Byju's Abandons Almost All Offices, Enforces Remote Work Nationwide

Byju's, the edtech already grappling with financial challenges and leadership discord, has mandated remote work for its employees and abandoned nearly all its offices nationwide. The restructuring exercise is designed to reduce overhead costs. Read on!

Swati Dayal
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In a sweeping move to address its impending financial challenges, Byju's, the embattled edtech giant, has instructed all its employees to work from home immediately. The company has also taken the unprecedented step of vacating all its offices across India, except for its headquarters located at IBC, Knowledge Park in Bengaluru.

Byju’s Spokesperson told TICE News that the decision to transition to a remote work model is a part of restructuring exercise flagged by CEO last year to cut overhead costs.

Byju's India CEO, Arjun Mohan, played a pivotal role in formulating this strategic move, which is perceived as part of a broader restructuring plan.

Selective Office Operations in Bengaluru

While most employees are now required to work remotely, the headquarters in Bengaluru, specifically IBC, Knowledge Park, and approximately 300 Byju's tuition centers across the country will remain operational. This selective approach to office usage is designed to strike a balance between cost-cutting measures and maintaining essential in-person operations.

Byju’s Spokesperson told TICE News, “Over the past 6-8 months, Byju's regional offices were gradually winding down. However, the headquarters is still operational, spanning three floors, along with approximately 300 Byju's Tuition Centers (BTCs). Contrary to the perception that all employees are working from home, this is not entirely accurate. The current step to vacate offices and adopt a remote work policy is a strategic move aligned with the restructuring exercise flagged by the CEO last year, aimed at reducing overhead costs.”

Financial Woes and Legal Battles

Byju's has been grappling with financial challenges, including cash-flow issues and a dispute with creditors over a USD 1.2 billion loan. The edtech company has witnessed a staggering decline in valuation, estimated at around 90 percent over the past year, once valued at over USD 20 billion.

The company's recent legal battles have further exacerbated its situation. Byju's has been entangled in a dispute with investors regarding the legitimacy of funds raised from a recently completed rights issue offering. This legal tussle has led to a series of crises, including layoffs, salary defaults, and internal power struggles.

Leadership Turmoil and Investor Discord

Byju Raveendran, the founder and former CEO, has faced a loss of support from key investors, leading to significant leadership turmoil. A recent extraordinary general meeting (EGM) saw major stakeholders voting to remove Raveendran from his position as CEO. However, Raveendran contests the validity of this decision, alleging that it was passed during a meeting attended by only a "small cohort of select shareholders."

This comes on the heels of crises such as the resignation of auditor Deloitte over concerns regarding corporate governance and a legal dispute with lenders in the United States.

Acknowledgment of Financial Struggles

In a communication to the staff, Raveendran acknowledged the firm's financial struggles, citing the inability to process February salaries due to funding being blocked by investors. Byju's released a partial payment of salaries on Sunday and promised to disburse the remaining amount once it gains access to the funds from the recently closed rights issue.

A Drastic Measure to Secure Future Viability

Byju's move to vacate its offices and implement a comprehensive remote work policy underscores the severity of its financial challenges. As the company navigates legal battles, internal disputes, and a steep decline in valuation, the decision to cut costs by abandoning physical offices serves as a drastic measure to ensure the future viability of once one of India's leading edtech companies.

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