Byju’s, which started off as a tutorial centre in 2011, is metamorphisising into an ed-tech company. It has around four lakh paid customers across K-12 and JEE, NEET, CAT, IAS, GRE and GMAT, which are taught with a mix of physical classrooms, interactive videos and delivered through an app. Recently, it received funding from Verlinvest, a Belgium-based fund, and World Bank Group member IFC, amongst others. Byju Raveendran, CEO, spoke to BusinessLine on the way apps can help students and parents, employability issues in India and plans to be profitable.

Why did you feel the need to launch a parent connect app?

Firstly, parents play a very important role in the educational journey of a student. Take my example.

Both my parents were teachers. Many times we get enamoured by technology and launch an app which is aesthetically good but does not connect with all the stakeholders.

Our app will help parents stay updated and be more involved in their child’s learning journey. Many working parents are unable to get a daily look into their child's education. So, one does not get to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their child.

Secondly, the learning app is focussed at reimaging the way learning can be personalised. For this, experiences matter. For example, if the concept of sound is being taught, a video on how string transmits sound will help a student understand better, give feedback and help in course correction. We increasingly see students learning better through differentiated experiences. Our app is aligned towards that journey.

How much of your success lies in the school’s inability to teach students?

We complement school teaching. The app will enable a child to learn at his/her required pace and does not take a cookie-cutter approach. Their proficiency levels and capabilities are accordingly assessed, with improvements suggested in real time.

Will these kind of learning methodologies, address the skill and employability issues that India is facing at present?

It does to some extent. It is also the function of supply-demand.

Till recently, admissions were skewed towards engineering colleges. By default everybody wanted their children to take up engineering, regardless of whether they were cut out to do it.

This has resulted in all these issues. Add to that 30 per cent of the jobs we know today may not exist in the near future. So, people need to take a step back and figure out. There are opportunities in other sectors but requires EQ, positive attitude and communication skills. I always say that despite a rise in social media, social skills are not there.

How have you addressed the issue of lack of quality teachers?

Luckily we have had a very stable team. Guys whom I taught have come back to join me. We also have an in-house team of software engineers, data scientists, animators, artists and teachers.

By when will you be profitable?

We generated around ₹260 crore in revenue last fiscal and are confident of turning profitable this fiscal.

What are your future plans?

We are planning to come up with courses for standards 1-4 and in other languages.