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Bengaluru: New troubles at Indian edtech startup Byju’s this week have raised fears among employees whose future was already uncertain after several layoffs, dozens of current and former employees say official told Reuters.

Deloitte auditors and three prominent board members severed ties with the Bengaluru-based company on Thursday, raising further questions about the once-high-profile company’s financial health and governance practices.

Byju’s has already laid off thousands of employees this year, citing slowing demand, and has been embroiled in a legal battle with lenders despite having its valuation cut by at least one major investor. , facing regulatory scrutiny.

“Morale has never been lower. Literally everyone has a job portal open all the time on their laptops. I think,” said Byju’s senior manager on condition of anonymity.

“Now the situation is very dire and my subordinates are sitting with their bosses looking for jobs.”

All employees, who requested anonymity, said they had not received a memo about the departures of audit firm Deloitte and board members.

A Byju spokeswoman did not respond to Reuters questions about employee morale, lack of communication from management and other issues raised by employees.

Byju’s initially denied leaving the board, but later confirmed in a statement that a “small number” of investors had vacated the board.

“Everything has been eerily quiet so far,” said the manager, adding that lack of communication from company management is increasing employee anxiety.

The edtech company, which was valued at about $22 billion early last year, has sold several shares since October to cut costs as demand for online tutoring declined after the COVID-19 pandemic ended. Laid off 1,000 employees.

Two employees who spoke to Reuters said performance incentives, bonuses and appraisals had stalled amid the turmoil.

“The general view is that the company is struggling,” said one analyst at the company. “Almost 90 percent, myself included, are waiting for a performance review, but it hasn’t happened yet.”

One former employee, citing a conversation with a manager who is still at Byju’s, said, “The top leaders haven’t been in regular contact for about four to six weeks, so many people are unsure about their future. I am worried about,” he said.

Another source who retired from Byju’s last month said, “People are counting layoffs in anticipation every day. It may be safe today, it may not be safe tomorrow. No one works there anymore by their own choice.” No one is doing it, but it’s either because of financial commitments or because they’ve done the work.” I haven’t found another job yet. ”

Deloitte declined to comment further on Friday about its dissolution with Byju’s, and board members did not respond to calls or were unable to be reached. Byju staff say morale is down amid turmoil at Indian edtech firms

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