Real Story of Physics Wallah – Alakh Pandey | New Profitable Unicorn 

Physics Wallah, Alakh Pandey

After coming back from school, where some children are excited about playing, there, one child used to come home from school every day and open his book and take tuition of children younger than him. He knew that they were poor. Whenever there’s talk about money at their home, every family member becomes quiet. He understood the responsibility of turning this silence into smiles, along with his dad, mom, and sister, and he had to take it too. So every day he used to come home from school, and he used to open books and start teaching children.

And by doing this, at such a young age he had learned many important things that in today’s time, even adults can’t learn. That child in 8th grade showed the strength to change his and his family’s life. And after all these years, that seed of strength has become a huge tree. Because his Edtech startup is now worth a billion dollars! By now, you must’ve understood who I’m talking about, right? The child who took tuition of other children in 8th grade is none other than Physics Wallah Ed-Tech platform’s co-founder and CEO, Alakh Pandey.

Now, let’s know the hero of today’s story and many children’s lives, Alakh Pandey. Born and brought up in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, Alakh did his schooling at Bishop Johnson School He had gotten 93% in 10th grade. But in 10th grade, he also had a realization of something, he had a keen interest in Physics. He was always inclined toward Physics as a subject. So he decided to take Science after 10th. And right after going to 11th grade, he even joined a coaching institute, where he used to teach children in 9th grade.

Doing all this, he completed his 12th grade, and after that, he started learning mechanical engineering at HBTU, Harcourt Butler Technical Institute. But altogether, the atmosphere there wasn’t giving a boost to his precious Physics. So eventually, he left engineering. He came back from Kanpur to Allahabad. Now, whenever a child leaves engineering or studying and comes back home, then the level of parents’ worry is very high, right? The same happened with him.

His parents were troubled. They were annoyed and they were angry. They couldn’t understand why did their child suddenly leave engineering? But Alakh was thinking something else. In a coaching center in Allahabad, he had taken the job of a tutor with a salary of Rs. 5000 And after that, he got a job as a physics teacher at Softways Coaching Institute. 

“The SI unit of Force is Newton, CGS unit is Dyne.” He wasn’t having fun teaching in such a simple way. So what did he do? He let the actor within him sit in the driving seat and then started reading what was written in the book. “1 Newton = 10 to the power of 5 Dynes” “This is not Dayan(Witch), this is Dyne!” Just by saying this, he grabbed the attention of the whole class. Alakh had an interest in acting.

In college, he also used to participate in street plays. Now the actor and physics-enthusiast within him, both together were teaching the children in the classroom. The children started loving his style and method of teaching. And just as Alakh noticed this thing, he took the next big step which made him what he is today.

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“P” For Physics Wallah

In 2014, Alakh started his YouTube channel named Physics Wallah. Back then he had no idea whether his videos would work or not. But, he started uploading free classes for the students who were appearing for JEE and NEET. The way that Alakh used to teach, students used to relate to his words, and understand that topic and subject nicely. And this teaching style of Alakh had started creating a bond between Alakh and the students. In the beginning years, the journey of every YouTuber is tough. He worked very hard, but his subscriber count could reach only 10,000.

But, he kept uploading videos. He was also simultaneously teaching in the coaching center. A whiteboard, a marker, some books, a phone camera, and a tripod. By investing in these things, he started his YouTube channel. Such a YouTube channel that was going to be big very soon. Whenever he used to upload any video, he used to pay attention to its comment section.

If any student would give feedback, then he would accept that feedback, and also apply it to his upcoming videos. Because his goal was to teach any topic or subject in a very simplified and convenient way to the children. In 2019, Alakh’s Physics Wallah channel started to grow. The subscribers had started growing. And many times the children commented that they wanted a sophisticated platform.

At that time, the pandemic had started and online learning was on-trend. So, the children wanted that they get such a platform, where they could understand not only Physics but all the subjects nicely. Alakh’s fanbase was growing quickly, his channel was growing. And this was the time to turn the page for a better story. IIT BHU’s Prateek Maheshwari had met Alakh and got to know that their energy and passion are very similar.

They were the two pieces of a puzzle, which perfectly fit together to create the next big thing in the Edtech Industry. Now, in this mode of the story from Prateek’s technological knowledge, Alakh’s teaching spirit was born ‘Physics Wallah (PW)’ i.e. the PhysicsWallah app. And I want to tell you that Alakh left his coaching job in 2017. So, there was no income source, except for the Ad revenues from the videos. And by doing this, he had collected Rs. 15 lakh which he invested in this app development.

