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In the Next 2-3 Years, We Are Going To Scale All Over World: Karan Bajaj, Founder & CEO, WhiteHat Jr
Speaking at a BW Dialogue, Karan Bajaj gives his advice to entrepreneurs in the ed-tech space that kids have to be delighted and the parents have to see value in the product. If those two things converge, then the category will have a successful business.
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Karan Bajaj, Founder & CEO of WhiteHat Jr, the startup which was recently sold to Byju’s at $300 million – regarded the biggest deal in India’s ed-tech space, has informed: “In the last 120 days, the company scaled multi-fold. We doubled the business just a month before the lockdown, and during the lockdown period the business went through a transformation.” He informed the company went from having 300 people to 3000 – 4000 people in the last 3-4 months. Bajaj was recently speaking at a BW Dialogue episode organized by BW Businessworld.
Various reports suggest that less than 1 per cent of schools teach coding in early childhood. Undeniably, there is a vast gap in the requirements of the corporate world and the skills that are available. Reportedly, WhiteHat Jr teaches fundamentals of coding--logic, structure, sequence and algorithmic thinking--to generate creative outcomes like animations and apps to a kid from 6-14 years.
Speaking on the recent partnership with Byju’s, Bajaj said, “The partnership is good for the overall learning ecosystem.” The entire deal happened over zoom. Bajaj seems to be appreciative of Byju Raveendran, Founder & CEO, Byju’s, speaks about him, “He has a boundary-less view of the world.” On the company’s future plans, Bajaj has informed in the next 2-3 years, they are going to scale this coding category all over the world. He acknowledged that the demand for coding is very liquid all over the world – kids are very willing to learn it. Bajaj compared the scaling model of his business to Uber – how the company recognized that it is a unique product and has demand all over the world. Secondly, Bajaj added that they are going to develop another product of Live Maths – with Byju’s expertise – to make the math learning easier.
Edu-Tech and Future of Educational Content
Bajaj stated, “The power of Ed-Tech is two-fold. Ed-tech allows you to be highly customizable to the students. Other is your learning is experiential learning.” Bajaj predicts that the tech is going to be the center for everything. He said, “I am a huge fan of developers. With one line of code, you can remove many physical processes, which is great.”
Bajaj’s advice to entrepreneurs in the ed-tech world is: “Kids have to be delighted and the parents have to see the value. If those two things converge, then the category will have a successful business.” “I think overall the core is to launch quickly. I think the heart of an entrepreneur’s journey. The customer feedback loop is the most important for an entrepreneur, Bajaj added.
Taking the discussion further, Bajaj added another jewel of wisdom for every entrepreneur: Not scale until the product is of high quality. From zero to one crore took us eight months and from one crore to 100 crores took us six months. He believes, “If you keep making big creative bets, eventually you will succeed.” “Founder’s time, 50 – 70 per cent, always should be recruiting. I do make it a point to recruit my management,” Bajaj added.
Speaking about what inspires him, Bajaj said, “I read a lot - both fiction and non-fiction.” The books that he recommends that every entrepreneur should read are Growth Hacking Sean Ellis, books on Gamification, Hooked – how to build habit-forming products, Man’s Search for Meaning. Bajaj shares his work philosophy that when he enters into a category, he takes it to the absolute best he can do. And, he adds, “Whenever I reach a point where I feel there is nothing better I can do, I leave that thing and do something else.”