BYJU's brick-and-mortar unit Aakash Educational Services Ltd (AESL) has appointed Deepak Mehrotra as its Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The current appointment comes amid a crisis at flagship BYJU's, where founders are at loggerheads with four key foreign investors.

AESL, in a statement, says Deepak Mehrotra has a proven track record in the FMCG, telecom, and education industries. "With over 35 years of experience in executive roles, he brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to drive AESL's vision forward and capitalise on emerging opportunities in the education sector."

Byju Raveendran, founder & chairman, BYJU's, says in his role as CEO, Mehrotra will be responsible for delivering on the company's aggressive growth plan and building on the significant momentum the company is currently experiencing. "His business acumen and stellar record as the MD for Pearson India will be pivotal in leading Aakash BYJU'S into its next phase of growth and impact.”

Before joining AESL, he was the MD at Ashirvad Pipes. He has also worked at Pearson India, Bharti Airtel, Coca-Cola, and Asian Paints.

Deepak has a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Roorkee, an MMS from JBIMS, and has completed an Executive program from The Wharton School, Philadelphia (USA).

Mehrotra emphasises the importance of leveraging technology and modern teaching methodologies to enhance the learning experience for students. “...look forward to working closely with the talented team to deliver quality education and empower students to achieve their full potential,” says Mehrotra.

As per the company, Deepak Mehrotra's appointment is part of AESL's strategic vision to enhance its offerings, expand its reach, and create a positive impact on the education landscape.

AESL is a major coaching solutions provider for students preparing for medical and engineering entrance examinations, school/board exams, and competitive exams such as NTSE, KVPY, and olympiads. It has a network of over 310 Aakash centres, including franchisees, and a student count of more than 400,000.

Meanwhile, at the flagship firm BYJU's, all is not well. Amid a severe cash crunch in the wake of restrictions on the release of funds raised via a rights issue, ed-tech major BYJU's recently initiated a layoff exercise to cut costs and manage expenses. The company termed the layoff exercise as "business restructuring", which is being done to reduce the cost base and better cash flow. BYJU's has not revealed official information regarding the number of employees handed over the pink slips, though reports suggest it could be anywhere between 100-500. The company employs around 14,000 employees in India alone.

In another communication, BYJU’s told its employees that it won't be able to pay March salaries on time due to "restrictions" on the funds raised through its recent rights issue. It had failed to pay full salaries to most of its staff in February 2024 as well. The Bengaluru-based company has blamed a few of its "misguided foreign investors" for causing problems.

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