Byju’s staff say morale waning amid turmoil amid layoffs at edtech firm

More than a dozen current and former employees told Reuters that new problems at Indian education technology startup Byju this week had heightened concerns among employees who were already uncertain about their future after several rounds of layoffs.

Deloitte’s auditor and three senior members of the board severed ties with the Bengaluru-based company on Thursday, raising more questions about the once firm’s financial health and governance practices.

Byju has already laid off several thousand employees this year due to slowing demand and is locked in a legal battle with its lenders and facing regulatory scrutiny, even as it has been downgraded by at least one investor.

“Morale is at an all-time low. Literally everyone has their work gate open on their laptop at all times. Everyone desperately wants to leave before they’re told to pack up for the night,” said a senior manager at Byju’s who asked not to be identified.

“Currently, the situation is very bleak. The subordinates are sitting with their managers and looking for work.”

Several employees, who all asked not to be named, said they had not received any memos about the exits of Deloitte’s auditor and board members.

A Byju spokesperson did not respond to Reuters inquiries about employee morale, lack of communication from management or other issues raised by employees.

After initially rejecting the board’s exit, Byju confirmed late Friday in a statement that a “small number” of investors had vacated board seats.

“It’s been eerily quiet so far,” the manager said, adding that a lack of communication from company leadership heightened employee concerns.

The education technology company, valued at about $22 billion early last year, has laid off thousands of employees since October to cut costs, after seeing demand for online tutoring drop after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two of the employees who spoke to Reuters said performance incentives, bonuses and evaluations had stopped amid the unrest.

“The general feeling is that the company is suffering,” said one analyst at the company. “Nearly 90% of us, myself included, are waiting for a performance review that never happened.”

Citing conversations with managers still in Byju, a former employee said many are “insecure about their future, because senior leaders have not been in regular contact with them for about four to six weeks”.

Another source, who left Peugeot last month, said: “People are counting every day expecting layoffs, today I may be safe, tomorrow I may not. No one works there of their own choosing anymore, but because of financial obligations, or because they haven’t yet found a job.” other.”

Deloitte declined on Friday to comment further on the severance of ties with Byju, and the board members either did not respond to phone calls or were unreachable.

(Only the title and image for this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard team; the rest of the content is generated automatically from a shared feed.)