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Edtech Major BYJU Fires Thousands Then Hire Lionel Messi

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Edtech major BYJU‘s, in the process of laying off thousands of employees as part of his company’s restructuring, hired football star and sports icon Lionel on Friday. Messi as the global brand ambassador for its social impact arm, and the move hasn’t gone down well with either the industry or the people.



The long-term commitment, which begins as Messi embarks on his final campaign to win the World Cup as Argentina captain, will see him in campaigns promoting BYJU’s ‘Education For All’.

Abhishek Desai, founder of CricHeroes, told IANS that it sounds like the irony that on the one hand you fire people and hire Messi as your global brand ambassador.

“But I think that’s the cost that everyone pays for growing too fast. It’s not that the company doesn’t have money, but growing too fast creates a lot of redundancy in the organization. Sooner or later you have to fix that and I think that these layoffs are a result of that,” said Desai.

“Not just BYJU’s, but we’re also seeing something similar on Twitter right now, which is a publicly traded company. Until and unless we get out of this mindset, such incidents are bound to happen,” he added.

BYJU’s Founder and CEO Byju Raveendran have told employees there is a huge price to pay for walking the path to profitability and that the company will say goodbye to 5 percent or 2,500 employees to “avoid duplication of roles in our companies.”

Earlier this year, BYJU’S made history by becoming the official sponsor of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Football has approximately 3.5 billion fans worldwide and Messi has a social media following of nearly 450 million.

According to Syed Nadeem Jafri, founder and lead mentor of Hearty Mart, firing employees is part of every organizational journey.

“However, hiring Messi is to counteract the image dent that may have been created as a result of the layoff move, which looks more like a PR imaging ploy than a strategic plan behind it,” said Jafri.

In Kerala, BYJU’s earlier decision to close down had prompted 140 of its 170 employees to stop.

However, after conciliatory talks led by Prime Minister Pinarayi Vijayan with BYJUs on Wednesday, it was decided that the edtech unicorn will not cease operations on the Technopark campus here.

The company said they have decided to reconsider restructuring plans and continue the development center in the Trivandrum Technopark office.

Shrijay Sheth, founder of Legalwiz.in, told IANS that companies need to realize the value of sustainable hiring to build a long-lasting employer brand.

“What’s important here is to provide the cohort with adequate resources to find alternative opportunities and minimize their personal harm. Entrepreneurs as their core function have confidence in the overall well-being of stakeholders, including employees,” Sheth said.

One Twitter user commented: “How is this possible, he wouldn’t get that for free too for a company that is downsizing its workforce and incurring huge losses?”

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