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Divya Gokulnath, 

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DIVYA GOKULNATH the 36-year-old co-Founder of Byju’s who started career as a teacher, has been on a mission to impart quality education. Byju’s earlier focused on online education but, over last one year, has opted for a hybrid model after the pandemic as children look to meet teachers in person. Byju’s has set up 300 tuition centres across India. “We are seeing significant increase in engagement and retention rates,” says Divya.
The edtech titan, valued at $22 billion at its peak, has 150 million students. Today, with funding becoming more difficult, it is focusing on profitability. “A funding winter benefits segment leaders because investors are more likely to put money in long-term players who have proven business models,” she says.
But profitability is a concern. Byju’s reported losses of ₹4,589 crore on revenues of ₹2,280 crore in FY21, the latest year for which numbers are available, according to Tracxn. “After integrating our acquired subsidiaries, we launched a three-point plan last year that involved optimising marketing budget, shifting operationally towards an internal sales model and launching hybrid learning,” says Gokulnath.
Keeping focus on educating more students, Byju’s has started a programme, Education for All, which has impacted 5.5 million students. Under this initiative, it provides high-quality digital learning content to underserved children from the remotest parts of the country. It’s the same content that paid users get in 12 different languages. Byju’s has partnerships with 175 NGOs and multiple state governments to identify these students. Byju’s today offers multiple formats that include self-learning, live learning, apps, classes, offline. This covers everyone from three-year-olds to 40-year-olds and beyond.
The company has started work on listing Aakash Educational Services within a year. Of the six big acquisitions, five are working well. The problem child is WhiteHat Jr. “It was not built to be a profitable model, but we’re figuring it out.” Entrepreneurship, after all, is about figuring it out. “That’s what we’re trying to do. It is the one which needed maximum effort and we are working on it.”
One thing Divya ensures in her routine is a 30-minute work out. It is not just about physical fitness but mental fitness too. “I believe exercise is a crucial part of having a healthy, balanced lifestyle,” she says.