BYJU's appoints Lionel Messi as brand ambassador amid layoffs and cost cuts

BYJU's appoints Lionel Messi as brand ambassador amid layoffs and cost cuts

BYJU's announced on Friday that they have onboarded Lionel Messi as brand ambassador for company's social impact arm, Education for All.

Lionell Messi is the new brand ambassador of BYJU's Lionell Messi is the new brand ambassador of BYJU's

Edtech decacorn BYJU's announced on Friday that they will be appointing popular football player Lionel Messi as the brand ambassador of their social impact arm, Education for All.

Commenting on this development, Divya Gokulnath, co-founder of the edtech giant said, “We are honoured and excited to collaborate with Lionel Messi as our global ambassador. He is a once-in-a-generation talent whose pursuit of excellence, all-in mentality, humility, and reliability resonate deeply with BYJU’S brand values. He rose from the grassroots to become one of the most successful sportspersons ever. That is the kind of opportunity that BYJU’S Education For All wants to create for the nearly 5.5 million children it currently empowers.”

Going big on advertising

Although the company did not disclose how much they had to pay to bring Messi on board, this is not the first time BYJU's has gone big on promotions and brand ambassadors. In 2017, they roped in Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan as their brand ambassador.

In 2019, they became the lead sponsor of the Indian cricket team after taking over the sponsorship from Oppo, whose contract for 2017- 2022 was worth Rs 1,079 crores.  The company paid Rs 4.61 crore per bilateral match and Rs 1.51 crore per match in an ICC event. Recently, they renewed their contract with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for a reported $55 million (Rs 454 crores).

More: Lionel Messi, Byju’s Brand Ambassador- Net Worth and More

As per regulatory filings, the company spent more than Rs 2,500 crore on advertising and marketing in FY21. In 2022, as per media reports, they spent $40 million (Rs 330 crores) to become the official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup. 

Layoffs and cost cuts

Interestingly, this development comes weeks after the company laid off at least 2,500 employees, 5 per cent of its 50,000-strong workforce, to control costs and move towards profitability. The company reported Rs 4,589 crore in losses for FY21, the largest ever loss reported by an Indian startup.

Business Today previously reported that the company handed 15-day notice periods to its recently laid off employees.

In a note sent to the employees who were let go, Byju Raveendran, the CEO of the company said that the job cuts were done to "protect the health of the larger organization and pay heed to the constraints imposed by external macroeconomic conditions." 

Moreover, several employees and ex-employees of the edtech company have accused them of putting up unrealistic targets and pressuring them to quit, as previously reported by Business Today. However, BYJU's has denied the allegations and said the employees are given "ample time" to meet the targets and the company is no exception to “high performance, high growth” culture.

Also Read: Byju's firing model: Unrealistic target, a 'pipeline' & the exit door - BusinessToday

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Published on: Nov 04, 2022, 9:29 AM IST
Posted by: aakanksha chaturvedi, Nov 04, 2022, 9:17 AM IST