Byju Raveendran (Malayalam: ബൈജു രവീന്ദ്രൻ; born 1980)[1] is an Indian entrepreneur, investor and educator who, with his wife Divya Gokulnath, co-founded Byju's.

Byju Raveendran
Byju Raveendran in 2017
Born1980 (age 43–44)
Nationality (legal)Indian
EducationBachelor of Technology
Alma materGovernment College of Engineering, Kannur
TitleFounder & CEO of Byju's
SpouseDivya Gokulnath

Early life and education edit

Byju was born in 5th January 1980 in the Azhikode[1][2] village of Kerala, India to Raveendran and Shobhanavalli, physics and mathematics teachers, respectively.[3][4] He studied at a Malayalam medium school where his mother was a mathematics teacher and his father a physics teacher.[5][6] He would skip classes and then learn at home.[7][8]

Career edit

After completing his B.Tech from the Government College of Engineering, Kannur, he joined a multinational shipping company as a service engineer.[3] During a vacation in 2003, he helped his friends who were studying for the CAT exam.[6] He then took the CAT exam and scored in the 100th percentile.[6] When he took the exam again, he again scored in the 100th percentile.[9] Two years later, he continued helping people study for the CAT exam and, based on the good results, decided to quit his job.[6]

In 2007, Byju founded the test preparation business Byju's Classes,[6] and the company grew to stadium-size classes.[10] In 2011, he founded Byju's with his wife, Divya Gokulnath,[5] whom he met while she was a student in his exam preparation class.[11][12]

In 2015, as smartphone screen sizes increased, Byju's launched an app developed by Byju for students to learn on handheld devices.[13][6][14][15] In October 2018, the app expanded to the United Kingdom, the United States and other English-speaking countries.[16] By July 2022, the app had been downloaded more than 150 million times, and on average, its users spent 71 minutes on the app every day.[17]

In 2021, Byju was heading advanced talks to acquire Vedantu for around $600-$700 million, but the deal didn't get through due to pending regulatory approvals.[18]

According to Forbes, as of 2020, Byju, his wife Divya Gokulnath, and his brother Riju Raveendran have a combined net worth of $3.4 billion.[19] In January 2021, he was added to the National Startup Advisory Council as a non-official member.[20] In April 2021, Byju's purchased the Indian test-prep provider Aakash Educational Services Ltd. for nearly US$1 billion.[21][22]

In July 2022, Byju invested $400 million in BYJU'S during a venture capital financing round.[23]

On 1 February 2024, multiple shareholders were reported to have signed a notice calling for a general meeting to address various issues at BYJU'S, including requests to change the company's board of directors and leadership.[24] In February 2024, India's economic intelligence and law enforcement entity Enforcement Directorate issued a look out notice against Raveendran.[25] On 23 February, shareholders voted to remove Byju as CEO, and he stated afterwards that the vote was invalid due to a lack of a quorum.[26] A previous court ruling placed the implementation of the shareholder vote on hold until after further review on 13 March 2024.[26][27]

Personal life edit

Byju married Divya Gokulnath, one of his early students, in 2009. Together they have two sons.[28]

Awards and recognition edit

Year Title Ref
2017 The Indian Express IT Awards [29]
2019 Manorama News Newsmaker award [30]
2020 Ernst & Young Finalist, Entrepreneur of the Year, India and Winner, Business Transformation Award [31][32]
2020 Fortune Magazine's '40 Under 40' list [33]
2021 Forbes India Leadership Award (FILA) Entrepreneur for the Year [34]

