800 WhiteHat Jr employees resign on being called to office

New Delhi: 

A horde of resignations fell into the lap of the coding startup WhiteHatJr in the last 60 days following an order post-acquisition by the EdTech giant BYJU’s asking all its employees to start working from office within a month.

According to Inc42, the resignations originated from various teams including sales, coding and math citing the reason of not relocating for work.

The aforementioned teams were asked to relocate to their respective office locations at Gurugram, Bengaluru, and Mumbai within a time frame of 30 days. The company rolled out this notification via emails to all the respective employees under these teams.

An employee who resigned said, “The company was clearly running in losses. This was a cost-cutting exercise to reduce its expenses without ruining their name in the market.” 

The employee further added, “Some have kids, some have aged and sick parents, while others have other responsibilities. It is not right to call back employees in such a short period of time.”

In response to Inc42’s queries on the issues, WhiteHat Jr said, “As part of our back-to-work drive, most of our Sales and Support employees have been asked to report to Gurgaon and Mumbai offices from April 18. We have made exceptions for medical and personal exigencies and have offered relocation assistance as required. Our teachers will continue to work from home.” 

“Whitehat Jr.’s vision is to democratise education in India to enable the next generation to learn critical skill sets and become technology creators of the future. We continue to invest in developing relevant curriculum for students and build a strong teacher community with high recruitment and training standards,” the startup added.

The employees of the firm had also taken into account the fact that the the cost of relocation was not substituted either in their salaries or incentives. They showed discontent over the fact of relocation to these cities where cost of living will increase substantially.

Another employee said, “Subconsciously we knew something like this was going to happen after BYJU’S acquired WhiteHat Jr last year. We all know what sort of an employer BYJU’S is.” He also mentioned that the scenario at the firm was different when the founder of the firm Karan Bajaj was still present in the organisation.

Bajaj left the firm when BYJU’s acquired WhiteHatJr at an evaluation of $300 Mn. After the transition Ananya Tripathi, MD of KKR Capstone and former Myntra CEO, replaced Bajaj as the new CEO of WhiteHatJr.

The organisation had endured a total loss of Rs 1,690 Cr in FY21. The startup earned INR 483.9 Cr from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. They also showed a total expenditure in operations of Rs 2,175.2 cr. In the same time frame they also spent an amount of Rs 932 Cr on salaries and PF contributions, as well as other employee benefits.


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