Till 2019-2020, Alakh’s fanbase had grown a lot which is a good thing, right? But in May 2020, when this app was launched, around 2 lakh students downloaded this app together, and the app crashed. Because of the load, there was some technical glitch, and this app was continuously crashing for a couple of days. 35,000 students had enrolled for the course, but this app still wasn’t opening. After many efforts, the technical team was able to solve the problem.

Physics Wallah, Alakh Pandey

What Made Physics Wallah Stand Out?

In this Physics Wallah (PW) app, for NEET and JEE students, live and recorded classes are sub-categorized which is further divided into free videos on YouTube, and paid batches as well. Now let me tell you at this point, the big Edtech platform like BYJU’s and Unacademy, even they were flourishing. But, Physics Wallah (PW) has a uniqueness, an X-Factor, that we get to see from this Alakh and Money control interaction. Yes, Alakh liked teaching.

He wanted to create a sustainable and affordable platform for all the kids, and that is why he kept the price for his basic package at Rs.999 so that every kid can enroll who can’t pay the fees of the big Edtech giants. Because of this affordability factor and Alakh’s teaching style, the Physics Wallah (PW) app started flourishing and slowly became very famous. And guess what? They had 0 investors and no paid marketing.

Any new batch didn’t come by seeing any Poster or Ad, but because of the results of Physics Wallah (PW) app users and the publicity by their word of mouth Such a big success of Alakh, was now somewhere bothering the Edtech companies. I’m sure you’ve seen films like Kota Factory and Super 30. If you’ve seen them then you’ll know how big Edtech giants, hire good teachers through their money. The same happened with Alakh.

According to Forbes, Alakh was offered Rs. 75 Crore for a 10% stake. But Alakh declined that offer. After that, Alakh was threatened by saying that the same Rs. 75 Crore will be sued to destroy him. And the same happened. Slowly, Alakh got the resignation letters from the teachers at Physics Wallah (PW). They were attracted by those at tech giants. But, Alakh didn’t stop. He continued to do what he was supposed to do.

It is also said that when his YouTube career was at its boom, big platforms like Unacademy had given him a package of Rs. 40 Crore just to hire him as a teacher. But he declined that offer too because he had a vision with PhysicsWallah. He wanted to take PhysicsWallah to a higher stage. Alakh also often says in his interviews that Physics Wallah (PW) is not a startup business, this is an emotion. Such an emotion has bonded Alakh and his students together. But many times, this emotion was criticized.

It was said that in such a cheap package, in an Rs. 999 package, the quality of education will also be cheap. Or it was said that in Alakh’s lectures, there’s less studying and more drama. But Alakh and his students have been kicking this negative comment aside and running towards success.

Physics Wallah Turns Into The 101st Unicorn

Because of Physics Wallah (PW)’s affordability factor, they kept going forward. That too so much, that in the financial year 2021, they gave neck-to-neck competition to a big Edtech platform like Unacademy. Because the basic enrollment package was so less, many students from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities used to enroll in this. Since the beginning, Physics Wallah (PW) was a Bootstrapped business. But recently, PW was successful in raising a mind-boggling amount like 100 Billion USD.

It is now an Edtech unicorn. Now, all these big platforms, spend crores of rupees on marketing and advertising. Because of this, they have a high chance of losses. But from Physics Wallah (PW)’s inception till today i.e. 2022, only 2 ads were run, on Facebook and Instagram. There is only one personality attached to PW, Alakh Pandey. And a lot of attempts have been made to just drag Physics Wallah (PW) down by various techniques. But, PW shines bright as India’s 101st Unicorn, in such a short period.

Even their realm on YouTube is increasing a lot. For example Competition Wallah, JEE Wallah, Physics Wallah Foundation, NCERT Wallah, Defence Wallah – NDA, Physics Wallah – English, PW- UP Bihar. Channels like these are active.

Conclusion

Alakh Pandey had taken a loan of Rs. 1.08 Lakhs for his education, taking help from his relatives. But his relatives always used to belittle him on this matter. Today, Physics Wallah (PW) has become India’s one of the biggest Edtech giants. And that kid I’d told you about at the beginning of the video, that kid has become the CEO of this Edtech giant. Alakh traveled a very big and inspiring story. In his childhood, he had shown the strength to change his life, and today, because of that strength, he is changing the lives of many children.

It is said that before starting the lecture, Alakh makes his students sing the ‘Hum Honge Kamiyab’ Song and the kids sing it, too. He is a true idol and true guru for them. But just as students consider Alakh as their inspiration, even Alakh is inspired by his students. He says that if he didn’t have students in his life, then maybe he wouldn’t be able to work as hard today.

The biggest reason behind PhysicsWallah success is his students.

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