A teacher first and then an entrepreneur. Building the eponymous edtech company, Byju’s, along with her husband Byju Raveendran, Divya Gokulnath is the one who brings compassion in the board room and takes every decision with a student’s betterment at the heart. “I believe that education is one of the most powerful tools that shapes and moulds the way our youth think,” the first line of Divya’s bio on social media reads. Divya’s belief of “making children fall in love with learning” is changing the way millions think and learn and pursue education.
Making Children Fall In Love With Learning
India has one of the largest school-going populations in the world. Our youth, which is the most valuable asset in a nation’s development, needs to be empowered with right learning opportunities. Though there is a huge improvement over the years in terms of quality education, challenges such as lack of access to quality teachers, lack of personalised learning, learning driven by the fear of exams and a system of rote learning still prevail.
To bridge this gap, Divya connected with her students on a personal level and understood the need to customise the company’s approach for each student. This is the reason why the company has centred its product around the needs of students. Divya clearly understood that the one-size-fit-all approach doesn’t work when you want children to become active and life-long learners.
This is reflected in the company’s teaching style where the focus is to explain the concepts contextually and visually with real-life examples.
Divya clearly understood that the one-size-fit all approach doesn’t work when you want children to become active and life-long learners.
Preparing Students For A Challenging Tomorrow
Divya encourages her students to question why, and not just spoon-feed them to answer questions and hence prepare them for the unseen jobs of tomorrow, and that is possible only if they are able to learn, unlearn, and relearn.
Divya’s upbringing was academically inclined which helped her understand the process better. Her style in simplifying concepts, be it for the educational materials that Byju’s produces or for presentations she makes, has helped the company excel. She studied at Frank Anthony Public School, and later went to R.V. College of Engineering to pursue her B.Tech in biotechnology. After graduating in 2007, she
decided to take the GRE, an admissions test requirement for graduate schools in the U.S. She had enrolled for Biju’s classes for exam preparation when she was offered the role of a teacher. She aborted her plan to go to the U.S. and started teaching mathematics, English, and logical reasoning for competitive examinations in 2008.
Since then, Byju’s has come a long way, posting revenues of ₹2,800 crore for FY20. Every student’s learning journey is unique and different. Not every student might feel connected to a particular subject. With her unique teaching style, Divya aimed to help students move from fear or exam-based learning to learning based on love and to something that fuels a learner’s curiosity. Today, she juggles multiple roles from content development and teaching to ideation, strategising and investors pitch and continues to transform the way youth approaches learning.