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BW Businessworld

“Leadership Is About having The Right Traits, Not Gender”

Speaking at the WESA 2021, Divya Gokulnath shares her view on leadership and how her company Byju’s has performed incredibly during the pandemic

Photo Credit : ShutterStock


Divya Gokulnath, Co-Founder, BYJU'S has said, “If I had to define a leader, I would define on the basis of traits. Somebody who is continuously learning, takes feedback, empathetic and humble.” She believes if one has those traits one is bound to succeed. “I would never limit it by gender, but I would limit it by quality and traits,” Gokulnath said.

The pandemic period has been hugely challenging for everything, but specifically so for the working mothers. Gokulnath, a working mother herself, said, “If working mothers have made it through the last 12 months, they will easily make it through the decade easily. It is not really easy to manage home, work and family all together.” 

Gokulnath was speaking in conversation with Dr. Annurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld at the Women Entrepreneurship Summit & Awards (WESA). The two-day virtual event recognises and celebrates exceptional women entrepreneurs whose innovative approach have created positive changes in the business and social ecosystem in India.

Byju’s, in the first four and half years since the app was launched, had 45 million learners on it. Gokulnath stated, “ In the last year we have added 45 million more students to the app. The future of learning has online in it. It is something I would like to call – hybrid – blending offline and online world.”

During the pandemic, Byju’s made the app so that students could continue learning. It launched free live classes to continue learning. It launched multiple new products, new subjects, released the app in vernacular languages.

Speaking about how she dealt with her personal challenges, Gokulnath said, “One thing that’s really worked is creating artificial boundaries. For the last year, we have been doing everything from home. Right now you have to put the artificial boundaries – if you try to do 10 things at one time end up giving 10 per cent to each of them.”

Gokulnath, like several other industry experts, is of the opinion that if the pandemic of this scale were hit 100 years ago, we would not have been able to deal with it like we are doing now. She stated, “This time around even if the economy was hit (badly), a lot of things are still continuing. The last year has been a year with a lot of changes. Technology has been the enabler – enabling and empowering us to continue with our lives. Every crisis brings us with opportunities.”