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Business News/ Companies / News/  Byju’s taps Mohandas Pai, Rajnish Kumar for board advisory council
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Byju’s taps Mohandas Pai, Rajnish Kumar for board advisory council

This council will play a pivotal role in advising and mentoring Byju’s board and its chief executive officer Byju Raveendran

The council’s formation follows an emergency extraordinary general meeting with investors on 4 July. (Mint)Premium
The council’s formation follows an emergency extraordinary general meeting with investors on 4 July. (Mint)

NEW DELHI : Edtech giant Byju’s on Thursday named former State Bank of India chairman Rajnish Kumar and former Infosys chief financial officer T.V. Mohandas Pai to a newly formed council to advise its board.

“This council will play a pivotal role in advising and mentoring Byju’s board and its chief executive officer (CEO) Byju Raveendran, on crucial matters that shape the company’s future," Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd, which runs Byju’s, said in a press statement.

“The appointment of these two esteemed thought leaders in finance and governance to the Advisory Council underscores Byju’s commitment to enhancing its financial governance mechanisms and leveraging expert advice to drive sustainable growth and strategic decision-making," the statement added.

News reports earlier in the day said Byju’s had appointed former chief business officer Arjun Mohan as CEO of its international business; however, Mohan said in response to a query that he was working on several things along with founder Raveendran, denying he had been appointed to the role. A spokesperson for Byju’s declined to comment.

While Pai has been among the early backers of Byju’s through his family office, Aarin Capital, Kumar has helped payments firm BharatPe to strengthen its compliance and governance standards after one of its founders, Ashneer Grover, was ousted on allegations of fraud.

“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," Pai said.

“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," Kumar said.

Co-founders Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath said: “Their unparalleled leadership experience and deep understanding of the finance and technology domains will greatly enrich our strategic initiatives and strengthen our governance."

The council’s formation follows an emergency extraordinary general meeting with investors on 4 July to allay fears of weak corporate governance.

Last month, Byju’s statutory auditor for six years, Deloitte Haskins & Sells, resigned with “immediate effect", citing “long-delayed" financial statements for FY22. Three non-promoter board members also resigned without furnishing any reason.

Byju’s has been in a standoff with its lenders over a $1.2 billion term loan B where the lenders had taken the company to court over a ‘missing’ $500 million from its US entity Byju’s Alpha. The lenders are trying to take control of the US subsidiary.

In response to this, the edtech giant said on 5 June that it was stopping the repayment of interest over its term loan B and sued Redwood Capital Management and other lenders in the New York Supreme Court, challenging the acceleration of the repayment of the loan. At the centre of the dispute seems to be Byju’s non-compliance in filing its FY22 financials.

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Published: 14 Jul 2023, 12:47 AM IST
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