When a passion for teaching became a US$ 5.5 billion business..


From an 8th grade math wizard to a billionaire is a long journey for most of the planet’s people. But for one entrepreneur, it was a tremendous lesson in entrepreneurship.

Byju Raveendran has turned a teaching app into a billion dollar business.

From coaching 10th and 11th graders while still in school, Byju started his teaching app with humble beginnings. Yet, today, with over 35 million students having downloaded his math and science tutoring app, he is a billionaire whose business is valued at over US $ 5.5 billion.

So what’s in this young man’s story that we can learn?

He turned a passion into a business –

Raveendran didn’t set out hoping to start a business. A dedicated teacher and the son of teachers, he understood that there was a gap in the market for quality learning at an early age. He continued to do what he loved doing ; only better. He kept fine tuning and perfecting his business ; in 2011, he launched Think & Learn, which helped students pick up math and science skills early.

From then onwards, it was one success after another.

He was confident about his business –

He asked for US$ 8 million from the would-be investors Manipal Group – the billionaire doctor Ranjan Pai who heads the group said he almost fell off his chair but was impressed with Raveendran’s confidence and belief in the capacity of his business to grow.

Any business owner who has the confidence in the return he can provide to his investors, knows his line of work well. Raveendran was passionate about teaching – but he also knew well what his business could deliver in terms of results.

As entrepreneurs and business owners, we need to be confident of our businesses – and be able to deliver results.

He saw opportunities fast –

As an entrepreneur with a skill set that was tailor-made for the education hungry student population of India, he knew that there was room for the education sector to grow. He knew that smartphones and tech was the way to go ; and that given easy access, students would definitely be interested in downloading content that would benefit them.

He saw the opportunity in using technology to reach his customers – it is critical for entrepreneurs to be able to master the skill of reaching customers through all opportunities available.

He understands his market –

As a teacher who knows his sphere of operations well, Raveendran knows the opportunities and he understands his customers and his markets well. If you are to succeed at what you do, you should know your market well. You should know not just your competition but also your industry and the key players. Are there others who might be a threat – if so, what do you do to counter that threat?

Market know-how is vital for business expansion and growth.

He has a plan for expansion –

No entrepreneur can be successful without a specific plan – he knows where he is going and he has already worked it out. He is looking at tying up with various other partners and is looking at expanding into other countries.

If a talented young man with a passion for teaching can build a business on his own, worth billions of dollars today, so can you.

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