When any theory is presented in the public domain, it remains a theory until backed by factual data or reality. Similarly, any opinion or editorial written in the public domain remains ineffective and useless until it does not present the reality of the story. The opinion is written with the purpose to apprise people of the truth about any story. It not only reminds the public but also enforcement agencies to look for any discrepancies or misdeeds happening in society. Opinion makers through media organisations make the fourth pillar of democracy and help a democracy sustain itself. That’s what we do. We present the truth with blunt facts and speak for the public at large. We give voice to the voiceless by taking up the issues that are ignored by mainstream media and matter the most to the public at large.
BYJU Co-founder’s Rant Against TFI
Divya Gokulnath, the Co-founder of BYJU’s, wrote a long post on LinkedIn against the media coverage of her company’s financial conditions. Comparing her company’s financial results with the movie Brahamstra, she said that the second blockbuster release of this year, after Brahmastra, was Byju’s financial results. She said, “..I have not seen Brahmastra yet, but I do happen to know Byju’s results. Because, as its Director, I was involved in its making.”
Targeting tfipost’s article against her company’s financial health, she further wrote, “Whether or not you have seen the Bollywood blockbuster, I am sure you would have ‘seen’ our results. But have you seen the complete picture? Because just like movie reviews, sensationalism results in more clicks than truth in this age of 280-character reading attention spans”.
“I have never had any problems with the stories written about us. In fact, the content of most of the reports on our results is positive. But some of the headlines are another matter. It’s easy for forget that we are 18 months post FY21, and that BYJU’S has grown more than 4 times in this span. Or that our ‘widening losses’ in FY21 have been cut to half in FY22,” she added.
After sharing five favourable headlines of Articles published against her company, she posted a screenshot of our article and morphed the headline.
Here Byjus's co-founder tried to play a trick. Sharing favorable article's headlines, she declared that #byjus's is the second blockbuster after #Brahamastra . But, sharing morphed screenshot of unfavorable article written by me, she tried to downplay her company's misdeeds. pic.twitter.com/CHmeMIkDa3
— Rahul Gupta (@rahul0948) September 20, 2022
Finally, explaining about his post, she wrote in the end, “You may ask why bother about such headlines in this annus horribilis of startups? Because I owe it to our 50,000 family members and 150 million plus students. Let’s judge Brahmastra and BYJU’s after seeing the entire picture.”
An Attempt to Downplay Her Company’s Misdeeds?
Like Brahamstra, her claim about the company is also a fraud. Let me explain how. In the totality of the post, to justify her claim that her company is doing good, she gave an unverified vague number of Rs 10,000 crore revenue in the financial year 2022. But they have not presented any verified data to claim those numbers.
Further, in the auditing mechanism, its official audit firm Deloitte Haskins & Sells abuses GAAP (Generally accepted accounting principles) principles by front-loading multiple years of recurring revenue to boost its numbers.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention their auditor Deloitte screwed them for shameless abuse of GAAP principles by front-loading multiple years of recurring revenue to pump their numbers. Everyone in the industry knows you don't do this.
Scammy business all round.
— Deedy (@debarghya_das) September 20, 2022
The interest paid by BYJU’s to its partner finance companies, who provide loans to customers to buy courses, has been accounted for under revenue and not in finance costs. They say that the interest is in the nature of payments to customers. In a way, taking benefit of the loophole in the system, they change the rules to readjust the revenue in positive terms.
After 18 months of delays, BYJU’s submitted its mandated financial statements and annual returns for the financial year 2020-21. In its statement, BYJU’s stated that it had earned Rs 2,428 crore in revenues and incurred a loss of Rs 4,588 crore in financial years 2020-21. The loss is reportedly 15 times higher than 2019-20. As of 2019-20, the education technology company had incurred a loss of Rs 300 crore.
Her claim relied wholly on the Rs 10,000 crore revenue generation. The numbers she claims would be cleared when BYJU’s files this year’s financial statements. Even if the numbers she claims are true, it does not mean that company is incurring profits.
Who will bear the losses?
As we have highlighted, BYJU’s unreasonable buyouts are affecting the financial conditions of the company. Either they have acquired the other start-ups with funding money or they are still to pay for their buyouts.
In March, BYJU’s had announced that it had raised USD 800 million through a venture. Of these, Sumeru Venture and Oxshott were to provide USD 250 million. But reports suggest that they are yet to fulfil those commitments. Further, the EdTech giant has still not paid USD 180 million for Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) to Blackstone.
Reports also suggest that the company’s sales managers are also resorting to unethical business policies while selling the product. To boost the sale, the company’s management is pushing to follow unethical manipulative means.
— Anmol (@anmolm_) August 29, 2022
It is obvious that if you incur huge debt without any profits, then you go to any extent to sell the product. That’s what has happened to BYJU’s. The revenue collection of Rs 10,000 crore does not matter when the same has come from poor families. You are nothing but a modern money lender, who is pushing the poor in the recurring effect of debt and interests. Luring poor parents and forcing them to buy your costly courses by manipulative means is wrong at every step.
So, rather than cursing the negative headlines, the company’s co-founder should look around the company that has made education a corporate business. Providing education is a public service not a business in this country. BYJU’s, which has the capacity to revolutionise education, has become a complete sham business.
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