One of the main things I’m loving about my podcast is the fact that each accomplished guest who joins me here leaves me even more energized than before with their personal stories of growth and their own unique visions of leaving the world a little better than they found it. One such person is Divya Gokulnath, whose journey I have been following for a while.
Divya Gokulnath is a teacher, a mentor, and the co-founder and director of the successful edtech enterprise, Byju’s. She is widely recognized as a catalyst for growth for the edtech industry in India. Divya’s vision is to make learning enjoyable, accessible, and effective for students of all ages and backgrounds. She is also a prolific writer on the future of education, parenting, and women’s participation in STEM fields. This Fortune India 40 Under 40 list honoree has also been awarded the Business Today’s Most Powerful Women in Business in 2020 along with many other accolades which recognise her contribution to the field of education and her efforts to empower women. Divya has also been a fierce advocate for making the world of business a more equitable space for women, as well as mitigating the gender pay gap in India.
Divya Gokulnath On The Spirit Of Entrepreneurship
It’s not easy but it’s something that if you deeply believe in and you give a hundred percent to and if you’re passionate about, then you’ll make it happen no matter what! Half the battle is won when you believe that you’re never going to give up. That’s that’s the spirit of entrepreneurship.
Divya Gokulnath On Finding Her Calling As A Teacher
I used to be the most introverted person ever, the most shy person ever. But today I’m someone who’s found my calling in teaching. And teaching is the first profession for me. It’s my most favourite. I hold it close to my heart. So I wear the title of teacher, mother as close to my heart as I wear the title of co-founder.
Divya Gokulnath On Strategizing Growth
We took everyday, one at a time. I’ve learned, especially after having kids that you don’t have yearly plans, it’s better to have daily goals and weekly goals because everything is going to change.
Divya Gokulnath’s Golden Rule For Encouraging Learning
I’ve held steadfast to that mission that we’ve had 15 years ago that we need to change the way students learn. We need to make them love learning. It is not about 85% attendance; we need to move to a hundred percent attention. Because only when we do that are we creating learners for life!
Divya Gokulnath On The Differentiating Success Factor That Put Byjus On The Map
The fact that we started as teachers first; that we were learning every day and we continue to learn every day. To stay ahead of the game, you need to keep learning from your mistakes, learning how you won something, and know how to do that on repeat mode. All of that – understanding the importance of hard work and smart work. For me, good luck is nothing but hard work on repeat mode.
Divya Gokulnath On The First Pivotal Point That Marks The Journey Of Byjus
The first pivotal point will be the decision that we took to go from completely offline to completely online, where we leverage technology
- To enable access
- To ensure personalization.
- To create that love for learning by creating content which enters into a child’s world.
What Excites Divya Gokulnath
Professionally, when a student calls me and tells me that they’re learning from us and that’s making them a better learner and they love learning because of us, that’s what excites me. Personally, the happiness that I feel when I pick up my children in my arms. Nothing comes close to that.
Divya Gokulnath On The Mission Of Byjus
The mission has not changed, very frankly. 10 years back, if you had asked us or if you ask us today or even if you ask us 10 years from now, the answer will be the same: help students learn better, give them more value. Because valuations can come and go but values and value creation is forever.
Advice For Anyone Who Wants To Start Up By Divya Gokulnath
Today the scenario has changed. The country has encouraged startups, entrepreneurship, and women empowerment so much that you are allowed to experiment and grow. Especially if you are a young girl dreaming of building a startup, if someone tells you that you cannot do it, that’s exactly what you should do. This is the age for you to give your everything to it. You don’t have commitments on your side. People can talk about ‘funding winter’, but remember that you don’t need 10 million to start a company. You need 2 or 3 great people with a good idea and an unlimited passion. So go for it if you have a great idea and it’ll happen.
Rapid Fire With Divya Gokulnath
I would be remiss to not do a rapid fire round of questions given this exclusive access to the sharpest, most creative minds in the country. So thank Karan Johar for his Koffee influence or blame our insatiable appetite for bite sized content, but here’s presenting the relentless and fun rapid fire round. (ProTip: There’s one at the end of each episode so always stay tuned till the end)
One thing that entrepreneurship is not
Entrepreneurship is not women entrepreneurship or male entrepreneurship, it is just entrepreneurship.
If there was a movie made on your life, who would play you?
The biggest misconception that people have about you
People think I’m just a co-founder and wife, but I’m actually a co-founder, teacher and mother. Also!
The book you think everyone should read
Zero to one.
Your comfort watch show or movie.
I don’t watch, I read.
Your foolproof pick-me up on a low day
Complete the sentence for me – The road to success is_____
Up, bumpy, but you can make it smoother by having the right support system.
Dream, build, scale. What do you enjoy the most?
All three have to be together because once you dream, you have to build and once you build, you have to scale. Only then is there meaning in dreaming.
I had such a great time interviewing Divya who is so focused and so driven; it’s bound to rub off on anyone listening!
Do tune in to the whole episode on Spotify to get insights into Divya’s incredible journey. Also, there’s a lot more where this came from so stay connected on Instagram to get notified as your favourite founders and creators come and share their stories with us on the show. If you have any feedback for me or want to suggest a guest for my show, I’m all ears! Email me or DM me and I’d love to hear your thoughts on Dream Build Scale. Ciao, catch you on Thursday when the next episode drops!