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Know your Leaders: Byju Raveendra

byju

We all have seen Shahrukh Khan featuring in the advertisement questioning and ultimately promoting modern methods of learning mathematics through Byjus’s app. But do you know the person behind this $2.3 billion venture? Here, in our #knowyourleaders series, we present the story behind Byju, the by-chance entrepreneur and his optimistic vision behind this successful company.

Born in the Azhikode village of Kerala, Byju Raveendra studied at a Malayalam medium school where both his parents were teachers. He, despite having an interest in sports, went for becoming an engineer in a government engineering college in Kanuur, Kerela. After completing his college studies, he got a job as a software engineer at a multinational company.

In 2003, his friends asked him for help in preparing for the CAT exam. Byju, a bright student in mathematics, assisted his friends, and gave the exam himself too. He was astonished to see his score of 100 percentile. He believed the result as a mistake. So, he again sat in the 2005 CAT exam without preparation and scored 100 percentile again.

Byju gave interviews for IIM-A, B, and C and was selected too, but he refrained from joining any of them. He instead saw his potential in guiding students to crack CAT. He was also quick to gain enough goodwill as the year 2007 witnessed him teaching 1000 students in an auditorium.

In the next two years, he was traveling to 9 cities guiding students in cracking one of the toughest entrance exams. It was in 2011 when he, in collaboration with the IIM graduates, started creating core learning products. He started his website in 2011 and published online classes on it. He was quick to adopt the new advancements in this industry and launched his app in 2015.

It took him four years to thoroughly put in order these products. He also focused on preparing content for classes 4 to 12. He assembled them in such a manner that the statistics reflect that the average time spending by each student on his app is 40 minutes per day.

Seeing its growth potential, in September 2016, he got funds worth 50 million from Mark Zuckerberg and his Priscilla Chan’s organization. In 2019, he became the jersey sponsor of the Indian Cricket team.

His self-awareness in identifying his strengths made his presence in the case studies at Harvard University. His life-plot is genuinely inspiring and motivational.

Harminder Singh