After post-Covid tremors at Unacademy and BYJU’s-owned WhiteHat Jr, it is now the turn of another edtech major Vedantu which is laying off nearly 200 employees, as the heat grows on the edtech industry that is struggling to sustain their business model amid the “hybrid normal”.
In a statement to IANS, Vedantu which is a pioneer in live online learning in the country, said on Thursday that from over 6,000 employees, 120 contractors and 80 full-time academics or assistant teachers (3.5 per cent of its total workforce) were being “re-evaluated”.
“We have an annual contract with them, and at the beginning of every academic year, we follow a process of load rebalancing where we rejig pertaining to these roles, based on our growth expectations,” said the company.
The edtech industry in the country is going through a churning as India reopens amid “hybrid normal” and schools and colleges are now 100 per cent open.
Edtech platforms are seeing a significant dip in the demand for online learning and some of such firms have either shut shops or fired employees in recent days.
Edtech platform Unacademy recently laid off nearly 600 employees, contractual workers and educators — about 10 per cent of its 6,000-strong workforce across the group.
Sources close to the company told IANS last month that WhiteHat Jr asked its nearly 3,000 sales and support employees to report to either Mumbai or Gurugram (out of its 5,000-strong workforce that includes teachers which are on contractual-basis hence not full-time employees), from April 18, forcing most of them to tender their resignations.
WhiteHat Jr has also shut its schools division that last year targeted to take its flagship coding curriculum to 10 lakh school students by the next academic year.
According to Vedantu, “reassessment cannot be done in the middle of the year as the learning experience and continuity of the teachers throughout the year is our first priority”.
“With more technology intervention, restructuring of the class format, and changes in the categories, we relook at these roles of our academics and assistant teachers,” said the edtech platform.
“As we synchronise our growth goals for this year, we are also hiring more than 1,000 employees in various teams including more than 100 for similar positions,” a company spokesperson told IANS.
Currently, more than 10 lakh students attend live classes every month on Vedantu, which has more than 35 million monthly users from over 10,000 cities and more than 50 countries access free content, tests, doubts, videos on Vedantu’s platform and its channels on YouTube.
Earlier, in a nightmare for nearly 1,000 employees, homegrown edtech startup Lido Learning which is backed by top entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala, shut operations in February this year, forcing its workforce to seek help via social media platforms.
Reports surfaced last year about BYJU’s acquiring Vedantu for around $600-$700 million — a deal that never materialised.