Employees of beleaguered et-tech titan BYJU's have received their salaries for January after initial reports of delay due to liquidity issues with the company. In an emotional letter to BYJU's employees, Byju Raveendran, founder and CEO, BYJU's, says he has been moving mountains for months to make payroll, and this time, the struggle was "even bigger".

"I know you were told that you will get your salaries by Monday. Many of you wrote to me that you wouldn’t mind waiting even more because you know what I am going through. But you did not have to wait even till Monday. I have been moving mountains for months to make payroll, and this time, the struggle was even bigger to ensure that you receive what you rightfully deserve," an internal letter from the CEO to his employees reads.

Notably, the salaries of Byju's employees were delayed despite assurances that employees would receive their monthly pay by the first of every month. The delay in the salaries was attributed to an alleged conspiracy hatched by selected investors against CEO Raveendran to oust him from the company board.

"Everybody has made sacrifices, everybody has grappled with decisions they never desired to make, and everybody is a little bit weary in this battle, but nobody has chosen to give up. This is because we are proud of what we have built. When we have self-respect, we have enough," says Raveendran, once known as the poster boy of India's ed-tech space.

Two major developments took India's startup world by storm last week. BYJU'S U.S. unit, Alpha, filed for "Chapter 11" bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S.’ Delaware court. Also, some foreign lenders of BYJU'S filed an insolvency plea against the company before the National Company Law Tribunal's (NCLT) Bengaluru bench.

Raveendran says these events have certainly "shaken" him as well, but said entrepreneurs are supposed to be "stoic and steadfast".

Appreciating his company's employees for their support and slamming the investors gone rogue, Raveendran says: "It gave me renewed strength to fight for you, fight with you. To be clear, this fight is only against a few vested interests who were trying to sabotage the company by impeding the rights issue."

Investors have no voting rights: BYJU’s on CEO change calls

On the reports of a select few investors calling for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to replace founder and group CEO Byju Raveendran, BYJU's parent Think & Learn Private Ltd says the shareholder's agreement does not give them the right to vote on CEO or management change.

"TLPL will continue with the proposed $200 million rights issue after receiving encouraging responses from multiple investors. The company is gladened by the support received by a wide section of its shareholders," the company adds.

The company says the criticality of the rights issue has been shared with all shareholders, with capital being pivotal for a successful turnaround. "Unfortunately, the company and our employees are paying the price for a stand-off triggered by some investors. Business continuity is essential, and we shall prioritise this in our actions."

The company says Byju Raveendran and his leadership team have kept TLPL afloat after three investors left the company’s board last year, triggering a broader crisis. The company, along with the advisory board consisting of Rajneesh Kumar and Mohandas Pai, had formed a working group with the investors to find a constructive way forward.

As per the company, its leadership has updated the working group on all crucial matters, including ongoing business restructuring, financial position and audits. "TLPL has been turning around the business, cutting the monthly burn to near operational breakeven and working on an AI-led technological refresh soon. In context, the actions of some unnamed investors are disruptive at a highly challenging time."

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