We are aware of our mistakes, we will try to correct the course: co-founder of BYJU


There will always be bumps in the road when building a business, especially when not following a “copy-and-paste model,” says Divya Gokulnath.

There will always be bumps in the road when building a business, especially when not following a “copy-and-paste model,” says Divya Gokulnath.

“When you’re building a business, the road will always be bumpy and the navigation can never be smooth, especially when you’re not following a copy-and-paste model,” says Divya Gokulnath, co-founder of edtech company BYJU’s.

In response to a request from The Hindu on the recent challenges faced by the edutech platform, Ms Gokulnath said that the environment and appetite for online learning had changed massively after the pandemic, a change that was largely related to awareness and demands of the market.

“BYJU is the one who created a rulebook for the edutech space in this country. We are not a cut-and-paste model, nor a copied Chinese model. Instead, we are built on the first principle,” said Ms. Gokulnath, wife of Byju Raveendran, CEO and co-founder of BYJU’s.

“Before the pandemic, we were just BYJU’s learning app. Afterwards, we were in a constant state of flux and improvement. During and after the pandemic, we expanded our portfolio and offerings of products, introduces new formats, penetrates other geographies and introduces more languages,” she explained.

“We’ve added more businesses to our core business organically and inorganically to add value and increase the breadth and depth of our platform to help learners in multiple geographies.”

Ms. Gokulnath said the past 18 months have been the most exciting time for BYJU in terms of successful business expansion and growth. “We opened 50 blended learning centers and launched 12 languages. It would have taken 30 years for traditional institutes of learning to do what we did in such a short time,” she said.

Responding to another question about some customer concerns about BYJU, she said the platform serves a large number of customers and there may be isolated cases and anecdotal evidence of unhappy customers.

“We didn’t know that two million students would download us when we launched the BYJU app, because at that time everything was an app. Today, a large community of 17.5 million students is learning with us. There might be isolated instances where we made mistakes, we are aware of that and we will look at course correction,” she added.

BYJU’s follows a three-tier process before finalizing any sale to minimize issues. In addition, 96% of requests from students and parents are closed within 48 hours, she said.

Ms. Gokulnath said BYJU was exploring further acquisitions around its core early learning spectrum. The company would be looking for “enhancers” and they could be a good tech or VR company that would add value to the platform and help scale and reach new geographies, she said.

“We are currently in talks with multiple companies in multiple geographies for inorganic gaming, while we are also expanding our focus to Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Mexico and Brazil. “, she added.

Regarding BYJU’s financial performance, she said the auditors took a long time to finalize the financial statements, largely due to the complexity of the business consolidation. Auditors reportedly spent more than 20,000 hours on this exercise. “Our revenue recognition model has changed and about 40% of revenue has gone to subsequent years, which is why our losses in fiscal 2021 looked so magnified,” she said.

The company expects its fiscal 2022 revenue to be in the range of ₹10,000 crore and current year revenue to be ₹17,000 crore. “Experimentation and failure are encouraged, it’s the entrepreneurial spirit. Our losses have already halved. We are on the path to profitability and our core business has always operated on track,” she said.


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