I have copied this outstanding writeup on Byju’s from my friend Neeti’s FB wall. This is written by one of the lawyers representing the students who have filed a case against Arindam Chaudhari. If anyone knows the author’s name please share in the comments.
As received –
Update on Oct 9, 2020 – Author is Mr. Kanthaswamy Balasubramaniam
Former Chief Manager at Central Bank of India1980–2017
Studied at University of Madras. Lives in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
“Beware of likes of Byjus and White hat jr ….Do read this
Many years ago – there was a Gentleman called Arindam Chaudhari. He wore a pony tail, ranted a lot of nonsense, valued businesses worth Rs. 10 Lakhs for Rs. 100 Crore and mocked at India for being old fashioned.
He started an Institute – promising this and that and this and that. He charged exorbitant fees and in return gave a Laptop and some highly dubious course material and promised you – you would be in Wall Street in 3 years time.
Today – 22000 Students at least have filed over 1700 Petitions, Complaints against him in wild fury and anger – all over India especially in Bangalore. I am one of the 219 Lawyers who have filed petitions in both Karnataka (Through Associate Counsel) and Madras High Courts. He has been accused of a variety of charges from fraud to tax evasion.
Every generation has its own Arindam Chaudhari.
They target the Average and Below Average students – and promise them the sun and the moon. These poor kids – get baited hook line and sinker. Aware of their shortcomings and realizing that they will never get into IIMs or get a perfect GRE Score or an attractive engineering college – they are convinced that their life will change.
In my opinion:-
Byju’s is the Arindam Chaudhari 2.0
The Same Arindam Chaudhari brand of baiting the Average and Below Average by promising them the sun, the moon and the stars.
First off are the exhorbitant charges. Like Chaudhari – they too give you a Laptop and charge you almost Rs. 1.5 Lakhs for Classes I – Class III. Thats 50,000/- for a year but like a Vegetable Market if you choose the three year package – you get it for Rs. 90,000/-.
Likewise as you go to a higher class- you pay a higher sum. For taking their package upto Class X – you pay Rs. 2 Lakhs flat. (From 4th to 10th).
And you have different combinations for 11th and 12th – beginning from Rs. 70,000/- to Rs. 1,80,000/- plus horrendous fees for English and Hindi alone (Around 80,000/-)
Plus Rs. 5000/- for a Test Series
Plus Rs. 45,000/- for Crash Courses.
So the charges are huge. Almost equivalent to school fees and in many cases higher than what schools charge – at least in Tamilnadu.
Now are there any serious benefits?
Unless Byjus has a direct line to the Goddess Kaali and can give divine blessings to the students – the answer is NO. Average Students will continue to be Average. Below Average students will continue to be below Average.
Most of the IIT Toppers are Toppers for two reasons – One reason of course if that they work hard but the other reason is THEY ARE INTELLIGENT. You cannot bring an Average guy and make him an IIT Topper just by offering a glitzy course with glossy pamphlets.
I speak with examples of course.
A Neighbor of mine – enrolled her kid who scored 63% marks in Class X to the 11th and 12th plan of Byjus. Apparently the woman assured her that the Kid was intelligent and should go to the Science group and that their system would take care of any chinks. She spoke so well that this woman literally handed over her child to Byjus like you did in the old days – handing your child to a guru in a gurukul.
The Kids marks did not improve. He worked hard but to no avail. Supposedly there was a counsellor but he was a half baked fellow himself – who kept telling the kid to mutter this shloka and that.
The Woman shelled out Rs. 1.90 Lakhs to Byjus (Her SBI Credit or Debit Card was used every time) and each time she came to pay the money – there would be promises –
‘He just has to overcome his tension’ ; ‘He just has to concentrate’;’He is a very bright student but…’
Meanwhile the Kids Maths Teacher literally told the mother “Your son is very average. He simply cannot study in the Science Group. Please place him somewhere – where he can relax and do well”
Eventually the Kid secured 68% in Class XII with 59 marks in Mathematics. The Mother was distraught and requested my wife to ask me to come with her to Byjus. Apparently Byjus had promised the mother that if the Kid did not get less than 75% , they would give him 12th coaching again free of cost or would refund some money or a lot of money (Not sure how much).
