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Funding does not solve everything: upGrad’s Ronnie Screwvala on BYJU’S saga

upGrad Chairperson and Co-founder Ronnie Screwvala shared insights on BYJU’S episode amid edtech sector challenges, highlighting the limitations of funding and resilience.

Funding does not solve everything: upGrad’s Ronnie Screwvala on BYJU’S saga

Thursday February 29, 2024 , 2 min Read

upGrad's Chairperson and Co-founder Ronnie Screwvala said funding was never the answer to building a successful edtech startup and that founders in the sector would do well to accept when things had failed and move on.

"No amount of funding can actually build a solid business if you don’t set out to build a business... That penny has to drop with everyone,” the upGrad Chairperson said in response to a question about the turmoil facing the edtech sector, particularly BYJU'S.

BYJU'S, which was once India's most valuable startup, has been struggling to survive with valuations being slashed and key investors trying to oust its founder. "It's a prime example that funding does not solve everything," said Screwvala on the troubles facing BYJU'S.

Screwvala said that if somebody has raised $4 billion to $5 billion and is not able to build a business, it means that funding is not the answer, and urged everyone to think about this.

“It is extremely tough to found a business, build a business, grow a business, take care of all the failures that happen in the business, and take the setbacks and go forward," Screwvala said at the Mumbai edition of TechSparks 2024 in a chat with YourStory Founder Shradha Sharma.

He said that the edtech sector does not need money but needs frugal innovation.

The upGrad Chairperson further explained the need to accept failure and move on. “If you don’t have acceptance or the ability to accept where you will fail, that’s the other challenge you have with this particular story (BYJU'S): a delusional approach to not accepting when things have gone wrong and not accepting them and moving forward.”

He added, “Once you accept, solutions come about. If you don’t accept it, you are running the business into the ground."


Edited by Kanishk Singh