Criticism of Top Marketing Spender Byju's Leads to LinkedIn Deleting Dr Aniruddha Malpani's Account
Moneylife Digital Team 27 July 2020
Updated on 28 July 2020 to add response from Byju's.
 
Dr Aniruddha Malpani, a doctor and an angel investor, was a prolific writer on LinkedIn on a wide range of topics covering the start-up ecosystem and lately, publishing posts critical of edtech major Byju’s work culture, business model and user experience, among others. Last week, LinkedIn deleted Dr Malpani’s account for his many posts on Byju’s, which is one of the top advertisers on the social media site.
 
In his blogpost, Dr Malpani says , “When I learned that Byju’s – the world’s most highly valued education start-up – was mis-selling its app to parents by using pressure tactics, and blaming and shaming parents into buying it, I spoke up against these malpractices. I was hopeful that Byju would respond to this feedback and fix their broken processes. They had a chance to engage on LinkedIn and show the world how they had improved.”
 
 
Dr Malpani’s posts levelled various allegations against Byju’s, including its work culture and its product He says, “They (Byju’s) taught their sales-people to mis-sell by blaming and shaming parents, who are vulnerable. They exploited their ignorance by bad-mouthing schools and teachers, and warning them that their kids would be left behind in the competition if they did not buy the Byju’s apps. They locked them into multi-year subscriptions by offering discounts for payments made using EMIs through a third-party financer, and once parents had signed these contracts, they were stuck and could not cancel.”
 
He alleged that “They complained to LinkedIn, claiming my posts defamatory – even though they knew the posts were completely true, and in turn LinkedIn permanently deleted my account, without giving me a chance to be heard, or to appeal!”
 
“I acted as a responsible citizen. I spoke the truth, in the hope that Byju’s would use this opportunity to get their act together. And the result was that 10 years of my hard work and the 1,80,000 followers which I had built up, one at a time, have been taken away from me! Not only have I lost the decade of hard work I put into generating original content on LinkedIn, I have I lost my connections with all of you, who helped me to learn so much by engaging in debate with me,” Dr Malpani says.
 
As per a report from Entrackr , this is not the first time LinkedIn has taken action against Dr Malpani’s account. His account was previously suspended in May but was reinstated after two weeks. “At that time, LinkedIn said that I have been posting a lot about Coronavirus and these posts do not fall in line with WHO guidelines,” Dr Malpani told the website.
 
Byju’s did not offer a comment for the story to Entrackr. 
 
Responding to Entrackr’s detailed questionnaire, the Microsoft-owned platform had said “LinkedIn is committed to keeping our platform safe, trusted and professional. We have clear terms of service and professional community policies that we expect all of our members to adhere to. We can confirm that this account has been restricted and cannot comment further on member accounts due to our privacy policy.”
 
UPDATE:
In an email to Moneylife, Byju's claimed that it is not a top spender on LinkedIn.
Comments
Rharlalka
1 year ago
I do not think the company expressly denied the allegation and confirm that their reps do not use pressure tactics as alleged. their stand is generalising it as defamatory. if they feel doctor is wrong they should use the legal route as it will definitely enhance their credibility and not by muting the allegation. also the company just officially announce if any customer feels they have been pressurised or tricked or forced sell they can cancel the subscription and take refund
AJ_AJ
1 year ago
I believe another website detailed all of the atrocities going on at Byju's, as well as the specific tactics used by their sales team (might have been The Ken?)...Also there was recently an audio leak on Reddit's India subreddit between a sales rep and his supervisor that laid bare this pressure, obscenities and all...
chandraprabhavenkatagiri
1 year ago
1. I am saddened at the turn of events - Linked In could have blocked his post instead of deleting his account.

2. Byjus used to offer starting salaries in the range of Rs 8 to Rs 10 lakhs for freshers. I used to wonder how...I am pained that new age entrepreneurs are engendering governace leakages through such practices that are likely to be labelled as unethical.

