“This was way back in 2009-2010. I was preparing for CAT along with my friends in Manipal when I met Byju sir for the first time. He used to teach mathematics,” recalls Santosh Kumar K A V. “One day I spoke to him about a few ideas about what can be done in education, and he asked me to come and work with him. At first, I didn’t even know what BYJU’S was meant to do or become in the near future. But I was inspired by his sheer conviction.”
In the fifth episode of ConsisTENt — a series where we feature BYJUites who have been instrumental in shaping the way students learn – Santosh Kumar, the VP of Operations, shares his journey over the last decade, how the pandemic has changed the approach to operations, and his strategy for the future.
When Santosh joined BYJU’S, we were just a small team of 10 to 12 people, handling the entire operations of the company. At that time, he shares, they used to conduct coaching sessions in auditoriums and stadiums.
“We learned a lot during those days, as we did each and everything on our own, starting with the distribution of flyers to the collection of fees and the management of massive events. That’s when we understood how these sessions have to be executed. Each day brought along a new challenge and those were exciting times,” shares Santosh.
While a lot has changed between then and now, the relationships formed in the early days of building BYJU’S remain the same.
Shares Santosh: “The kind of bonding we have with each other is remarkable. My team and colleagues are the first people I reach out to even today, whenever I have a query or to share some thoughts or exchange ideas. Everyone knows and understands each other’s strengths, and that’s what makes us a great team.”
This camaraderie is reflected in the way Santosh and his team masterfully navigated the pandemic as well. He shares that they have come up with newer ways to communicate and ensure seamless operations.
“Even though we continue to work remotely, I have always made sure that the team keeps learning new things every day,” quips the BYJUite. “In March 2020 when we shifted to the work-from-home model, we were looking at a lot of collaboration tools and communication systems. Our teams went on overdrive, as they tried to figure out the best ways to meet and work virtually. We gave everything our best shot, with the strong belief that the final outcome would be positive.”
The foresightedness is, in fact, a major part of Santosh’s approach to leadership and team management. The BYJUite emphasises on starting small and setting achievable goals, and gradually working towards the big ones. “I have always focused on the daily functions and day-to-day tasks. When you do that, the future goals automatically fall into place,” he says.
“In the process, I have learnt a lot and am looking forward to more such learnings. I believe that the sky is the limit and we are waiting to experience a lot of new things that are yet to come our way. We as a company are not trying to compete with others, we compete with ourselves, every single day. That’s what we do and will keep doing,” adds Santosh.
(The story has been put together by our Storyweavers, Shreesha Ghosh and Sutrishna Ghosh)
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