“Please Help Me”: Distraught Byju’s Employee Breaks Down In Tears

“Please Help Me”: Distraught Byju’s Employee Breaks Down In Tears

28th July 2023 0 By Chanditiya Chakravarthy
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An employee of Byju’s claimed in an emotional video posted to LinkedIn that the edtech company had been pressuring her to resign.

There seems to be no end in sight for the troubles EdTech company Byju’s is facing. From raids to massive layoffs, this once high-flying tutoring start-up has been in crisis mode for months.

Now an employee of Byju’s, marked for layoff, has shared her experience with the company in a tearful video posted on LinkedIn. In the video, she is seen asking for help from the government and blaming the company for committing fraud against employees and customers.

Akansha Khemka, working as an Academic Specialist at Byju’s for the last one and a half years, said she is the sole breadwinner of the house, and Byju’s has not released all her dues.

“They haven’t paid my variables and the encashment of my earned leaves. They sent me a letter asking me to resign immediately,” she said.

“I am the only earning member in the family, my husband is unwell and I have loans to repay. How will I survive if they don’t release my salary?” said a tearful Akansha.

“I request that our government please help me and other employees escape this toxic work culture. Byju’s is committing fraud from all sides, including employees and customers,” she wrote in the caption.

The video comes two days after news of Byju’s founder Byju Raveendran breaking down in tears due to crises faced by the company came out in public.

Mr Raveendran has faced crises for months. Apart from the raid by financial crime-fighting agency, the once high-flying tutoring start-up failed to file its financial accounts on time. Several US-based investors have accused Byju’s of hiding half a billion dollars, prompting lawsuits.

Mr Raveendran’s rise from a private tutor to the leader of a $22 billion company captivated global investors, including Sequoia Capital, Blackstone Inc, and Mark Zuckerberg’s foundation. During the pandemic, he cornered a majority of the EdTech market in India.

But after classrooms reopened, concerns about Byju’s finances pricked at the firm’s reputation. Investors questioned why Raveendran delayed hiring a chief financial officer for years and acquired more than a dozen companies across the world at break-neck speed. Scores of employees have either left or been fired. Board members have resigned. And many teaching centres are nearly empty.

Mr Raveendran’s supporters attribute his missteps to the enthusiasm and naivete of an inexperienced founder who grew too quickly. But critics say he acted recklessly by withholding information about finances and failing to rigorously audit accounts. In India’s start-up world, many see Byju’s as the highest-profile example of what happens when a business scales one of the fastest-growing economies during a boom but fails to plan for a bust.

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