The Edtech Dec acorn Byjus has announced that they will appoint football player Lionel Messi as their brand ambassador on their social impact arm, Education for all.
Let us get into the history of Byjus,
Byju’s is an Indian multinational educational technology company headquartered in Bangalore. Byju’s app was developed by Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd, a company, established by Byju Raveendran, Divya Gokulnath and a group of students in 2011. Byju, an engineer by profession, has coached mathematics students since 2006. In the initial days, the company focused on offering online video-based learning programs and competitive exams.
In August 2015, the firm launched Byju’s: The Learning App. In 2017, they launched Byju’s Math App for kids and Byju’s Parent Connect app. By 2018, it had 15 million users, of which 900,000 were paid users. By 2019, 60% of BYJU’S students were from non-metros and rural cities; this was the major reason for launching the “Education for All” Initiative in September 2020 for kids from marginalized populations. Among the several initiatives launched under Education for All, the company collects old or unused smart devices for refurbishing purposes and then loads them up with Byju’s content for free and distributes it to those children who have no access to the internet
In March 2022, Byju’s raised $800 million, reaching a valuation of $22 billion, and the company claims to have over 115 million registered students. In November 2022, BYJU’S signed Football icon Lionel Messi as their global ambassador.
On Signing Lionel Messi, Ms Divya Gokulnath, The co-founder of Byju’s, stated, “It’s an opportunity Byju’s education for all wants to create for the nearly 5.5 million children it currently empowers”. This should come as the framework of byjus extensive marketing strategy. As the giants always believed in going big. The number on how much they have paid for Messi is undisclosed. But this isn’t the first time Byjus has bagged the most prominent names. In 2017 they roped in Sharukh Khan(an iconic Indian actor) as the brand ambassador. In 2019 they became the lead sponsor of the Indian cricket team overtaking the sponsorship from Oppo. And recently, they renewed their contract with BCCI, reported at $55 million (Rs 454 crores). In November 2020, Byju’s replaced the Muthoot Group to become the title sponsor of the Indian Super League club Kerala Blasters FC.
Yet again, in 2020, they spent $40 million to become the official sponsors of the FIFA world cup. Now they have roped in Messi as their global ambassador. Still, it gets interesting that this new development came weeks after the company laid off at least 5000 employees to control costs and helm towards profitability. The company reported 45 Billion (Rs.4558 crore) in losses for Financial Year 2021, the largest ever loss reported by an Indian start-up.
Byju Raveendran, The company’s CEO, said in a note to those who were laid off that it’s been done to protect the health of the larger organisation, but obviously, this has its critics that leave US FISHY.
–ABILASH RATHNAKARAN- SPORTS ANATOMY
Abilash Rathnakaran, Director of Sports, Vels University India, has had a proficient presence in the sports field, experienced in grassroots development and spearheading several mega sports events with the state and central governments. In this process, he has associated himself with different National and International Sports Federations and the National Olympic Committee. Recognised in the industry for scouting and educating 2000+ underprivileged kids and transforming them into champions, and felicitating the placement of many sportsmen in Government jobs & Professional sports clubs through their sporting talent. His life, driven by his untrammelled passion for sports, is coupled with the goal of leading the way for aspiring sportspersons and enthusiasts. He would be enriching the viewers of the Asian Herald with his insights as our Special Sports Correspondent