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Mohandas Pai, former SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar to leave troubled Byju's advisory council

Vivek Vishwakarma
New Update
Mohandas Pai Rajnish Kumar to leave Byju's advisory council

Rajnish Kumar, former chairman of the State Bank of India, and T.V. Mohandas Pai, former Infosys chief financial officer (CFO), have decided not to renew their contracts with Byju’s advisory council.

They both joined the advisory council in July of last year to help the troubled edtech startup navigate its growing challenges

“Rajnish Kumar and Mohandas Pai have provided invaluable support in the past year. The ongoing litigations by a few foreign investors have delayed our plans, but their advice will be relied upon in the ongoing rebuild, which I am personally leading," CEO Byju Raveendran said.

Why are Kumar and Pai leaving Byju’s?


Byju's said that Rajnish Kumar and Mohandas Pai have mutually decided not to renew their contractual agreements, which are set to end on June 30, 2024.

While Byju's didn't mention the reason behind Pai and Kumar's move, a media report claimed that the multiple lawsuits against the company in both India and the US were the primary reason for their departure.

However, Pai and Kumar said the founders and Byju's can always "approach us for any advice."

What was the role of the advisory council?

The advisory panel, which was established to calm investor concerns, had a three-pronged focus: ensuring financial transparency, rebuilding the team, and improving communication with shareholders.

Despite initial progress, the company became entangled in various litigations, hindering its plans.

The advisory board also aimed to expand the board and alter the composition of the board committee. 

What does their departure mean for Byju’s?

Kumar and Pai's departure is a significant blow to Byju’s, which has already seen several high-profile exits from its board, including GV Ravishankar of Peak XV Partners, Vivian Wu of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Russell Dreisenstock of Prosus, due to poor corporate governance.

Deloitte, the company’s statutory auditor, also resigned over delays in financial disclosures. Amid these exits, Byju’s has faced insolvency proceedings and laid off thousands of employees. The company’s valuation has plummeted from $22 billion in 2022 to $1 billion, according to Blackrock.