Business

Byju’s Founder Faces Legal Battle: Seeking Sanctuary in Court

Investors Move to Oust Baiju Ravindran, Setting Stage for High-Stakes Legal Showdown

The Karnataka High Court will now decide Baiju Ravindran’s fate as the founder and CEO of the struggling edtech company Byjus. On February 23, a group of investors holding the majority of Byju’s shares passed a motion to remove Baiju Raveendran from the board of directors. Furthermore, investigators submitted a request to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) seeking Baiju’s removal.

However, Baiju appealed to the Karnataka High Court against the resolution, stating that holding the EGM and voting was illegal. The High Court will hear Baiju’s plea on March 13. It has been clarified that the EGM proceedings and voting resolution will remain invalid until then. Effectively, the High Court arguments will determine Baiju Ravindran’s future at Byju’s.

Baiju Out of Byju’s?

Investors passed a resolution that Baiju Ravindran is unfit to lead Byju’s and should be removed from the board and as CEO. In addition to Baiju, investors also demanded the removal of other directors – Baiju’s wife, Divya Gokulnath, and his brother, Riju Ravindran.

EGM and Investor Demands

The Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) was called by Dutch investment firm Prosus, General Atlantic, and Peak XV Partners, who hold stakes in Byju’s. Investors, including Prosus, claim efforts are underway to separate Byju’s from Think and Learn, the parent company headed by Baiju Ravindran.

Legal Battle in Karnataka High Court

Investors have turned against Byju and his family by highlighting lapses in Byju’s governance and handling of financial transactions. Thus, the battle for control of the edtech giant Byju’s has reached an inflection point. Founder Baiju Ravindran’s hold on the company he built is under existential threat from disgruntled investors. Meanwhile, an EGM saw shareholders vote for his ouster.

Ravindran moved to the Karnataka High Court, alleging procedural lapses. His plea casts uncertainty over the resolutions passed. The coming legal arguments will determine the fate of this tense boardroom struggle. If Ravindran manages to fend off calls for his removal, he lives to fight another day. But should the court rule against him, his central role at Byju’s could draw to an end. 

For now, the company floats in limbo, awaiting a decisive verdict. Employees, customers and stakeholders will watch anxiously to see what the future holds for India’s highest-valued startup. But the final chapter in Byju’s saga has yet to be written.

Akshay Kumar

Akshay Kumar is a dedicated and accomplished Business Reporter at IndiaFocus. With a passion for financial markets and corporate developments, Akshay brings experience and insight to his reporting. His extensive… More »

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