On 11 September 2020, 29-year-old Pradeep Poonia uploaded a video to YouTube under a rather strange account name, Whitehat Sr. Strange, because it closely resembled the name of WhiteHat Jr*, a popular edtech company based out of the western Indian city of Mumbai. Its aim is to teach young children how to code, promising six-figure salaries and a Silicon Valley future to its students.

At the time, Poonia says, he didn’t realise how his simple play on WhiteHat Jr’s name would land him in social media purgatory.

The video, titled “The difference between Byju’s and WhiteHat Jr” is a dramatic and comic expression of Poonia’s view of these multi-billion dollar businesses.


Olina Banerji

Based in Delhi, Olina writes about mega-trends in urban mobility, education, skilling and the environment, with a focus on how institutions and innovations can help cities grow sustainably. She is a graduate of the London School of Economics, and has worked previously with India Today and global non-profit Ashoka.

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