So we went and immediately the woman got some other schmuck wearing a shirt and tie who gave a card to us – and began his slick lies. He brought up some report card and said the kid was this and that (Which the mother had never heard of before that day) and reluctantly refused to repeat the 12th Coaching again or give a refund.
The mother was in tears – and I realized there was nothing in writing. Just as we left – the Schmuck – came to us and told us “Sir! I can help you out. I can get the Kid a second chance at 40% discount and i can give you a one on one coaching”
Slowly more and more mothers – more and more of the same story.
They target the Average and Below Average Students
They charge exorbitant fees
Their teachers are selected from Schools and they get huge cuts and commissions for referrals. So a Teacher intentionally gives lower and lower marks to the student and “advises” the mother to send the child to a Tuition like Byjus
They promise the sun, the moon and the stars
Eventually unless you leak the paper – the Average Student and Below Average Student will continue to remain average and below average or if they do we’ll, it would be their own hard work not Byjus
When you go back angry – they will make excuses and send you home
Then i heard they are now valued at 88000 Crores !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am Ashamed.
Why am i Ashamed?
Because our Country is a target for these so called “Educational Institutions” – to come and offer the world to the mediocre and suck their money and leave them dry and reeling.
In China – the Average is told he is average and is given an Average Job. He is happy.
In Singapore – the Average also gets an Average Job and is happy
In USA and India – the Average is promised that he is extraordinary and offered a course for huge fees promising the sun, the moon and the stars and after everything is finished – he gets ZILCH except a big loss of money or worse – a Loan from a private lender.
It is one of the Biggest Cons in the HIstory of Indian Education
You want to do well :-
Assess your Intelligence
Find out your Range
Do the best that you can for your Range
However work as hard as possible to achieve the best in your range
Remember the homily of Senathypathy in Indian “If you can get a job with your own talent and education – good – otherwise settle down and do any honorable job you can do your best at”
P.S:- The NEET and IIT courses of Byjus are not included. I dont have enough data to conclude if they are dubious or not.
So Byju’s is not a slap on Indias Education System but a Slap on India and every Average Indian out there.
PS- in addition…heard that Byju’s has heavy Chinese investment and White hat jr has also been bought by Byjus . Whole day we are being bombarded by heavy advertisement done with celebrities like Shahrukh Khan for Byjus and many others for White hat jr….
Mothers and fathers are slowly being brainwashed into thinking that it’s really best for their kids…mothers have actually been endorsing the same to their peers …”
I have nothing to add except to ask some questions … does Shah Rukh plan on enrolling Abram with Byjus? “Accha Lagta hai” when children learn, right ?? If Abram is not joining Byjus then how does Shah Rukh know what’s good for your child ? Last I knew, he was an actor, not a child psychologist.
The big worry –
Today, the middle class and upper middle class are enrolling their children in Byju’s. They aren’t breaking the bank. But soon this disease will spread to the EWS community…. we will see a repeat of what is happening with Engineering/Computer Science degrees. Parents borrowing heavily to put their child into Engg colleges even when the child has no aptitude for it. The politician opens the Engineering college and the bank funds the education loan. Money is made by everyone at the cost of the poor.
I certainly hope that the Government comes down heavily on such promotions/advertisements by players like Byju’s, that promise the moon and deliver nothing. This has to stop.
p.s Arindam Chaudhari is in jail but the lives he has played around with are still struggling to come to terms with it. I am not sure if some of them atleast got their money back :(. Read about his arrest in this article – Arindam Chaudhuri:Maverick Guru, whimsical or just a good publicist.
Read about Byju’s on Mouthshut.com … scary stuff. Byju’s raises fresh funding from Silver Lake.
Parents, Beware !