BYJU's CEO pens down emtional email to staff, asks forgiveness for the layoff

BYJU's CEO pens down emtional email to staff, asks forgiveness for the layoff

In 2022, adverse macroeconomic factors including rising interest rates and slowing funding have changed the business landscape.

Edtech unicorn Byju’s founder sought forgiveness from the 2,500 employees who are in the process of being fired by the edtech, as it pursues a plan to achieve profitability by the end of FY23.

“I realize that there is a huge price to pay for walking on this path to profitability. We are having to part ways with 2500 of our colleagues," chief executive and founder Byju Raveendran wrote in an internal letter to employees on Monday. “I am truly sorry to those who will have to leave Byju’s."

BYJU's CEO pens down emtional email to staff, asks forgiveness for the layoff
After prolonged audit delay, Byju's reports $575 million losses in 2021
Dear team member, Over the past couple of weeks, you would have read or heard about our plans to rationalise our team size. Some of you, I understand, might be confused about this or may be hearing conflicting statements. So, I am writing to you so you hear directly from me on what we are doing, why we are doing it and how I feel about it. First, let me tell you briefly about the rationale behind our current strategic plan. We scaled up quickly and massively across the world in the last four years. Thanks to your relentless efforts and passionate commitment, we now reach and teach more than 150 million learners globally. 2018 to 2021 were our hypergrowth years, when we regularly broke records on every business metric. We also expanded our family significantly both in our core business and by onboarding team members from our acquisitions. Then 2022 happened. This is the year when many adverse macroeconomic factors changed the business landscape. These have compelled tech companies around the world to focus on sustainability and capital-efficient growth. BYJU’S is no exception to this trend. Having expanded exponentially in the past four years, it is now time for us to grow sustainably. So, we decided to define our ‘path to profitability and sustainable growth’ - and to walk on it in earnest. We are working hard towards achieving profitability at the group level in this financial year itself. Our business has substantial economies of scale and unit economics, which we believe we can leverage to achieve this mandate. However, our rapid organic and inorganic growth has created some inefficiencies, redundancies and duplication within our organization, that we need to rationalize to realize this. At the same time, we need to continue to realign our resources towards innovation and future-growth oriented projects. I realize that there is a huge price to pay for walking on this path to profitability. We are having to part ways with 2500 of our colleagues to avoid role duplication across our businesses. We have always taken pride in taking care of our employees and retaining them forever. So, it is with a heavy heart that we have had to take this difficult decision. Some business decisions have to be taken to protect the health of the larger organization and pay heed to the constraints imposed by external macroeconomic conditions. I am truly sorry to those who will have to leave BYJU’S. You are not just a name to me. You are not a number. You are not just five percent of my company. You are five percent of me. I know that nothing can really compensate for your loss. And I completely understand if you are upset about this. Because it breaks my heart too – much more than you think. I hope you will believe me when I say I tried my best to save your position. Please also know that this is not a reflection on your performance. And I promise that you will not walk out of this house alone. The rest of us will walk by your side and support your transition. I hope you will trust me when I say we have made available the best possible exit package to you which includes extended medical insurance coverage for you and your family members, outplacement services led by some of the industry’s finest recruitment specialists, fast-track full-and-final settlement, and a special provision to allow you to look for jobs while on our payroll. I seek your forgiveness if this process is not as smooth as we had intended it to be. While we want to finish this process smoothly and efficiently, we don’t want to rush through it. So, we are informing all the affected team members individually with the dignity, empathy, and patience they deserve. I want to emphasize that the overall job cuts are not more than five percent of our total strength. I am always positive, I always think ahead, and I always try to make things better for everyone. But sometimes what Byju wants is not what BYJU’S demands. To those who will be moving on, you probably think this is where I will say the next company you will work with will be lucky to have you. Sure, the hands, hearts and minds that built the world’s leading EdTech company will always be in demand. But, no, what others see as ‘layoff’, I only see as time off. Bringing you back by putting our company on a sustainable growth path will now be the number 1 priority for me. I have already instructed our HR leaders to make all the newly created relevant roles available to you on an ongoing basis. I want you to know that you are valued, you are loved, and that I will forever be grateful for your contributions and for having the great privilege of leading you. Yours faithfully, Byju Raveendran Founder & CEO BYJU’S

The Bengaluru-based unicorn has been facing backlash on social media from employees who have been laid off in the last couple of weeks due to restructuring. Last week, the company had denied media reports that claimed that the job cuts are more than 2,500. Fearing layoffs, the company’s employees in Thiruvananthapuram office had met Kerala’s Minister for General Education and Labour V Sivankutty.

“We scaled up quickly and massively across the world in the last four years," Raveendran said. “However, our rapid organic and inorganic growth has created some inefficiencies, redundancies and duplication within our organisation, that we need to rationalise."

In 2022, adverse macroeconomic factors including rising interest rates and slowing funding have changed the business landscape.

“These have compelled tech companies around the world to focus on sustainability and capital-efficient growth. BYJU’S is no exception," he added.

The founder reiterated the need to “grow sustainably" and focus on “profitability".

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