Edtech company Byju’s has hired top Disney India executive Abhishek Maheshwari as President of its international business. Maheshwari will spearhead the charter to strategise, build and lead the global expansion of Byju’s. He will be responsible for driving growth across markets by formulating and executing appropriate go-to-market strategies. This includes the adaptation of the products of Silicon Valley-based educational gaming start-up Osmo, which Byju’s bought for around $120 million in January.
“We look forward to leveraging his experience and expertise in establishing Byju’s as an eminent global ed-tech company with a strong user and learner community while building a robust, sustainable and profitable business,” said Byju Raveendran, founder and chief executive of Byju’s. “We are confident that Abhishek will further boost the Byju’s learning story across international markets.”
As the country head of entertainment firm Disney India, Maheshwari was responsible for driving all of Disney’s brands, businesses and corporate functions in the country. Prior to Disney, he worked with private equity company Kubera and consulting firm McKinsey in their US and India offices.
“Byju’s has transformed the way children learn in India and I feel privileged and thrilled to be part of the team and look forward to weaving the same story internationally,” said Maheshwari, who has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Delhi and an MBA from Columbia Business School. “I am joining Byju’s at a very exciting time where I can contribute to building a global consumer tech product company out of India,” he added.
Byju’s, which is backed by marquee investors such as Naspers and General Atlantic, has a base of 33 million free users and 2.2 million paid users. The appointment of Maheshwari comes at a time when Byju’s has raised a total of $826.5 million in funding. The firm is investing heavily in technology-enabled learning products for expansion into international markets. It has formulated plans to foray into markets such as the US, the UK, parts of Europe and Australia, targeting the age group of 3-8.
In India, it is expanding its products by catering for grades 1-3, in addition to the 4-12 segments, where it is already present. After its March 2019 funding round by General Atlantic and Tencent, its valuation stands at $5.4 billion, making it one of the fastest-growing start-up in India.