Byju Raveendran, the chief executive officer (CEO) of edtech giant BYJU’s, has apologised to his employees for the recent layoffs. The “I am sorry” email from him came days after the company announced cutting its workforce of 50,000 by five per cent, of 2,500, by March next year to lower costs. BYJU’s recently laid off about 100 employees from its media content division in Kerala. In the email to employees, Mr Raveendran said BYJU’s has been compelled to focus on sustainability and capital-efficient growth because of adverse macroeconomic factors.
“I realise that there is a huge price to pay for walking on this path to profitability. I am truly sorry to those who will have to leave BYJU’s, it breaks my heart too. 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,” the CEO said in the email, according to news agency PTI.
“I want to emphasise that the overall job cuts are not more than five per cent of our total strength,” he said, adding he did not see them as layoffs but as time off.
Mr Raveendran said that re-hiring the laid off employees will be the company’s number one priority for the company, as it restructures.
“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,” Mr Raveendran said in the email.
Last week, the representatives of 100 employees who were fired by BYJU’s, met General Education and Labour Minister for Kerala, V Sivankutty, who said on social media that his ministry would take the matter seriously and investigate it.
The company’s spokesperson, in response to Kerala Ministers’ social media post, said that the rules of the employment contracts were strictly followed during the restructuring process at BYJU’S, and it was done with compassion and fairness.
BYJU’s is India’s most-valued startups. The company clocked a revenue of Rs 2,428 crore in the financial year that ended in 2021, but reported a loss of Rs 4,588 crores for 2021, making it the biggest loss-making startup in the country.
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