“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you survived,” co-founder and CEO Byju Raveendran said to Byju’s employees in a year-end internal email, reflecting on a year during which the edtech giant was embroiled in some major controversies.
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“You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about,” wrote Raveendran, according to Mint. The entrepreneur, 42, was quoting a passage from the novel Kafka on the Shore, authored by Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami.
The mail came just days after Byju’s vehemently denied allegations it purchased databases of its students. In November, it signed Argentine football legend Lionel Messi as its maiden global ambassador. The move, however, attracted criticism as the edtech firm had announced, just days before this, it will slash its 50,000-strong workforce by 5%, by March 2023, to lower costs.
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On Messi, who recently became world champion for the first time in his glittering career, leading Argentina to its third world title and the first since 1986, Raveendran wrote that the decision to rope in the footballer ‘worked out well’ for the 35-year-old.
“A little bit of faith at every step, and a lifetime of learning – this is the not-so-secret formula of his (Messi’s) success. There’s a lot for us to learn from him and we’re privileged to be able to,” he stated.
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Letting go of employees was the ‘most painful’ decision of his life, according to the Kerala native, who, however, defended the call, saying it was necessary due to the ‘current macroeconomic climate and the integration of the company’s acquired business.’