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We’re not Byju’s: Aakash’s bid to distance itself from its beleaguered buyer

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Nikhil Patwardhan

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Nikhil Patwardhan

25 reads

With its growth slowing from a gallop to a crawl in FY24, coaching centre chain Aakash is looking to distance itself from its parent company, Byju’s. Embroiled in scandal and with its reputation at an all-time low, the Byju’s name is seen as a detriment to Aakash’s prospects.

March 04, 2024

9 MINS READ

Key Takeaways

  • With the reputation of its parent company Byju’s in tatters, parents have begun questioning Aakash and its practices as well
  • Now, with its growth slowing, Aakash is distancing itself from Byju’s to salvage its 35-year-old legacy
  • The offline coaching institute has subtly altered its logo, reducing the prominence of Byju's’ branding
  • Insiders also say that management is pushing to limit the use of the Byju's brand and instead emphasise Aakash as a distinct entity

“We are not Byju’s. Aakash is a separate entity. Make it clear to parents.” This was a directive issued to all the sales executives of Aakash in mid-2023, just before the coaching chain’s busy admission season began.

Concerns about the Aakash brand were on the rise among parents, fueled by media reports about the struggles of its parent company, edtech major Byju’s. The joint branding of "Aakash+Byju's", which was introduced in 2021 after Aakash was acquired by Byju’s, was only making things worse, sales executives The CapTable spoke with said. 

The negative perceptions associated with Byju's, which has seen massive layoffs and been accused of everything from corporate misgovernance to misselling products and pushing loans onto unsuspecting families, had led parents to scrutinise even 35-year-old Aakash's long-standing practices. This forced an internal shift within Aakash to keep the stench from the Byju’s fiasco from tainting its own brand.

“My manager told me to tell parents to think of the two companies as subsidiaries of a conglomerate. ‘Tell them that the management is different, the counselling is different, and even the teaching is different,’ he said. ‘We have a 30-year established brand, so talk more about Aakash’s legacy,’ he suggested,” an Aakash sales executive told The CapTable, requesting anonymity.  

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