PhysicsWallah (PW), the ed-tech sector giant, has recently initiated a restructuring process, resulting in 120-150 employees being downsized. This is the first instance of layoffs at the company. The strategic move, linked to performance evaluations, is aimed at fortifying the company’s agility and sustaining a high-performance team. Satish Khengre, Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) at PW, clarified that this reduction represents less than 0.8% of the workforce and aligns with routine mid-term and end-term assessment cycles.
Khengre explained, “For the evaluation cycle concluding in October, individuals with performance concerns—ranging from 70 to 120—might be asked to transition. Our central focus is nurturing a dynamic, high-performing team.” He also said that PW is going to counterbalance these layoffs by hiring an additional 1000 employees over the next six months. He claims that this underscores the company’s dedication to growth. Khengre acknowledged the invaluable contributions of existing employees, recognizing their pivotal role in shaping the future of education technology.
Impressive Growth Amidst Industry Challenges
During a previous discussion at TechSparks 2023, PW’s Founder and CEO Alakh Pandey provided insights into the company’s performance. Pandey highlighted a remarkable 100% growth in PW’s online business during FY23 despite the challenges posed by a shift of students to offline channels. Even though the company is yet to report its financial numbers for FY23, PhysicsWallah’s revenue from operations soared 9.5X to Rs 233 crore in FY22 from Rs 24.6 crore in FY21. Commenting on the influx of new ed-tech entrants with a focus on democratizing education, Pandey remarked, “It presents a challenge for us, but it’s a positive one, as it keeps us on our toes.”
PhysicsWallah’s Evolution in the Ed-tech Landscape
PhysicsWallah was established in 2016 by Alakh Pandey. It has since then emerged as a leading educational platform under the joint leadership of Pandey and co-founder Prateek Maheshwari. PhysicsWallah specializes in delivering online and offline classes along with tailored study materials designed for various competitive exams, including JEE, NEET, and other engineering entrance and state board exams.
The company, headquartered in Noida, distinguishes itself by offering a comprehensive suite of resources to assist students in their exam preparation journey. This includes live classes, video lectures, test series, and dynamic exercises catering to the diverse learning needs of students pursuing competitive exams. They also launched an undergraduate residential engineering program through which they plan to double down on the upskilling segment.
Securing Substantial Funding and Impressive Valuation
PhysicsWallah achieved a significant milestone in 2022, securing $100 million in Series A funding from Westbridge and GSV Ventures. This funding round propelled the company’s valuation to an impressive $1.1 billion, solidifying its position as a key player in the competitive ed-tech space. After turning Unicorn, they also made a series of acquisitions, including Xylem Learning, PrepOnlline, and Altis Vortex.
As PhysicsWallah strategically navigates the dynamic landscape of education technology, the recent decision to optimize its workforce appears to be part of a broader initiative to streamline operations and ensure sustained growth. With ambitious plans to hire a significant number of employees in the coming months, PhysicsWallah seems to be steadfast in its commitment to delivering quality education resources and maintaining its leadership in the fiercely competitive ed-tech sector.