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BYJU’S India Appoints Arjun Mohan as CEO Amidst Resignation Shockwaves

The edtech behemoth BYJU’S revealed on Wednesday, September 20, that Arjun Mohan will assume leadership of its India operations as CEO. Mrinal Mohit, a founding partner and the departing head of India business at BYJU’S, will be replaced by Mohan, the firm announced in a statement. Mohit departed the company after ten years to pursue personal goals.

“Being a member of BYJU’S’ founding team has been an amazing experience, and I am grateful for the chance to have helped change the face of education. I leave BYJU’S in capable hands and take with me the pride of what we have accomplished as a team as I start a new chapter in my career, said Mohit.

Since May of last year, when Byju Raveendran, co-founder and group CEO, opted to focus more on the company’s overseas activities, Mohit has been in charge of Byju’s operations in India.

If BYJU’S has achieved the astounding heights it stands at now, it is because to the extraordinary efforts of our founding team, Raveendran said when reflecting on Mrinal’s achievements. Our organization will never forget Mrinal’s achievements, and we offer him a tearful farewell. I have the utmost pride in what we have accomplished together.

According to multiple reports, BYJU’S hired Arjun Mohan, the former CEO of upGrad, to lead its international operations in July 2023. Mohan, however, said in an interview with Bloomberg News that he is collaborating with Byju’s co-founder Raveendran on “multiple things” but that he hasn’t been hired for the position of global CEO. He did not, however, go into specifics about his previous position at Byju’s.

In April 2020, during the initial pandemic wave, Mohan joined upGrad after more than 11 years as Byju’s chief business officer. In December of last year, he departed upGrad to pursue chances outside of it.

“Arjun’s return is evidence of his faith in our purpose and the exceptional chances that are still to come. His knowledge will unquestionably aid in our turnaround efforts and improve our standing in the global EdTech market, Raveendran continued.

The change comes as BYJU’S struggles with financial and operational challenges and seeks to improve its senior leadership and streamline operations.

Although there are many hurdles, Mohan continued, “I am prepared to perform my part in assisting BYJU’S in empowering our present and future generations to prosper in a fast changing world.

The key player in ed-tech is in the process of restructuring both its domestic and international companies. According to sources who spoke to CNBC-TV18 earlier, BYJU’S is thinking about selling Epic and Great Learning for between $800 million and $1 billion. Additionally, the sale is a component of the strategy to eliminate debt and restart the company.

In 2021, BYJU’S purchased Great Learning for $600 million and EPIC for $500 million. The struggling startup will feel some relief if this plan is approved.

According to a previous report from CNBC-TV18, BYJU’S has been in discussions to raise money since the year’s beginning. However, due to continued difficulties on a number of domestic and foreign fronts, the company has been unable to finish the round.

BYJU’S is expected to disclose its financials by the end of September, according to sources, although the firm has declined to provide a deadline.

The leading provider of educational technology had even provided financiers with a repayment proposal in which it offered to repay its whole $1.2 billion term loan in less than six months. If the modification proposal is approved, BYJU’S offers to return $300 million of the distressed debt within three months, and the remaining amount during the following three months.

The proposal has been sent, and according to information obtained by CNBC-TV18, the lenders are studying it and requesting further information about how the payback will be funded.

However, in a new development in the BYJU’S v. lenders case, Bloomberg has revealed that lenders seeking to collect the money claim that BYJU’S stashed $533 million in a shadowy, three-year-old hedge fund that previously claimed that its major place of business was an IHOP pancake restaurant in Miami.

According to court documents cited in the Bloomberg investigation, BYJU’S transferred more than $500,000,000 to Camshaft Capital Fund in 2022. Some BYJU’S lenders contend in a lawsuit that William C. Morton formed the investment company when he was only 23 years old.

The lenders claim that Morton’s fund obtained the funds despite having no apparent formal investment training. According to court documents cited in the story, luxury vehicles including a 2023 Ferrari Roma, a 2020 Lamborghini Huracán EVO, and a 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith have been registered in Morton’s name ever since the transfer.

According to BYJU’S, in response to the report, “As a commercially responsible borrower and like any other significant corporate treasury, Byju’s Alpha has made investments in high security fixed income instruments with a multi-hundred billion-dollar fund, through Camshaft. The movement or investment of funds disbursed under our Credit Agreement with the lenders is not prohibited or limited in any way. BYJU’S is not required to keep cash on hand as security.

It also stated that the lenders’ request for information regarding the sum in question—part of the funds received by BYJU’S Alpha, the borrowing entity under the TLB—was denied by a Delaware court decision in June of this year.

“For the record, the BYJU’S entities have not been served with copies of the complaint or motion and are not parties to the proceedings indicated in the recent media reports. We have only just learned of these proceedings. The latest debt repayment arrangement appears to have been made after the court filing. The parties are still negotiating to resolve the conflict, and we are still dedicated to a peaceful resolution, the ed-tech added.