Originally answered on Quora: Are platforms like Byju’s tight slap on the Indian education system?
BYJU’s is an example of how mass privatisation can help a particular sector. There’s a reason why no one is is buying MTNL/BSNL connections and Jio and Bharti Airtel are doing so well; and no, it’s not marketing!!! It’s better ROI, product, quality and quantity. That being said, the Indian education system is a comprehensive one and Indian students are known as one of the most educated across the globe. The issues of consistency and constant improvements, prevail.
I believe in case of education, the following are the factors that have enabled the Ed-Tech sector to come up at such a pace:
- Work Force: A quick search on Linkedin says that CBSE has 185 employees working for them. NCERT at 228. This is for the entire nation with 20,000 CBSE schools for all subjects in the K-10 sector!!!! BYJU’s has about 1000 Content folks and a 1000 member Media team whose job is to present the content in the most effective way. Obviously with so many minds working in a coordinated fashion towards one goal has a huge quality difference.
- Teaching Quality: Think about your school years. Typically you come across 25–30 different teachers across your schooling. Can you name 5 brilliant ones? It’s a difficult question for a lot of people across any country. Because ours is a huge population, teaching quality is very difficult to maintain across all schools. This is a problem statement that BYJU’s in fact all major Ed-Tech product companies solve. Byju Sir often says that the current products provide a better learning to the students than him teaching them. This is because there are so many minds working on creative ways to present content. Moreover, technology gives us variety of avenues to explore teaching techniques that are typically not easy in schools.
- Technology: Be it imagining the chiral compounds in Chemistry, the functions of heart muscles and the pumping mechanisms in Biology or equating height of a building using a pencil; they all are simpler to understand with tech like animation, 3D and VR. This is rarely an option in classrooms. Even the games and questions are designed keeping personalisation in mind. That means the product knows which areas a particular student is weak in, and suggests content pertaining to that. There’s crazy tech that goes behind such algorithms!
- Creativity: This is one of the major USPs of BYJU’s. Remember how interesting Resnick Halliday made physics, just by adding an interesting problem statement and real life examples. Now imagine a team doing that as their main job. Each concept at BYJU’s is brainstormed to give the most interesting POV. This not only keeps a student interested, but actually helps him understand concepts better.
- Ease: Obviously with a model like BYJU’s, you have the advantage of ease of learning at your own pace and choose concepts that you wanna go forward with.
- Money: The education budget is around $14billion this year. Divide that with the 260 Million students in India, it gives you, $1/student or by the 1.5 million schools i.e. $133/school. BYJU’s valuation is $11.5billion. This means that it can afford to spend that $30–50 million on its product each year. Do the math! BYJU’s can afford that because it can provide the best course without the hassle of infrastructure (Majority spending rather than content and teachers) that exists in the schooling system.
Nothing can replace the traditional system though. Even BYJU’s is not a company targeting that. BYJU’s is a brilliant companion product to go along with the traditional system.