Divya Gokulnath is a teacher and the Co-Founder of Byju's (the Learning app) with her husband, Byju Raveendran. She is a strong believer in the fact that she's a teacher before a Co-Founder. Her first encounter with Byju's was as a student. Thus, today, at the TiE Conference she talks about how Byju's became what it is today. She also talked about the effect of the internet on the lives of students and the impact of technology on the education sector.
Talking to Lathika Pai, Country Head, Microsoft StartUps, during the India Internet Day 2020 event, Gokulnath said, “Let me tell you some numbers. When we started Byju's App, we had 40 million free users in 4 years. Now, in the last four months, we added 20 million new users.”
She further added that every such crisis gives birth to startups that later grow to be Unicorns. "It is always about the product, if you are doing good now, you will do well, or better later, but if you are doing really well now, it means you have ultimately done a good job," she added.
Lathika Pai asked her what technology changes did the Internet bring in the education sector. Upon that she said she feels like technology has eliminated an entire generation gap between people. "I feel there's a three-generation gap between me and my 6 year old son," she said. "They are growing up so fast, and that is because of technology," she added.
Divya Gokulnath and Byju Raveendran have a 6-year-old son, Nishi.
Divya believes that the new normal will not be 100% online. Instead, Byju's will be that place where students come home and revise concepts. Schools will include online learning, but online cannot replace the school system. She believes that online can teach you hard skills, core concepts and the textbook notes, but empathy, team building and such soft-skills come in a social environment.
Talking about the WhiteHat Jr acquisition by Byju's
In the conference, Divya also talked about the WhiteHat Jr acquisition. She said, "I think Coding is a future skill set. It is like practical applications of concepts and I see my son using those skills. It makes us inquisitive. And then it also aligns with the business pillars of Byju's."
She added that the acquisition will also help Byju's scale internationally.