Zishaan Hayath is the Co-founder and CEO of Toppr.com, an edtech company on a mission to personalise the learning process. The company has an employee strength of over 1,400, with its headquarters in Mumbai, and regional offices in 25 Indian cities.
Hayath is a product manager at heart and is constantly working towards improving students’ learning journey. He has been continuously evolving the product to make learning personalised for all students.
With the aid of advanced technology, Hayath has been instrumental in finding gaps in a student’s academic journey in schools and filling them. He firmly believes that every child learns at a different pace and in a different style. However, a classroom set up uses a one-size-fits-all approach. This is why he created adaptive learning paths on Toppr. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, every student experiences a learning path that is unique to that student’s immediate needs.
Apart from being actively involved in developing the product, Hayath has been overseeing the revenue, hiring and fundraising avenues in the company. He has been working towards the growth of the company in each of these areas.
Toppr started off as a small startup in 2013 and has now grown to a company with over 1,400 employees. It is an Indian startup and is primarily built for the Indian student base, informs Hayath. He looks forward to growing the company further, creating jobs in a wide range of avenues, from technology, marketing, and sales, to HR, talent acquisition, etc.
Hayath is always open to mentor aspiring entrepreneurs. He has even invested personal funds as an angel investor in over 20 startups, helping many kickstart their dreams. “Customers should be the primary focus of all entrepreneurs. They should strive for customer happiness, and not just satisfaction,” says Hayath, who feels that he still has a long way to go before he can say that he has “made it big”. That said, building a company is a huge challenge. “I was incredibly happy when Toppr celebrated five years. It was a difficult journey, especially when 90 per cent of startups either shut shop or deviate from their core mission within five years,” he says.
Moreover, Hayath feels that Toppr’s journey is just getting started. Education is core to human capital development in India. The edtech industry is just at the beginning of the curve. There are many problems to be addressed and solved, and millions of students to reach out to. This endeavour can be carried on for 3 to 4 decades, and Toppr will still have enough to keep going.
At the same time, Toppr has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to the future of the edtech industry. It offers students much more than pre-recorded videos. Toppr offers them a solution, which has completely revolutionised their perception of education. The rest of the industry visualises the future in artificial intelligence and machine learning, but Toppr is already harnessing its potential.
Due to this, the engagement on Toppr is over 10 times that of some of its western learning peers. In fact, its paid daily active users spend more than 100 minutes on the app. Moreover, of the students who have spent more than 180 days preparing for JEE on the Toppr app, more than 60 per cent qualified the JEE main exam.
Speaking on being included in the BW 40 under 40, Hayath says, “It is an important platform for entrepreneurs who want to make an impact. It gives me, and the other recipients a boost when it comes to fulfilling our missions. It is instrumental in helping the society as a whole.”