Young Turks 2013
Hello welcome to this week’s Young Turks. I am Shereen Bhan. See, India’s story is closely related to its
demographic profile, one of the world’s largest democracy but also the youngest. This advantage can turn into a liability if the government and the private sector turn the focus in skilling and employability and providing basic education. So on the show today, we bring stories of three ventures who made educating the India their business. Our first guest gave up on the American dream for a chance to get the student think and learn. 33-year-old Byju Raveendran decided to focus on the much sought-after competitive examination market to helps students prepare and crack the entrance exams from engineering to medicine to then IAS to even the SAT and GMAT. Founded in 2008, Think and Learn is growing from addressing the needs of 250 students to over 20,000 students today. And with the launch of K 12 tables Byju has captured an even bigger market in distance learning. Take a look at this national math Olympiad winner is multiplying revenues and adding customers.
Every weekend in Bangalore, over 2000 students assemble in a classroom to get ready to bell the CAT. The man cracking the whip is Byju Rraveendran. A CAT topper and national math Olympiad winner, Byju decided to ditch the IIM to start Think and Learn, the parent company of Byju’s classes. For Byju having grown up in a family of teachers, education seem to be a national quest. What is started as a CAT training institution with 250 students in 2008, today ………… students with UPRC , engineering exams and the GMAT and the GRE. Realising that there is an upper limit to the number of students he can reach out, he continues to the …. of marvel, Byju started to identify the best teachers across indie and today reaches after students of different parts of the country through VSAT centers. But what’s the difference about Byju’s class?
‘’What most of the all other coaching institutes do is they basically identify the patterns and make them practice hundreds of questions so that similar all the previous questions and all. We don’t concentrate on that. We basically teach students principles so that they can actually solve any question, we teach them how to expect questions and how to predict questions rather than solve questions made by someone else, what we mainly train them is on-they will be in a position to expect questions.. .and more than questions it’s not just about doing well in exams. Clearly understand the concepts and they will be able to frame those questions. ‘’
With 60 centers pan india,, Byjus classes isn’t cheap, with students telling us anywhere between 6000 to 50,000 rupees a year. Having already grossed revenues of 14 crore rupees, Think and Learn received its first fund of 10 million dollars in December 2012 from the Manipal group. So what made the chairman of Mannipal global education services and the ………. bet on Byju.
‘’We heard of him first when in Manipal, we found a rush of young people going to a class. And when we enquired as to why they doing that , we found that there was a person by the name of Byju Raveendren taking classes for them to enable them to pass their classes in IIM and they were very very happy with him and the success rate was extraordinarily high. So when contacted him and requested for a meeting, he came and spoke to us and explained and we found that he was a wonderful entrepreneur who sits upon a wonderful idea and who was made sure than the idea actually works, he had tested his goals, he had led from the front, he had done many things, one many things himself. he was open to change . He has changed the way of things based upon responses and overall we felt here is a wonderful person whom we had to back he has a wonderful business idea. And his idea is fully transformational and that’s the reason why we thought we should invest in him.’’
With financial backing, Byju is all set to enter the next phase and he is betting on the power of tablets to take his classes to the students anytime anywhere. These K 12 tablets launched in February this year, are too loaded with a lot of texts, animation videos and practice tests. Currently the content is only available for engineering and entrance examination students in Bangalore alone. The team of think and learn is now working on adding courses and taking the tables pan India by next year.
‘’For next years, we will be getting into school education segment where we will be coming out with products in Maths and science through tablets which will be in a completely adaptive platform and revenue numbers which we were expecting next three years is close to 100 crores, because in three years, in the last three years we were doubling up our revenues without any investment and now with investment as well as lot of brilliant minds coming together, joining together, we will be able to come up with products across the expectation segments as well as in school segments in Maths and science through tablets. ‘’
With an eye on scoring revenues up to 100 crores in the next three years, byju is all set to kick start Think and Learn into ghe school segment to prepare students from class 8 onwards by supplementing their school studies. The bigger goal however for this state-level player is to teach students how to learn.
Byju more power to you and Think and Learn! On that note, its time for a break. But when we turn to the story of an entrepreneur who is empowering children in urban and rural india with his ventures of Sudiksha knowledge solutions. That story and more on Young Turks.