparation and scored a 100 percentile! Totally surprised at his score, he took the test again to get 100 percentile again. This was just the beginning to the creation of India's largest Learning App, BYJU'S!
Byju's friends encouraged him to teach and help them prepare for the CAT exam and before he knew he was conducting workshops for over 1000 students in packed auditoriums. This overwhelming response validated his method of teaching - how to predict questions and how to learn.
Byju eventually quit his job as an engineer and took up teaching full-time. He travelled to other cities to reach as many students as possible. With a strong dedicated team in place, Byju launched online video based learning for CAT through VSAT. This helped the team to conduct lectures in multiple centers across the country. Through these sessions, Byju realised that if he wanted to make a real impact on the way students learn, he needed to make students fall in love with learning. He would need to start early. The crucial and founding years of learning are when the students start feeling the subject. Byju launched Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd. (the parent company of BYJU'S) with a focus on K-12 segment (school going students from 4-12) in 2011 followed by their flagship product of BYJU'S learning App in 2015.
BYJU'S mission is to help students become better and lifelong learners. The addressable market for the K - 12 segment is around 260 million. India is the largest K-12 education system in the world, but consistently ranks low in global education. He noticed that there was a huge gap in the way students learnt and how the concepts could be learnt. Children get trained to solve questions and not ask questions. In the conventional classroom learning, there is a lack of high quality education due to limited access to quality teachers. Learning that is not personalised as 1:35 teacher-student ratio vis a vis ratio 1:14 in developed world. It is memory-based learning driven by fear for exams than love for learning.
Byju started creating systems and learning experiences which made learning fun and easy. He made learning accessible, effective, engaging and personalised. It made learning contextual and visual and not just theoretical. He leveraged technology and data science for a truly personalized experience for students.
The advantage of integrating technology in education is that it not only enables one to take classes from the best teachers but also personalizes the way students learn. It allows a combination of teachers, video lessons and interactive games - explaining concepts by relating it to real life experiences. This improves understanding and retention of concepts for life. It makes complex concepts visual and contextual, which will help students understand not just the "What" of learning it, but the "Why" and the "How" as well. The huge availability of data on the learning patterns of students allows for personalized feedback and assessment. This way, the learning program is personalized to every child's style and pace of learning based on their proficiency levels and capabilities which helps them learn at their own pace and style.
BYJU'S vision was to complete learning experience that integrates classes from the best of the teachers, assessments and assignments which are personalised for every student, along with in-depth analysis and recommendations. To reach out to their target group i.e. students, BYJU'S partnered with Brand Capital, the strategic investment arm of The Times Group. It was able to create strong brand presence. The brand targeted urban parents seeking high quality and innovative delivery of content to their children, while making learning fun and contextual. The company utilised a good mix of print ads, television campaigns and digital media properties offered by the Times Group, leading to strong top-of-mind recall. This partnership created valuable impact to build awareness and establish credibility.
Global expansion is on BYJU'S cards. In the last one year, their app has seen great adoption along with it successfully foraying beyond the metros. They have a strong and diverse investor portfolio. There are no products like BYJU'S Learning App which can reach out to such a large number of students and create great engagement at the same time. Their product will revolutionize the way students are learning across the world today, making students fall in love with learning.