Edtech brand Byju’s has again found itself in a stir after announcing Lionel Messi, one of the biggest football stars as their global brand ambassador just a day after it sacked approximately 2,500 employees in India under the pretext of ‘becoming profitable’.
The edtech brand onboarded Messi as its global brand ambassador for its ‘Education for all’ initiative. Messi’s net worth is believed to be around $600 million and he is one of the highest paid footballers in the world.
The star footballer also charges a huge sum of money for endorsing brands, although Byju’s offer to him is still not out in the open, and netizens were quick to point this out.
A day earlier, Byju’s CEO and Founder Byju Raveendran had said that it is necessary to fire 5% of their staff to focus on ‘profitability’.
As a result, many people have raised questions about Byju’s and its operations
I don't understand how this #byjus functions. The founder makes sentimental statements about laying off people. Those not willing to put down papers are forced by HR to do. But they will have Messi as ambassador? Messi came free?— Dhanya Rajendran (@dhanyarajendran) November 5, 2022
The aggressive/unethical business has brought #byjus on the verge of destruction. Looting innocent/poor parents seemed their core motto. Firing employees every other day or forcing them to leave shows how @BYJUS is struggling. What a pathetic company!— Partha Biswas (@1littlesoldier) November 5, 2022
So #Byjus has enough money to splurge on doing things as pointless as roping in #LionelMessi but firing people, many of whom need a job for their livelihood, is an inevitable move to minimise the company’s losses. Slow claps! https://t.co/oEJX2tSYia— Shubham Verma (@shruberma) November 4, 2022
Byju’s sacks employees
Byju Raveendran had recently apologised to the employees for the sacking of their colleagues through a mail in which he said that the step was necessary to grow sustainably.
“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. Having expanded exponentially in the past four years, it is now time for us to grow sustainably. So, we decided to define our ‘path to profitability and sustainable growth’ - and to walk on it in earnest,” the mail read.
“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. However, our rapid organic and inorganic growth has created some inefficiencies, redundancies and duplication within our organisation, that we need to rationalise to realise this. At the same time, we need to continue to realign our resources towards innovation and future-growth oriented projects.
I realise that there is a huge price to pay for walking on this path to profitability. We are having to part ways with 2500 of our colleagues to avoid role duplication across our businesses. We have always taken pride in taking care of our employees and retaining them forever. So, 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,” he had stated.
Byju’s has been tackling trouble for quite some time now. The firm had reported consolidated losses soaring up to 19.8x to Rs 4,588.7 crore versus Rs 231.6 crore in FY20. According to their results, the total income fell 3% in FY 21.