Your career has spanned across FMCG brands like Colgate, Unilever and investment corporations like Sequoia. What inspired you to join a new age brand like BYJUs?
My association with BYJUs started in 2015 through Sequoia Capital. I was working very closely with BYJUs leadership team on marketing, media and digital. From 2015 to the end of 2017, we worked together on launching the first TVC campaign, marketing initiatives, brand partnerships etc. During my association with BYJUs, I got the opportunity to understand this space of education & edu-tech, and that prompted me to consider this sector. Plus, the ambition and vision demonstrated by Byju (CEO and Founder) was something that inspired me the most and I was very clear that I wanted to part of this phenomenal journey that BYJUs has undertaken of making “students fall in love with learning”.
BYJUs is steadily gaining acceptance among Indian parents and students. I am curious to know who is the actual influencer in the purchase of the app – the student or the parent?
The app is downloaded by both students and the parents. However, the student (Standard 4th to Standard 12th) usually does not have his/her own mobile phone so they download the app in their parents’ phone. Once the app is downloaded, we give them a 15 day free trial to access some part of our content. Both the parent and the student go through the free trial together and they discover the benefits (concept learning, personalisation, learning at one’s speed) of using BYJUs audio & video based segments. In some NCCS segments the student plays an influencer’s role and in some NCCS segments the parent is the influencer.
Your recent videos with Shah Rukh Khan in various avatars of Indian dads is hilarious. What is BYJUs approach to branded content, and how do you measure the ROI of the content you create?
We create lot of education content and that’s the core of the product. Our approach to branded content is very simple and straightforward. Any branded content initiative (tactical or strategic or long term) should be within our defined brand guidelines, should be done at scale and needs to be measured both in terms of “brand scores” and “number of downloads to number of leads to conversation ratio”.
While I see a clear intent to purchase the app in urban markets, I have also read that most of BYJUs growth is from tier 2 & 3 markets. Is that true, and what is your marketing strategy to address these markets?
It is true. Our consumers are not only in the metros but at a PAN India level including the Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets. Our marketing approach is to generate “Brand Love” and build “Brand Equity” primarily through ATL and Digital. Based on the market propensity we index our marketing budgets. BTL is also an important and integral part of our marketing approach. For example: We are currently running India’s largest school contact program in partnership with Discovery Communications spread across 8 months culminating into an episodic series on Discovery Communications.