On 18th May 2022, our CEO Vamsi Krishna sent this email to all the Vedans:
Before I go ahead, I’d like to take a moment to thank each one of you for the hard work, dedication, and resolve that you have shown for Vedantu. It is this Vedan spirit that makes Vedantu what it is today. Vedans who have joined us in the journey have always inspired us to work towards our vision with more tenacity.
The journey has been endearing, we have seen some great days, a few good days and bad days. But, today I am writing to you on one of the toughest decisions V had to take over the past many years. It is days like these that are heartbreaking and I hope to never see them again.
There is no easy way to say this - out of 5900 Vedans, 424 of our fellow teammates i.e ~7% of our company, will be parting with us. This has been an extremely difficult call to make, and I want each Vedan to understand why V had to take this call and what it means to you and the future of Vedantu.
I will try to detail as much as I can to explain to you why V have to take this step, and how V are going to do this.
When Anand, Pulkit and I started this journey in teaching some 16 years ago, we never thought we would do this for so many years. What's so energizing is the beauty of the mission: 'To enable quality teaching for each and every child' which has kept us and countless others going. We did offline teaching for 8 years and then Vedantu was born to scale the mission statement to the masses. In 2014, creating a new category of LIVE Online classes. There have been tough years and there have been years of strong momentum but what has stayed consistent is undying passion towards our Mission, no matter how long it takes because it's worth giving a lifetime to. V also learnt that building anything worthwhile takes time, for the compounding to take its effect, it's important to just 'Be at it', and run the marathon.
Currently, the external environment is tough. War in Europe, impending recession fears, and Fed rate interest hikes have led to inflationary pressures with massive correction in stocks globally and in India as well. Given this environment, capital will be scarce for upcoming quarters. With COVID tailwinds receding, schools and offline models opening up, the hyper-growth of 9X, Vedantu experienced during the last 2 years will also get moderated. For long term sustenance of the mission, V would need to adapt too.
V fall back to our core philosophy to guide us. To make sure, V are here to stay, to remember every day that V are here for the marathon and not the sprint. V go back to our two fundamental principles :
Continue to innovate for the students
Build a long term sustainable company with a resilient business model
While on the innovation front, we continue to invest in and launch groundbreaking innovations. With innovations like WAVE, Ai-Live enabling us to disrupt the prices, and experiments around the Hybrid model which will help us to explore offline-online learning models, we are constantly looking at innovating on delivery and reaching as many students as possible to achieve our vision of Impact at Scale.
On building resilience, it's important to build a longer capital runway for Vedantu given the uncertainties of the outside world and tightening of capital availability expected for the next few quarters.
The way V approached it was to define a clear set of objectives and align around a common set of operating principles, guided by our core values. These were our rationale :
Create a runway for at least 30 months without compromising on our core value of Student centricity
Focus on reduction in customer acquisition cost via innovation and automation around operations.
V did a comprehensive review of all the projects, to map them into core and non-core projects.
Align all projects, and teams to the core focus areas of Vedantu and rationalize those which are not in sync
The result is, that a few teams and projects will have to be deprioritized and in the process, a few of our Vedans will be let go as well. These calls are never easy to make and let me also tell you, this is not a reflection of either the ability or the performance of the impacted Vedans in any way. These are all amazing people and it saddens me to the core to be asking them to leave, but this would be critical for the continuation of Vedantu’s mission.
Here is what will happen next :
For Vedans who are moving on:
You will receive an email from email@example.com with the subject line- Discussion
Our Leaders and HR team will have 1:1 conversations with you today to walk you through the process.
Benefits we are extending to Vedans include extended health benefits for self and family till 5th August 2022 and access to 15 doctor consultations and discounted pathology & pharmacy services through Practo till 29th April 2023
You will receive voluntary outplacement service support - this would include support on resume building, interviewing preparation support, training and opportunity identification
Vedans who will stay on:
Please note that this is a One-time activity with no further cycles. From now on, we focus on growth and efficiency
V will do everything in our power and ability to see that these rockstars find a great home and I personally request all of your support for the same.
If possible, tell your fellow Vedan how their work created an Impact, on the child, on you and on Vedantu. They are parting us for now, but they will always be a Vedan, conduct accordingly.
At a personal level, I find it gut-wrenching to live through such a decision and to feel that somehow my decisions have led to such consequences. There is no way around this thought. The way I deal with it is to imagine this as a sacrifice for all of us so that Vedantu can continue on its journey of reaching million more and making quality teaching reach them.
For Vedans who are parting us:
There is no easy way to say this but I am truly sorry. Pulkit, Anand and I are indebted to you for having believed in the vision and giving your precious time and energy to Vedantu. Also remember, this is not your fault and it's not happening because of anything you did or didn't do. You are awesome and the companies out there will be super lucky to have you. I promise V will do everything in our power to support you during this transition. On behalf of every Vedan, I want to thank you for making Vedantu what it is today, you shall forever remain a Vedan.