Byju’s accused of forcing employees to resign after being hit by skyrocketing losses

The 170 employees of its Technopark office in Thiruvananthapuram approached state labour Minister Sivankutty with their complaint.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Wednesday, October 26, 2022, 05:40 PM IST
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Byju's founder and CEO, Byju Raveendran. |

Byju’s had emerged as a profitable Indian startup months before the pandemic struck and a study-from-home trend changed its fortunes during the lockdown. But the celebrated Indian edtech success story delivered a shocker last month, when its losses went up 20 times, to surpass Rs 4500 crore. After explaining it as a difference of interpreting revenues, Byju’s announced layoffs to become profitable. Now employees of its Kerala office are alleging that the startup is forcing them to resign.

Employees facing the heat of losses?

The employees from the Byju’s office in Thrivananthapuram’s Technopark, have approached the state’s labour minister V Sivankutty with their complaint. They want the layoffs to be investigated and are demanding salaries for October, a settlement including a three-month salary, earned leave encashment, and settlement of variable pay. The staff members also posted their accounts of facing pressure to quit on social media, while the office has been shut down.

Firing employees but hiring more teachers?

After the meeting, the labour minister also took to social media to promise a probe into the way these employees were fired. Apart from the 170 employees at Technopark, Byju’s is also planning to layoff thousands more for rationalising its workforce. The trouble for the firm started before releasing the results in September, when lawmaker Karti Chidambaram had started calling for a scrutiny of its finances.

While announcing that 5 per cent of employees will lose jobs, Byju’s co-founder Divya Gokulnath also mentioned that 10,000 new teachers will be hired to scale up business in India and in overseas markets.

Wipro was accused of doing the same

As for forcing employees to resign, leading IT player Wipro was accused of forcing employees to resign in 2017, and even bringing in bouncers to intimidate them, according to a Business Standard report. In 2021, a Bengaluru court finally ordered Wipro to reinstate an employee who was forced to quit in 2018.

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