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Byju Raveendran". The Economic Times. 15 February 2021. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  2. ^ "Byju's education app: A CAT topper who didn't fancy IIMs is making self-learning cool among Indian students — Quartz India". Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b "ബൈജൂസ് ആപ്പിന്റെ കഥ; ബൈജു രവീന്ദ്രന്റെയും". Mathrubhumi.
  4. ^ "WHO IS BYJU RAVEENDRAN". Business Standard India. Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  5. ^ a b Gilchrist, Karen (30 July 2019). "India crowns its newest billionaire, a 37-year-old former teacher". CNBC. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Krishna, Niharika (11 July 2016). "Teacher, entrepreneur: The success story of Byju Raveendran". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  7. ^ Rai, Saritha (29 July 2019). "Byju Raveendran, a former school teacher, joins Indian billionaires' club". LiveMint. Bloomberg. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  8. ^ India TV News Desk (30 July 2019). "Reluctant student-turned teacher, meet Byju Raveendran - India's newest billionaire". India TV. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  9. ^ TNM Staff (29 July 2019). "Kerala-born former teacher Byju Raveendran is India's newest billionaire". The News Minute. Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  10. ^ Banerjee, Sreya (31 July 2019). "Teacher turned app maker Byju Raveendran is India's newest billionaire". ABC News. Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  11. ^ Ghosh, Debojyoti (21 November 2020). "Byju's better half". Fortune India. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  12. ^ ET Now Digital (10 October 2020). "With a wealth of over Rs 11,300 crore, meet India's youngest billionaire". TimesNowNews. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  13. ^ FP Staff (29 July 2019). "Byju's founder, Raveendran polevaults into billionaire club with latest funding of $150 mn". FirstPost. Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  14. ^ Rai, Saritha (3 December 2020). "Byju Raveendran, the A Student in Online Ed". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  15. ^ Shah, Vrutika (12 February 2020). "5 youngest billionaires of India and how they make their money". GQ India. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  16. ^ "India's Game-Changers - Byju Raveendran". BBC World News. 6 October 2018. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  17. ^ "Byju's said to be in talks with lenders for $1 billion funding". The Economic Times. Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  18. ^ "Byju's to acquire e-learning platform Vedantu for $600-$700 mn". The Times of India. IANS. 6 August 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  19. ^ "Byju Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath". Forbes. Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  20. ^ "Byju Raveendran, Kunal Bahl named to startup advisory panel". The Siasat Daily. 19 January 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  21. ^ Singh, Manish (5 April 2021). "Byju's acquires Indian tutor Aakash for nearly $1 billion". Techcrunch. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  22. ^ Bhalla, Tarush (5 April 2021). "Aakash joins Byju's universe in a deal worth nearly $1 billion". Mint. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  23. ^ "Byju's Struggles to Close $800 Million Funding as Investors Balk". 11 July 2022. Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  24. ^ Shah, Ranjani Raghavan,Sneha (1 February 2024). "Shareholders ask Byju Raveendran to step down". mint. Retrieved 1 February 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  25. ^ Bureau, The Hindu (22 February 2024). "ED issues fresh look-out notice against Byju Raveendran". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 23 February 2024.
  26. ^ a b Pandya, Dhwani; Sriram, M. (23 February 2024). "Indian startup Byju's calls shareholder move to oust CEO invalid". Retrieved 24 February 2024.
  27. ^ "India court says Byju's shareholder decisions will not apply before March 13". Reuters. 21 February 2024. Retrieved 24 February 2024.
  28. ^ "Byju's better half". Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  29. ^ "Express IT Awards: Byju Raveendran, a teacher who is the pupils' pet". The Financial Express. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
  30. ^ Staff (7 December 2020). "Byju Raveendran dedicates Manorama News Newsmaker Award to COVID warriors, teachers". Onmanorama. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  31. ^ "Byju Raveendran". EY. Archived from the original on 2 May 2021. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  32. ^ Dave, Sachin (25 March 2021). "Harsh Mariwala wins EY Entrepreneur of the year 2020 award". Economic Times. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  33. ^ "Byju Raveendran | 2020 40 under 40 in Tech". Fortune. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  34. ^ Bathija, Monica (18 March 2021). "FILA 2021 Entrepreneur for the Year: Byju Raveendran's global ambitions". Forbes India. Retrieved 26 March 2021.