Byju’s founder and chief executive Byju Raveendran has apologised to the firm’s employees for the clumsy layoffs in India’s largest education technology company, saying 2,500 job cuts were necessitated to avoid role duplication and reduce redundancies.
In a message to employees, Raveendran said Byju‘s has been compelled to focus on sustainability and capital-efficient growth because of adverse macroeconomic factors.
“We are working hard towards achieving profitability at the group level in this financial year itself,” he wrote. “Our rapid organic and inorganic growth has created some inefficiencies, redundancies and duplication within our organisation, that we need to rationalise to realise this.” And in doing so, the company is laying off 2,500 employees or 5 percent of the staff strength.
“I realise that there is a huge price to pay for walking on this path to profitability,” he said. “I am truly sorry to those who will have to leave Byju’s.” He went on to state that the sackings break his 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,” he added.
Earlier this month, Byju’s had said that it will lay off 2,500 employees over six months, as the company reduces redundancies, consolidates its subsidiaries into one India business and focuses on sustainable growth and profitability.
Explaining the rationale behind the move, Raveendran said Byju’s had scaled up quickly and massively across the world in the last four years, including through acquisitions.
“Then 2022 happened. This is the year when many adverse macroeconomic factors changed the business landscape. These have compelled tech companies around the world to focus on sustainability and capital-efficient growth. Byju’s is no exception to this trend,” he said.
Having expanded exponentially in the past four years, it is now time for Byju’s to grow sustainably. “So, we decided to define our ‘path to profitability and sustainable growth’ — and to walk on it in earnest.” “We are working hard towards achieving profitability at the group level in this financial year itself. Our business has substantial economies of scale and unit economics, which we believe we can leverage to achieve this mandate,” he said, adding the rapid organic and inorganic growth has created some inefficiencies, redundancies and duplication within the organisation that need to be rationalised.
The 2,500 employees being sacked is “avoid role duplication across businesses,” he said. “It is with a heavy heart that we have had to take this difficult decision. Some business decisions have to be taken to protect the health of the larger organisation and pay heed to the constraints imposed by external macroeconomic conditions.” Stating that he understood the pain of employees, the chief executive said he tried his best to save jobs.
“Please also know that this is not a reflection on your performance. And I promise that you will not walk out of this house alone. The rest of us will walk by your side and support your transition,” he said.
For the employees being sacked, the exit package includes extended medical insurance coverage for family members, outplacement services, fast-track full-and-final settlement, and a special provision to allow them to look for jobs while on the payroll.
“I want to emphasise that the overall job cuts are not more than five percent of our total strength,” he said, adding he did not see them as layoffs but as time off.
“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,” he added.
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