Teachers Are Realizing The Advantage Of Tech Tools: Divya Gokulnath, Co-Founder & Director, BYJU’S

BW Businessworld hosted BW Dialogue on Leadership with Divya Gokulnath, Co-Founder & Director, BYJU’S.

Edtech Industry In India is the second-largest in the world after the US. Between 2014 and 2019, at least 4,450 such startups were launched in the country. They provide tutoring for all kinds of streams and segments - including K-12 (kindergarten to 12th grade), undergraduate courses, competitive exams and vocational training.

To have an understanding of the EdTech industry and its growth in the present times, BW Businessworld hosted BW Dialogue with Divya Gokulnath, Co-Founder & Director, BYJU’S.

Addressing the last six months, Divya said, "I can put that in numbers as we at Byju’s love numbers. So in the first 4 years we got 40 million students on our learning app, but just in the last 4 months, we got 20 million more which is 50% of the first 4 years. We are conducting meeting and events online, which is making us realize how productive we can be."    

"Pandemic has changes a lot of things for Education, when lockdown started UNESCO report suggested 1.3 billion children are out of school due to the crisis and at that point, we opened up our app for free and announced free scheduled live classes from our teachers to ensure that we do not miss out learning that school actually used to give. So teachers on our App came together for these classes. And they are loving it for the engagement on the App which is gone up to about 100 mins in each session and most importantly students are returning to the app every day. So overall we are able to find out the right balance between profitability, engagement and effectiveness, which is very important," she further said.

Speaking about the struggle in the last six months, she said, "Initially there were challenges as the entire team worked from home for the first time. It took us 2 weeks getting settled, but all of us are so efficient that even though we are in the different parts of the country, we are still able to drive what we want to and we are on the same mission. The entire team is working fabulously and this we thought to be as one of the challenges but it was not. We have fast tracked lot of launches and came up with our offering much before time as we have planned it. 

Talking about the ways in which she figures out the dynamics of business as a Co-founder of Byju's, Divya said, "In real life, having likeminded people in your team as well as in your life is a big asset. I think we are driven by the same passion to impact the lives of the students who are learning around the world. So even on the personal level our interest levels are very alike, and we have lot of respect which a key for any relationship be it personal or professional and when we are not working, we love to travel together and priorities are much aligned."

Expressing her views on entrepreneurship for women and young girls, she asserted, "I think there two things which help a woman to enter the corporate world and then to stay on because if you look at the numbers, at around my age maximum number of women leaves the workforce because of family matters and also because of the notion that men are supposed to take charge while women are to take care. But all of this is slowly changing because diversity is no more a feminist notion and is also a corporate agenda. From a corporate point of view if a company has a good representation of women, the balance would be in place without putting much of the efforts. If we go by numbers, a quarter of businesses around the globe do not see women in any senior management role. At Byju’s we have 33% women representation on board, 50% representation in top management, 40% representation across all level. So we dispel all the common notions. 

Commenting on New Education Policy and how is Byju’s positioned well in this way forward, she said, "NEP focusses on providing flexibility to students and it helps to further digital education. So the thing about taken able learning is about is that it’s the best way to achieve scale and enable to maintain uniform quality irrespective of geography and infrastructure availability. If technology Industry can do things right in the education sector, it can make a child a self- learner. NEP also focusses on creativity and critical thinking which will help students for unseen jobs for the future. And Byju's promoting India in terms of education resonates with us."   

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