Byju's Founder Defends Messi Hiring, Says Decision Was Taken Six Months Ago
He said the announcement just happened to coincide with the layoffs and the decision was taken six months ago.
Edtech major Byju's expects to register a threefold growth in revenue and losses to be halved in financial year 2022, according to founder Byju Raveendran.
Byju's Founder and Chief Executive Officer Byju Raveendran, at a startup event on Friday, also defended roping in football star Lionel Messi as its global ambassador amid job cuts at the company, saying the decision was taken six months ago.
Addressing a gathering of entrepreneurs and investors at Tech Sparks 2022, Raveendran said that the company with over 150 million learners, is "well on its path to profitability as it expects revenue growth of 3 times and losses to be more than halved in FY22," as per an excerpt of the event shared by Byju's with PTI.
Byju's had booked a loss of Rs 4,588 crore and revenue of Rs 2,428 crore for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021.
Byju's co-founder Divya Gokulnath had announced laying off around 2,500 people from the company as it chalks out a path to profitability by March 2023 and hires 10,000 more teachers in the coming year, adding to its current strength of 20,000 teachers.
Raveendran said India deserves more than 75,000 startups and he sees potential for a million entrepreneurs in the country.
He further espoused that if each of these million startups employs only 100 people, there will be 100 million new jobs in India.
"When pressed on the current environment around the company, Byju alluded that 261 of the company's 300 founding employees are still with the company and are committed to the mission of Byju's."
He further stated that four of five integrations, aka acquisitions, are seamlessly done and performing well. Aakash, since its integration with Byju's, has grown three times.
On hiring Messi as its global brand ambassador, he said the announcement just happened to coincide with the layoffs and the decision was taken six months ago.
"It is foolish to even think that one can hire Messi in 5-7 days. The decision to bring Messi on board was taken 6 months ago and that the announcement could not have been delayed, owing to the World Cup window and rules."
"Messi would not be allowed to make any brand announcements while the World Cup is underway. It's a mere coincidence that both the news, rationalisation and Messi onboarding coincided," he said.