Edtech major Byju's on Thursday said that less than 500 people have been laid off at Whitehat Jr and Toppr, but sacked employees have claimed that 1,100 staff had been retrenched at Toppr alone.
The layoff at Toppr comes alongside Byju's group firm Whitehat Jr retrenching 300 employees in addition to the resignation of 250 employees from the company in April-May.
"To recalibrate our business priorities and accelerate our long-term growth, we are optimising our teams across our group companies. This entire exercise involves less than 500 employees from across Byju's group companies," Byju's spokesperson said.
Toppr's sacked employees said that they got a call from the company on Monday and were asked to resign, failing which they will be terminated without any notice period.
"I am part of the Chemistry subject matter expert. My entire team has been laid off. Toppr has promised 1 month's salary for those who resign and no salary for those who don't. Around 1,100 people have been laid off at Toppr," a Toppr employee, who did not wish to be named, told PTI.
A query to Toppr co-founder Zeeshan Hayath on his WhatsApp did not elicit any response.
When contacted, Whitehat Jr spokesperson said that the decision has been taken to realign business priorities and accelerate results with a focus on long-term growth.
"As part of our back-to-work drive, most of our sales and support employees have been asked to report to Gurgaon and Mumbai offices from April 18. We have made exceptions for medical and personal exigencies and have offered relocation assistance as required.
"Our teachers will continue to work from home. We continue to invest in developing relevant curriculum for students and build a strong teacher community with high recruitment and training standards," Whitehat Jr spokesperson said.
Byju's acquired Toppr for about USD 150 million in July last year.
Another employee, who has been laid off by Toppr, said that earlier this year everyone was assured by the top management, including Hayath, that there is a high growth opportunity for the employees in the company.
"However, we have been getting some indication about low business after offline classes resumed across the country. I have worked at Whitehat Jr also. Online education is unable to match offline class," the employee added.
Edtech firms Unacademy, Vedantu, Lido, Frontrow, Lido etc have cumulatively laid off thousands of people this year.
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