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Byju’s shuts down Kerala office, forces employees to resign: Report

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Edtech firm Byju’s has allegedly closed down their Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram office and are forcing their employees to resign, Minister for General Education and Labour in the Kerala Government, V Sivankutty said on social media platform Facebook. 

“At techno park, Thiruvananthapuram Employees of Baiju’s app came and met me with the office bearers of IT employees welfare organisation Echo of Technopark. Employees have many complaints including job losses. The Labor Department will conduct a serious inspection in this matter.” the minister wrote on Facebook. 

More than 170 employees who were working in the branch met state Labour Minister V Sivankutty on Tuesday, October 25 seeking compensation and pending salaries.

On Facebook, Technopark Today, the community media platform of Technopark employees, said that Byju’s management was forcing employees to resign. 

Reports have suggested that the employees are demanding “payment of the salary for October 2022 on November 1, 2022, one-time settlement of salary for the upcoming three months, from November 2022 to January 31, 2023, as well as earned leave encashment and full settlement of variable pay (as applicable to each employee) from the management.”

On 12 October, Byju’s announced that it had planns to turn profitable by March 2023. In September, due to rising promotion and labour costs, The Tiger Global-backed edtech company recorded a loss of 4,588 crore for the 2021 fiscal year.

“We have designed a path to profitability which we plan to achieve by March 2023. We have built significant brand awareness throughout India and there is scope to optimise marketing budget and prioritise the spends in a way that it creates a global footprint. Second is operational cost and the third is integration of multiple business units,” Divya Gokulnath, co-founder of Byju had said.

Byju’s is currently worth $22 billion. 

The loss of 4,588 crore in fiscal year 2021 was 19 times worse than the year before. From 231.69 crore in the previous fiscal year, losses increased in the 2020–21 period. From 2,511 crore in FY20 to 2,428 crore in FY21, revenues decreased.

The company reported that sales in the following year, which ends on March 31, 2022, increased fourfold to 10,000 crore, although it withheld information on profit or loss for that year. According to Byju’s, the losses grew in FY21 mostly due to the postponement of some revenue and losses from WhiteHat Jr.

At present, Byju’s has about 50,000 employees. The company is expected to lay off 5%, i.e., 2,500 people in a phased manner to rationalise its workforce, in order to be profitable by FY 23.

Founded by Byju Raveendran in 2011, the world’s highest-valued edtech startup is funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and major private equity firms such as Tiger Global and General Atlantic.

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