Byju’s-owned coaching institute Aakash Institute has appointed Deepak Mehrotra as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Office.

Mehrotra has over 35 years of experience in executive roles across sectors such as telecom education, FMCG and others. Prior to joining Aakash, he was the MD at Ashirvad Pipes and has also worked at Pearson India, Bharti Airtel, Coca-Cola, and Asian Paints.

This comes nearly seven months after the position fell vacant when the former CEO and CFO of Aakash called it quits last September.

The embattled edtech major had acquired Aakash in April 2021 in an equity and cash deal. The deal had a 70 per cent cash component and 30 per cent equity component, which means that promoters of Aakash and private equity firm Blackstone, which holds about 12 per cent in the company, would have got shares of Byju’s parent Think & Learn.

In September 2023, the CEO Abhishek Maheshwari and CFO Vipan Joshi resigned amid a shareholder tussle as Byju’s negotiated an equity swap for the Aakash deal with the Chaudhry family and Blackstone.

businessline reported that Ranjan Pai, the chairman of Manipal group, owns 40 per cent in Aakash and has pumped in additional capital for daily operations as well. Pai is the largest investor in Aakash Institute.

The joining of Mehrotra is joining Aakash at a time when the parent entity Byju’s is facing financial strain with the company unable to afford salaries and regular operations. Byju’s has also run into a series of troubles with its stakeholders, including its board, investors, employees and Board of Control for Cricket in India and the Enforcement Directorate.

Recently, Pai has moved the Singapore arbitration council (Singapore International Arbitration Centre) over a $42-million loan sanctioned to Think and Learn. Pai played a key role in resolving Davidson Kempner debt issue for Raveendran last year.