“You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.”
He Cleared CAT three times with 100 percentile, However He did not Join..Guess why ? Because He has other Dreams – To Start His Own Company , His Company is Now Funded by Facebook Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg ….Read More About His Journey….
The Inspirational Story of Byju Raveendran
Byju Raveendran comes out as a sharp and canny entrepreneur. The manner in which Raveendran, 38, has scaled up what started as a coaching classes business to now India’s most valued ed-tech firm with marquee investors is evidence of his entrepreneurial drive and gumption.
Hailing from a small village Azhikode in Kannur district, Kerala, Byju Raveendran attended a Malayalam-medium School, where both his parents were teachers. His mother taught Mathematics and father taught Physics in the same school where their son studied. Although his parents were teachers, it is said that they never pressurized him to excel at academics. Instead, his father encouraged him to get involved in sports, and this is the reason Byju played six different sports at the university level, namely Football, Table Tennis, Badminton, Cricket and more.
Byju never had an intention of pursuing his career in the field of sports. Like most of his fellow classmates he only thought of getting into medical science or engineering. He choose to become an engineer. He graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Government Engineering College, Kannur. After graduation he secured a job as a “Service Engineer” at a multi-national shipping firm.
In the beginning
Once Byju Raveendram was on a vacation to Bangalore. There, he had many friends who were preparing for CAT exam. Byju since childhood was good in maths and science and always studied the subject all by himself. Knowing this fact his friends asked him to help them prepare for CAT. He helped his friends with their problems, taught the various concepts and he himself appeared in the exam just for fun. Surprisingly, he scored a perfect 100 percentile and most of his friends too cleared the exam.
Nevertheless, he didn’t enroll in any of the IIM’s or B-schools. Through positive word of mouth, many people came to know about him. From here his journey of becoming a professional teacher began. He taught MBA aspirants tips and tricks to solve aptitude questions of the terrace of a friend’s house. As Byju’s popularity increased, the number of students also increased. The venue was changed from the terrace to a classroom and then to an auditorium.
Byju enjoyed taking classes and sharing his knowledge, he eventually gave up his job and began teaching. Byju started taking workshops. He kept his initial workshops free of cost. He charged only for the advanced workshops once the students were comfortable with his style of teaching. Byju became very popular among students. At a time he used to take maths workshops for over 20,000 students across different cities like Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and Chennai.
He began recording his own lectures in year 2009. This was done so that he could make the lectures available to students across cities he could not travel to.
A few of his students, after passing out from IIM’s contacted him. They shared the idea of taking Byju’s classes to a new domain. Byju and the students founded a company named “Think and Learn” that aimed at creating content for school students. The target audience included school students because Byju believed that complete concept clarity is required for performing well in any competitive examination. This can only be imparted during a person’s schooling.
Byju’s has three main segments—technology, media and content, and sales and marketing. Except the technology segment, for which Raveendran brought in external talent, the top managements in the other segments are populated with his students.
In 2011 Byju was incorporated as Think & Learn Pvt. Ltd with focus on the K-12 segment. By 2014 Byju launched tablets for teaching.
In August 2015, Byju’s Android and iOS mobile apps had over 5.5 million downloads with 2,50,000+ annual subscriptions.
During September 2016, Chan-Zuckerberg initiative, the philanthropic organisation created by Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook Founder) and Pricilla Chan (Mark’s wife), invested a whopping $50 million in Byju’s firm.
In 2017, Byju’s- The Learning App was incorporated by the “Harvard University” as one of its case studies.
Personal Information about the Byju’s
Byju Raveendran is said to possess great powers of persuasion, which he is often seen using to deflect attention from his personal life. For example, he looks fairly young, but when one tries to find out how old he is exactly, one is told that he doesn’t like to reveal his age. When asked about his wife, Divya, who works with him, Byju hesitates, then, after a long pause, opens up about what it is like to work with her. According to him it’s so much fun when you are in this journey together.
Divya Gokulnath, his wife, holds the opinion that if they are working together that means they are fit, not just personally, but professionally. Possibly she can’t imagine working without him. She is a director in the company, playing a major role in the academic team as well as handling other functions like PR. Like most of the top management team, she was also his student in the early days. Though his classes helped her get admission at Stanford University, she received a job offer from Raveendran and chose to stay and work with him, and at some point they got married.
Raveendran wears a black t-shirt every day because it’s easy to get ready in the morning. He plays football every night after work with his colleagues, whom he describes as his extended family. Byju calls himself an “entrepreneur by chance” but he is going after growth and success aggressively.
Some more stuff for knowledge
Byju Raveendran is a mathematical genius and it is his infectious energy and passion that make him an ideal CEO-founder for the company. It is observed that none of the team members who joined in the beginning has left, though some have gone for their post-graduation and then returned.
He emphasizes on learning for the sake of learning or understanding the subject rather than rote-learning for exams. Raveendran genuinely believes in making learning the focus of education. And while his approach may not be as subversive as his pitch likes to make it seem, he has succeeded in finding a way to turn it into a lucrative business with a huge potential for growth. That is where his genius truly lies. “A Great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion not position.”, John C. Maxwell.