Byju Raveendran is an entrepreneur and the founder of Byju’s app. Byju’sis a learning app for students. It was first launched in the year 2015 for school students. It also coaches students in competitive exams like CAT, the civil services examination, NEET, GRE and GMAT.
Byju Raveendran Education and Family
Raveendran hails from a small district in Kannur district in Kerala. Both his parents were teachers, and he studied in Malayalam-medium. Although both his parents were teachers, Raveendran was never inclined towards that field. In fact, none of his parents pressurised him to do well at academics instead his father encouraged him to take up sports. This resulted in Raveendran playing six different sports like Football, basketball, Badminton at the university level.
Since he never thought of teaching as his career, like any other average Indian student he also had two options in front of him. Studying MBBS or pursuing engineering. He thought that as a medical student he wouldn’t get any time to play sports and hence chose to become an engineer. He completed mechanical engineering and did a job as a service engineer at a multinational shipping firm.
Choosing Teacher as Profession
His life took a turn when he went to Bangalore for vacation. Most of his friends were then preparing for CAT exam. Since Raveendran was good at maths, his friends asked him to help them in preparation. Not only did Raveendran helped them, but he also attempted the exam “just for fun”. To his surprise, he scored a perfect hundred percentile. Most of his friends cleared the exam as well. But he did not enrol in any of the IIMs as he had no interest in pursuing MBA. However, through word of mouth, a friend of a friend got to know about him and that is when Raveendran took up teaching as a profession. He used to teach MBA aspirants maths as they prepare for the CAT on the terrace of his friend’s house. And the number of students increased as his teaching methods helped many students solve problems in easy and less time-consuming way.
He became very famous and started teaching to more than 20,000 students across different cities in the country. Later on, he decided to record his lectures and make them available online to students in the cities that he could not travel to. Many students cleared the CAT exam and pursued MBA in IIMs. His former students then came up with this idea of taking Byju’s classes to a whole new domain.
The Growth of Byju App
By August 2015, Byju’s app and website were, and the app had over 5.5 million downloads with over 2,50,000 subscriptions. In September 2016, Facebook invested a whopping $50 Million in Byju’s firm. In 2017, the story of this learning app was taken up as a case study at Harvard University.
After tasting such a massive success with this learning platform for students, Raveendran says that he is a teacher by choice and an entrepreneur by chance. He adds that money was never a priority for him but giving something back to the society is.