3. I feel LinkedIn may be suffering from an identity crisis of sorts - yes, i agree with one of the comments that most of the job postings are not genuine. Now it is scary to think what if our personal data gets compromised. If I am not mistaken, it was supposed to be a professional networking tool - but today it is anything but that.

4. Lastly, let us remember the cardinal rule of "Buyer Beware" (Caveat Emptor). Rather than blaming service providers, a bit of caution on our side will do us good in the long run. Very disappointed to note that aggressive selling tactics were adapted. Hope better sense prevails. For a(ny) business, reputational damage is not easy to fight.
saturn.frost
1 year ago
Well sometimes what you sow is what you get back. Mr.Malpani is known for blocking many followers just because they dont agree with him...if individual has so little maturity of not respecting differences..what does he expect back! Second creating awareness is something different...but bad mouthing about product and then work culture etc etc sounds like he had a personal agenda...and if it is true that if Byju has assures him changes he was lucky cause many of them sont even bodher about any negative comments....even after that if he kept ranting...its fishy ...what was his agenda is something to think about!
guptapankaj22
Replied to saturn.frost comment 1 year ago
how do u know that BYJU s assured the doctor of changes ? this is not mentioned anywhere in the article. Seems like you are privy to byju network..
Vishnuvardhan09
Replied to guptapankaj22 comment 1 year ago
If you go through the LinkedIn account of the CPO of Byju's , you would find a public response to the doctor .
MDT
1 year ago
We are finding several 'orchestrated' comments on this article. We request these people to refrain from posting such comments. After a while we will either block such attacks or file a cyber complaint after studying IPs through our tech team!
Sanjeev B
1 year ago
Nine one-line comments against Malpani in the last two hours! How recent are these profiles? MoneyLife please check if these are genuine, or are they a paid response to your article.
gurjartanay
Replied to Sanjeev B comment 1 year ago
Valid point.....all these profiles look like the IT cell of Byjus scanning the internet to post vile comments against their critics
sucheta
Replied to Sanjeev B comment 1 year ago
Yes. we are checking. This looks like a concerted action by a social media team to bad mouth Dr Malpani. It does nothing to enhance Byju's credibility and none of them address issues raised by the doctor!
AJ_AJ
Replied to sucheta comment 1 year ago
Might be useful to add a little more detail about posters, such a posting frequency or something...
prime
Replied to sucheta comment 1 year ago
Thanks Ms Dalal! - great to see prompt action from the MoneyLife Digital Team on this. Freedoms and facts need to be constantly protected.
retinajosep77
1 year ago
The Byju’s CPO himself had acknowledged issues and promised to work on them but Malpani had other plans, He went on with a barrage of tweets which was pretty much spam.
guptapankaj22
Replied to retinajosep77 comment 1 year ago
how do you know that BYJUs CPO himself had acknowledged issues ? article doesn't mention it. spamming ??????
patsharma21
Replied to guptapankaj22 comment 1 year ago
You can check in LinkedIn , Even after giving a resolution Malpani didn't stop his criticism. He started speaking about content . He is targeting Byju's
modifiedtamilan
1 year ago
Every LinkedIn user is entitled to report what they deem worthy of reporting . In the end it is LinkedIn who makes the decision.
charankooomar
1 year ago
For a senior investor like him , did he forget the difference between constructive criticism and bullying
kumarsaran532
1 year ago
He is so naive to think that only Byju's would've reported his LinkedIn account.
angurajvkm
1 year ago
Doctor says he acted as a responsible citizen , what was he thinking when he advocated herd immunity ?
deepikasesha
1 year ago
LinkedIn is a professional community and malpani was everything other than being professional.
patsharma21
Replied to deepikasesha comment 1 year ago
True
manuja765
1 year ago
It serves him right considering he was so rude to people who spoke contrary to his opinion.
Govindaswamy Naidu
1 year ago
He was just playing jury and judge on a professional platform while his sycophants danced to the tune of their master.
harigang1
1 year ago
Misinformation seems to be Mr. Malpani's forte considering he was already suspended for calling covid-19 a "joke" .
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