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NL Interview: Pradip Saha on how Byju’s lost students, investor confidence, ‘abused’ staff

The company’s valuation slumped from $22 billion to $1 billion between March 2022 and January 2024.

WrittenBy:Shivnarayan Rajpurohit
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Byju’s, which led India’s edtech wave, has been on a downward spiral. Its losses more than doubled to Rs 8,245 crore in FY 2022. The valuation slumped from $22 billion to $1 billion between March 2022 and January 2024. Its employee strength plunged from a peak of over 58,000 to about 12,000.  

So, how did this decline begin? Morning Context co-founder Pradip K Saha, who has been tracking the edtech sector since 2020, explains what went wrong at the company in his maiden book The Learning Trap: How Byju’s took Indian edtech for a ride

In a conversation with Shivnarayan Rajpurohit, the journalist tells how the company led by Byju Raveendran hit its peak within 15 years and then slumped as it “pursued growth at all cost”.  “It ran without any checks and balances,” says Saha. “Byju’s is a beautiful opportunity, which has been squandered.”  

Should it discourage other edtech firms? “Not at all.” says Saha. He adds that the only lesson to learn is about how not to do business, and talks about how Byju's lost the confidence of students, investors, and its employees. 

Saha says “there is abuse and harassment of employees at every level” and also throws light on two “phantom investors,” linked to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who pledged to invest in the edtech firm.

Watch.

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