PhysicsWallah's Alakh Pandey shares self-learning journey building a unicorn
“It’s good that we did not get funding initially, that we did not build a fancy team. I’ve done all types of work myself,” said Alakh Pandey, Founder and CEO of online edtech platform PhysicsWallah.
There’s one thing about starting a company—that the founder gets to see everything, said Alakh Pandey, Founder and CEO of online edtech platform, as he shared his journey from his humble beginnings to building a unicorn.
“It’s good that we did not get funding initially, that we did not build a fancy team. I’ve done all types of work myself,” Pandey said in an interaction with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma at TechSparks 2023.
Giving examples of roles within the company such as that of the batch operations team that puts up video and PDF links for online classes and SST, or the student success team, he said he learnt to do all these roles himself when he started PW.
PW, which began its journey as a YouTube channel by Pandey, today provides a comprehensive online learning experience to students of classes 6-12. It is present in 24+ categories including IIT-JEE and NEET. The company also has more than a crore subscribers on YouTube.
“Today we have another role called YTM—which is a pretty fancy term—for YouTube Managers, I tell them I'm the grandfather of you all, as I started with that,” Pandey remarked jokingly at YourStory’s flagship summit.
He added that starting from the basics has an advantage as one understands the principle that when intent is good, everything falls into place.
In April, PhysicsWallah Co-founder Prateek Maheshwari told YourStory he expects the company to register a “sizable profit” riding a three-fold increase in revenue to about Rs 751 crore for FY23. He had also said that for the ongoing financial year, the company is projecting Rs 2,400 crore revenue in FY2024 with 12% EBITDA margins at the group level.
This could be a big milestone considering that several startups in the edtech space are struggling to cope with mounting losses, slowing their expansion plans, and seeking to reduce their expenses amid a funding winter.
Over the past three years, I’ve not been able to take care of my health much, but have recently understood its significance and the importance of being happy, Pandey said, while also adding that he comes from a background that makes him think something bad might happen whenever things are going well.
(The copy was updated with some numbers.)
Edited by Kanishk Singh