With an increased focus on profitability, edtech major BYJU’S will layoff 2,500 employees as it merges four acquired companies, including Toppr, Meritnation, TutorVista, Scholar, and HashLearn.
All four companies cater to the K10 customer segment and will now be consolidated as one business unit. However, Aakash and Great Learning will continue to function as separate organisations. “To avoid redundancies and duplication of roles, and by leveraging technology better, around 5 per cent of BYJU’S 50,000 workforce is expected to be rationalised across product, content, media, and technology teams in a phased manner,” the company said in a statement.
In June, Byju’s said that it had laid off around 500 people across Whitehat Jr. and Toppr in an attempt to recalibrate its business priorities and accelerate its long-term growth. Later in September, Byju’s reported a 20X jump in its losses in FY21. The company’s gross revenue came in at ₹2,428 crore and its losses ballooned to ₹4,588 crore, almost 20 times the ₹231-crore loss it reported in FY20. The jump in losses was attributed to certain changes in the company’s revenue recognition.
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For FY22, the company said its gross unaudited revenue is close to ₹10,000 crore and is now projecting to do ₹15,000 crore revenue in FY23 along with better margins. Its group companies, Aakash and Great Learning, are said to have doubled their revenues since the acquisition.
Earlier this year, BYJU’S launched its hybrid learning offering, BYJU’S Tuition Centre, which now has 200+ active centres across India. The company aims to scale it up to 500 centres by the end of this year. BYJU’S has 150+ million learners accessing its products and services in 120+ countries.
Achieve Profitability by March 2023
Mrinal Mohit, CEO, BYJU’S India business, said that as a mature organisation, BYJU’S takes its responsibility towards investors and stakeholders seriously and aims to ensure sustainable growth alongside strong revenue growth. “These measures will help us achieve profitability in the defined time frame of March 2023,” he added.
BYJU’S added that at a group level, it will continue to hire across all levels and will end this financial year as a net hirer. It plans to hire a total of 10,000 more teachers in the coming year, adding to its current strength of 20,000 teachers. The company is also expanding its teams along with hiring senior leadership to further build operational strength.
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There will also be retargeting of the marketing budget toward more efficient growth. “Since significant brand awareness has been created in India over the past few years, there is a scope to optimise marketing budgets locally and prioritise spending to increase brand awareness in overseas markets,” the edtech decacorn added.
Byju’s is also reinventing its sales model to focus more on inside sales by using video calling platforms, which in turn will enhance the customer experience and reduce operational costs. Multiple inside sales hubs will now be created across India from where Byju’s sales associates will reach out to incoming leads through calls, email, and Zoom meetings. Inside sales are expected to lower company costs.
“These moves are expected to result in sizable savings with no impact on growth. None of these measures will have any impact on our revenue run rate,” Mohit added.
As the start-up ecosystem faces a funding slowdown, many start-ups across the globe have laid off employees, cut down on operational costs, and turned their focus toward profitability. In India, K12-focused edtech companies have seen a particularly high impact of this trend, with majors like Vedantu, Unacademy, and BYJU’S laying off hundreds of employees.