BYJU’s to lay off up to 3,500 employees this fiscal

PTI, Sep 27, 2023, 11:12 AM IST

BYJU founder Byju Raveendran (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Edtech major BYJU’s may lay off up to 3,500 employees during the current fiscal as it looks to consolidate teams and enhance regional focus, sources privy to the development said.

According to one of the sources, BYJU’s had ”over hired” people at the time of the Covid pandemic due to the sudden jump in online education, but the demand has now receded, for which the company needs to do the course correction.

”There has been no retrenchment as of now. The company is in the process of restructuring and assessing demand across various units. Around 1,000 people were already serving notice periods, and another 1,000 have not completed their performance improvement parameters. Assessment is still underway. About 3,000-3,500 may be impacted due the whole exercise,” a source, who did not wish to be identified, told PTI.

The sources said this will be the last layoff at BYJU’s payroll and the entire exercise will be over by October end.

”The final phase of restructuring intends to optimise business by bringing together multiple divisions and creating a clear accountability-driven structure. The 3,000-3,500 is an estimate and not the target of the company,” the source said.

When contacted, BYJU’s spokesperson said: ”We are in the final stages of a business restructuring exercise to simplify operating structures, reduce the cost base, and better cash flow management. BYJU’S new India CEO Arjun Mohan will be completing this process in the next few weeks and will steer a revamped and sustainable operation ahead.”

The sources said that several business units were created to meet the growth requirement during the pandemic and there were few product experiments that were carried out but they did not work out well.

”There will be now simple organisation structure divided between K12 education and other competitive examinations. It will focus on consumer behaviour services. Regional teams will have more accountability. There will be a large focus on hybrid models and tuition centres which need to be run in a decentralised manner with regional focus,” the source said.

The lay-off exercise is expected to impact 300-400 mid-level employees.

”Most of the business built up during Covid was with focus on new customers. BYJU’s is going through the same phase like other big technology companies, where lay-offs have happened due to course correction and to build sustainable business models. BYJU’s will enhance focus on existing customers,” the source said.

With this, total number of employees at BYJU’s will fall in the range of 31,000-33,000 compared to 50,000 workforce at group level that it announced in October 2022.

The sources said most of the employees under third-party payroll and across subsidiaries like BYJU’s Future School, formerly Whitejat Jr, were impacted.

The total number of reductions also included those leaving the organisation voluntarily, they said.

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