Former State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Rajnish Kumar and former Infosys CFO TV Mohandas Pai will join BYJU'S newly constituted advisory council.

The council will play a pivotal role in advising and mentoring BYJU'S board and its CEO, Byju Raveendran, on crucial matters that shape the company's future, the edtech unicorn says in a statement.

"The appointment underscores BYJU'S commitment to enhancing its financial governance mechanisms and leveraging expert advice to drive sustainable growth and strategic decision-making," it says.

These appointments come weeks after BYJU's statutory auditor Deloitte Haskins & Sells quit with "immediate effect" citing a long delay in the startup's financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2022. Deloitte, which was appointed as the auditor till 2025, said it has not been able to commence the audit. Along with the auditor, BYJU'S investor board members from Prosus and Peak XV had also resigned.

The BYJU'S Advisory Council is poised to bring fresh perspectives and finance acumen to help BYJU'S maintain its position as a global leader in the ed-tech space, the startup says.

"Byju and Divya are amongst the most impressive entrepreneurs I have worked with from the startup ecosystem. Since our first contact more than a decade ago, they have built the largest edtech company globally and amongst the largest startups in India. I see in them the drive to build the group into a successful corporation, and to ensure they deliver upon their mission in this sector as a category creator and market leader. As part of the Advisory Council, I look forward to advising the leadership in evolving the systems of governance and financial reporting, as well as to grow an organisational structure that can serve as a resilient foundation for the future of the company," says Pai.

According to Kumar, with calibrated guidance from experienced advisers, BYJU'S will be able to move forward. "My discussions with Byju and Divya convinced me that they are dedicating sincere efforts to steer a course correction of the company's governance structure. They have reached out to engage with experienced professionals with a proven track record of running large corporates and with a deep understanding of governance issues. The company has achieved an impressive growth trajectory and has built significant scale in its base of revenue, operations, and global presence," says Kumar.

Last month, the Netherlands-based consumer internet giant Prosus significantly reduced the fair value of its 9.6% stake in BYJU'S to $493 million as of March 31, 2023, valuing the startup at only $5 billion. That's around 75% lower than Byju's staggering $22 billion valuation last year. Naspers-owned Prosus had pegged the value of its stake in Think & Learn Pvt Ltd, the Bengaluru-based edtech's parent, at $578 million in September 2022, valuing the company at $6 billion.

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