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Business News/ Companies / News/  Unacademy seeks online, offline CFOs to fuel growth
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Unacademy seeks online, offline CFOs to fuel growth

Unacademy is in talks with Pratik Dalal, the finance head of Cred, to join as the CFO of its offline business. The company is looking to have two CFOs—one for its offline business and one for its online and other businesses.

Pratik Dalal, the current finance head of Cred is likely to join UnacademyPremium
Pratik Dalal, the current finance head of Cred is likely to join Unacademy

Mumbai: Following high-level exits leading up to its chief financial officer (CFO) Subramanian Ramachandran quitting in October, Unacademy is looking to hire two CFOs—one for centres (offline business) and one for online and other businesses, three people in the know said, seeking anonymity.

Pratik Dalal, the current finance head of Cred is likely to join Unacademy, one of the people cited above said. “Talks are on with Dalal on the exact scope of his role. He is most likely to head the offline business that revolves around the centres."

The idea is to have two people look after the two lines of business. “The company is likely to have two CFOs," the second person said, adding that discussions are on with several candidates.

An Unacademy spokesperson did not respond to Mint’s queries. Dalal also did not respond to messages.

Unacademy, founded in 2015 by Gaurav Munjal, Hemesh Singh and Roman Saini is backed by Temasek, SoftBank, General Atlantic, Dragoneer Investment Group and Tiger Global, among others. It has raised $877 million and was last valued at around $3.44 billion in 2021.

Since June, the company has seen the departure of its chief operating officer Vivek Sinha, Siddharth Manchanda, the legal counsel, and Tina Balachandran, the head of human resources.

The hunt for CFOs follows a slowdown in its offline business, while its online business is witnessing moderating growth. However, in April, Munjal in an internal communique to its employees, said the company expects a revenue of 1,250 crore in 2023 on a consolidated basis, up from 992 crore in 2022. The firm expects its core operating revenue to drop to 620 crore from 732 crore last year.

According to a third person, the company is seeing its online business decelerating primarily in NEET and JEE segments by up to 20-25% from a year earlier. “The under graduate and post graduate centres are losing over 45 crore- 50 crore a month," he added.

In the last 18 months Unacademy has already held four rounds of layoffs to cut costs. In March, the company slashed 12% of its workforce or 380 employees, in the fourth round of retrenchment drive. In its internal messaging platform, Munjal told his employees that despite taking every step in the right direction to make its core business profitable, it had failed to get the desired results. “We have to go further, we have to go deeper," he had said in a statement.

The SoftBank-backed edtech unicorn, like most of its peers in the K12 segment, has seen growth slowing with the world moving back to physical classes post covid. “It is not easy for edtech firms to pivot from an online setup to offline. The cost overheads can kill you," the third person added.

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Updated: 20 Nov 2023, 11:47 PM IST
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