With BYJU’s agreeing to not shut its operations in Trivandrum’s Technopark after having talks with Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, employees are expecting a guarantee from the unicorn on a minimum duration under which the office can operate.
“We have been informed that within the next two weeks, a guarantee will be given on how long the Trivandrum office can remain functional. If it’s for a year or two years, whatever is decided will be known to us,” stated Vineeth Chandran, Secretary General for Prathidhwani, a welfare association for IT employees in Kerala, which represented the interests of Byju employees to Minister of General Education and Labour, V. Sivankutty, after the edtech giant allegedly asked hundreds of its employees to resign.
Employees to be reinstated soon
Though Byju’s had maintained that the decision gives the option to Trivandrum staff to move to Bangalore, amid teams being consolidated for better efficiency, more than 60 employees resigned between October 18-25, who will now be reinstated after the platform threw out any plan to close down the technopark operations.
Sources told the Free Press Journal that some employees have decided not to return to the company after they lost trust in the process.
Questions over decisions taken at Trivandrum office
Byju’s in a statement, on Wednesday, said that the company has decided to relook at its restructuring plans and the case of Trivandrum centre came to CEO Byju Raveendran’s notice quite late, only after the plans were rolled out.
Employee representatives say that the information about laying off employees in the media development centre in Trivandrum Technopark was not divulged to Raveendran before the decision was taken, according to Byju officials.
“The top brass of Byju’s, including Mr Raveendran, was apparently not aware of the media content division being asked to resign. The company has assured us that they will look into the misunderstanding,” added Chandran.
While appreciating the involvement of CM Vijayan, Sivankutty, and Labour Commissioner Dr. Vasuki IAS, Technopark Today, a digital media community page on LinkedIn, which caters to IT professionals in the technology park, said in a post that Byju employees have been promised that the edtech's management will not retaliate or take revenge against them.
Byju’s apologises, plans to hire more but issues persist
The relief for employees in Kerala came as Raveendran asked for forgiveness from more than 2,500 Byju employees who will be fired as the company deals with “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 per cent of my company. You are five per cent of me. I know that nothing can really compensate for your loss. And I completely understand if you are upset about this…Please also know that this is not a reflection on your performance,” Raveendran told his employees in an internal email. But the edtech giant has also added that it has plans to include a total of 10,000 teachers on its platform.
The apology and hiring ambitions fall flat amid a crisis brewing at its Bangalore headquarters, where employees are also being asked to resign or face terminations with Karnataka IT/ITeS employees union (KITU) saying that the resignations are forced.
Addressing the situation in India’s IT capital, a Byju official told FPJ that they are also looking into the concerns of employees in Bangalore and the company is in talks with Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai regarding the same. “The company might release new information on the situation in Bangalore in the next two days,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
Edtech giant's future in Kerala
Byju’s, which has a significant presence in Kerala with 3000 employees and 11 offices, will add three more offices in the state this financial year, taking the total number to 14 and increasing the number of employees across the state from 3,000 to nearly 3,600, according to a statement released by the corporation.