Who is Divya Gokulnath, the co-founder of Byju’s Learning App ? Born to a middle class family Bengaluru, Gokulnath’s story started with humble beginnings. A young woman who puts values ahead of everything else, started out as a teacher at Byju’s when the company was just an offline outfit. Her passion for teaching got her to the company but it was her flexibility to learn and adopt to a tech-first environment that got her to surge with Byju’s.
Born in Bengaluru, Divya Gokulnath is an only child of working parents. Her father was in Indian Air Force as a doctor and her mom was a programming executive with Doordarshan. Having grown up with working parents, Gokulnath was clear that her life’s ambitions would involve a career and she would take charge of her independence and finances.
She grew up in familiar spaces of Bangalore near the office of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the homegrown defence giant of India, on Old Madras Road.
Gokulnath is passionate about teaching and believes India can be a hub for teachers going forward. In an exclusive chat with SheThePeople, Gokulnath said, “For teachers there is a huge potential. Golden age of teaching has come back, especially for women. 15-20 years we created software engineers for the world, we now have the potential to create teachers for the world. Our recently integration with White Hat Jr got 11,000 female teachers online and they are working from home. This is a huge opportunity for women to go online and get a very good and respectful career.”
Even as the company plans more fund raising and growth plans, Gokulnath says she plans to keep teaching at the heart of it.
“In 2015 when we launched the app, we have always been on the side of the students. We wanted to be different than the conversation on toppers and focus on the love for learning.” She adds, it’s important for the founding team to keep the joy intact in the effort to grow Byju’s.
“We knew our subjects well as teachers and wanted to keep students engaged with the same. The first television campaign we did, we boldly spoke about fall in love with learning. If you think about that was a risk. It brought 2 million students on the platform. These were intuitive gut feelings on what we so closely believe in and in what we are doing. That helps us take right decisions at the right time.”
I believe that education is one of the most powerful tools that shapes and moulds the way our youth think – Divya Gokulnath
- Divya Gokulnath started teaching at 21
- Since she was young, she wore saris to look older than her students
- Her parents always encouraged her to dream big and have career ambitions
- Byju Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath have been ranked 46th on an India Rich List. Together they have a total net worth of $3.05 billion (approximately Rs 22.3 thousand crores) as of 2020.
- Divya Gokulnath’s belief? “Every student’s learning journey is unique and different. Not every student might feel connected to a particular subject. When I started teaching, I realised that there was vast scope to enhance how learning was approached.”