The advent of digital education or e-learning platforms have witnessed a significant growth in the Indian education scene. BYJU’S is one such e-learning platform that has brought alive the joys of online learning since its conception in 2011. In about 8 years, the company has witnessed one of the biggest growths. An interview with BYJU’S co-founder and director, Divya Gokulnath, brings forth the spectacular journey that BYJU’s had in 8 years, witnessing its peak in 2019.
“We have met our revenue target of ₹2800 crore. This has happened even when our consumer (students) and purchaser (parents) are different,” she said of the 2019 fiscal year ending in March 2020. BYJU’S had the busiest months since then, with more than 13.5 million new consumers. Stemming from their latest announcement that online courses would be readily available for free after the lockdown is lifted, a wide range of users flocked to join the community.
This was only possible because the $8 billion dollar ed-tech giant had doubled their income in the last one year. With about 50 million users on the platform, 3.5 million are paid users. The most significant growth, however, is the engagement ratio of each of the users. Students who would log on to the platform and spend about 70 minutes per session, now are attracted to it more than two times in a week for 100 minutes in a day. “85% of our students renew the courses year after year. That is happening because parents see effectiveness,” she added.
The lockdown has transformed education systems in ways unimaginable, bringing online classes to the forefront. Founders, Divya Goluknath and Byju Raveendran, ensured that they were well-prepared from beforehand. Their plans were initiated from February, providing a smooth back-up system to disrupted education system that followed, shortly. There were three new additional features that were incorporated in the app; live classes, new subjects were added like history, civics and geography, and the app is now available in multiple languages.
“We are planning to go international in the next few months but we are also going deeper in India. 65% of our students are outside the top 10 cities, that showed us it is an aspirational product for students who don’t have access to good education,” she said. BYJU’S is expected to be raising funds to a $10 million valuation. This will make the company the country’s third startup to become a decacorn after Paytm and OYO.
When asked where online classes will become the new normal, Divya Gokulnath had an interesting perspective. She said that while online classes cannot fully takeover, it will supplement offline classroom learning. Students will learn to depend on the BYJU’S app after returning from school, because every student can now have a front row seat in the class, with learning methods catering individual needs. Top management level of the business comprises of teachers who are working round-the-clock to bring the best form of education to its users.