If you know your intent is right, and you are working towards betterment, nothing matters: Byju's Gokulnath
With a valuation of $22 billion, India’s most valued startup and edtech leader Byju’s has of late been caught in a maze of dispiriting occurrences—layoffs at group companies, inability to secure portions of funding announced months back and certain media reports highlighting the company’s association with investors with questionable identities. About $250 million of capital committed by Sumeru Ventures and Oxshott Capital Partners is yet to be received by the company which Byju’s claims is due to ‘macroeconomic changes.’ But co-founder Divya Gokulnath is not deterred by criticisms and is instead focused on building on the growth of the firm she founded and nurtured along with founder and husband Byju Raveendran. “If you know that your intent is right, your conscience is clear and you know you are working towards the betterment of what you initially started out with, nothing really matters. There is a lot of noise...there is also some feedback in that noise. Whatever feedback is there...it helps us grow, helps us become better...helps us become stronger because ultimately, it is helping us become a better company,” says Gokulnath.
Firm on her aspirations to add to the startup’s overall growth and mould it into a global behemoth, Gokulnath is not letting the conversation around increasing threat to startup funding amid macroecomic headwinds consume her. She is equally not subscribing to the narrative about edtech firms facing the risk of restricted growth in a post-pandemic world. Gokulnath believes that it still is the best time for edtech and education. “There was so much awareness which was created for it which was the only challenge pre-pandemic where people did not know the benefit of online learning. If you look at the post-pandemic scenario, it is building a strong condition for hybrid learning which is something that we are doing,” says Gokulnath.
No sustainable business was ever created as a reaction to a boom or a bust, says Gokulnath. “If you look at sustainability, being there for decades to come...it demands a vision that sees decades into the future. We are very mission driven. We know what we are working towards...we are building for...there will be times when the markets will go up, when the markets will go down...but if your intent is in the right place, if you are working towards a long-term solution, if you are working towards creating impact…then the whole thing becomes a part of this journey,” says Gokulnath.