Byju’s founder responds to Messi row after layoffs, calling it “foolish for people to think”

One of the most valuable edtech company in the world, Byju’s, came under fire after it let go of 2,500 employees. In addition, the company revealed that Lionel Messi had been hired as its global brand ambassador. Byju Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath, the company’s founders, have clarified the action. They even talked about the company’s future in an interview.

In a note to staff members, Raveendran explained that role duplication and reducing redundancies as the company focuses on profitability, it was necessary to fire around 5% of the personnel.

“Sometimes what Byju and Divya want is not what BYJU’s as a corporation wants,” Divya Gokulnath remarked in response to the layoffs.

Raveendran stated that Messi’s signing would have a positive effect on society.

“The deal with Messi is not a typical sponsorship deal. It is a partnership to create social impact,” he said. They further mentioned it was something that we signed 6 months back. “It is foolish for people to think that we will pay money for Messi after letting people go,” he remarked.

Raveendran added that the business had grown by 70% in the previous year: “We grew by almost 70% in the year. This is not visible in the financials for a few reasons. We just finished our best six months, with 3x growth in revenue in 2023.”

Gokunath even referred to the business as “pioneers” in edtech and said that they treat criticism as “critique.”


Byju’s founder highlighted the firm’s mistake

Additionally, Raveendran expressed regret and acknowledged that mistakes had been made, adding that complacency at this point was “criminal.”

“There’s no scope for short-term optics. Like anyone else, when you grow this fast, we’ve made our fair share of mistakes and are sorry about it. But, when you’re privileged enough to make such a big impact, it’s criminal to be complacent,” he said.

Additionally, he predicted that in 20 years, there would be far more unpaid students than paid ones.

Raveendran continued, “Give us 20 more years, and I can give it in writing, there will be more students who will be learning free from us compared to paid,” Raveendran added and said that he would be doing this for 30 more years. “I’m the largest investor in the company, not just a shareholder.”

Representatives of the 100 employees who were let off by BYJU’s met with V Sivankutty, Kerala’s general education and labor minister. Who promised to consider the situation and launch an investigation seriously.

India’s most valuable startup is Byju’s. However, the business posted a loss of 4,588 crores for the fiscal year which ended in 2021. At the same time, clocking 2,428 crores in revenue, making it the most loss-making startup in the nation.