BBC Report Questions BYJU'S Meteoric Rise in India
IANS 07 December 2021
With more than six million paying users, and a 85% renewal rate, edtech unicorn BYJU's has had a glorious run in India, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic began. However, behind this meteoric rise lie customer disputes related to refunds and deficiency of services, parents being pushed into debt burden, and unsatisfied employees who were bullied with aggressive targets, the BBC reported.
Founded by Byju Raveendran in 2011, the world's highest-valued edtech start-up is funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and major private equity firms such as Tiger Global and General Atlantic.
The ongoing pandemic, which began nearly two years ago, led to closure of schools and pushed children into online classes. The sudden shift made both children and parents anxious -- presenting BYJU'S with an ideal market.
The BBC spoke to many parents, according to whom the edtech giant's promised services never materialised. This includes its one-on-one tutoring and mentor.
Moreover, the company's sales "tactics included incessant cold calls and sales pitches whose effect was to convince them that their child will be left behind if they don't buy a BYJU'S product." The disgruntled parents allege they were misled by sales agents, who would be 'least bothered' for a refund, once a sale is done.
According to education experts, the hard sales tactics gave rise to parents' insecurities and added to their debt burden, the report said.
BYJU's denied the allegations and in a statement to BBC, it said "only if the student and parent sees value in our product and develop trust do they purchase it."
Further, the BBC probed BYJU's former employees who complained of 'pushy managers', and a high-pressure sales culture that emphasised aggressive targets, all of which took a toll on their mental health.
Several employees also complained that "12-15 hour work days were a regular feature of their job, and staff who couldn't clock 120 minutes of 'talk-time' with potential customers were marked absent, resulting in loss of pay for that day."
BYJU'S, however, said that their "employee culture does not permit any misbehaviour or bad behaviour towards parents" and that "all rigorous checks and balances are in place to prevent misuse and abuse."
"All organisations have rigorous but fair sales targets and BYJU's is no exception," the firm said. They added that mindful of employees' health and comfort, they offered a robust training programme.
Meanwhile, consumer courts in India have ordered BYJU'S to pay damages to customers in disputes related to refunds and deficiency of services in at least three different cases, the report said.
The online tutoring firm also has hundreds of complaints against it in online consumer and employee forums. But, BYJU's noted that they had reached a settlement in these legal cases, and their grievance redressal rate was 98%, the report said.
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10 months ago
I am also one such parent who wanted to try their program and not able to cancel the enrollment. Attached the youtube link where sales man confirmed the cancellation process and now Byjus not responding on my request and calls.
1 year ago
See there is something beyond these quantified things like marketing and legal cases settlement ratio and biggest company in world and blah blah

Byju’s has frustrated most of the parents and students by pressuring marketing tactics with their intend to grow fast. So called “education” is not at the core of business, but only marketing, business and growth etc. This is not unnoticed by their parents now. Byju’s will have to pay heavy price for losing this credibility in the market. They do not realise it now. This kind of business is not sustainable. It will collapse and will become a case study, and same MBAs will use it to teach business lessons.

Just wait and watch
1 year ago
Indian media has been fed with Butter chicken Biryani to gag them Rise of Byju is convincing proof of failure of National and subnational Govt to meet public obligation on issue of education important infra structure for development
1 year ago
Some years back when BYJU's was still new, I had inquired.

After the demo I was bombarded with calls to subscribe.

My son was made to feel that if we do not take there services then he will get left behind in life.

They were very clear in their approach, schooling was not enough.

When I refused, I started getting calls from Bangalore.

The attitude was that if you don't take our services then you don't care about your children.

And yes, they are absolutely right that there is no misbehaving.

All they do is convince you that schooling or tuition is not enough.

If you don't take BYJU's then your child will get left behind in the rat race.

Finally, I had to call them frauds and looters so they would stop calling.

1 year ago
They're just looting the parents on the name of education, media should expose them and also the government should take some steps against them, are they waiting for some parents to suicide? or Some BDA to suicide. This should stop immediately
1 year ago
As long as parents and aspiring students believe that by going through this coaching programme they can get a medical or engineering seat this scam will go on. Once parents start realising that there is nothing wrong in their child pursuing courses other than medicine and engineering this craze will start waning. Till then it is a field day for such unrealistic and psychologically damaging schemes.
1 year ago
All the above reported matter are True and serious. Like millions of parents, I am also a victim.
Byju's going to be a biggest scam of the country if not stopped. Please raise this as much as possible.
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