Unacademy seeks online, offline CFOs to fuel growth

Unacademy seeks online, offline CFOs to fuel growth


In the aftermath of key departures, including the resignation of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Subramanian Ramachandran in October, Unacademy is embarking on a recruitment drive to fill two crucial CFO roles. According to sources familiar with the matter, the edtech platform is actively seeking candidates to serve as CFOs for its offline (centers) business and its online and other business segments.

The move comes amid a series of high-profile exits from Unacademy, with the departure of the CFO being a notable development. In response to the vacancies in critical financial leadership positions, the company is focusing on strengthening its financial management team by bringing in two experienced professionals to oversee the financial operations of its distinct business units.

Unacademy’s decision to hire separate CFOs for its offline and online businesses reflects the platform’s emphasis on providing dedicated financial leadership to different aspects of its operations. The offline segment, represented by physical centers, requires specific financial expertise, while the online and other businesses demand a nuanced financial strategy tailored to the dynamics of the digital realm.

The recruitment of qualified CFOs is seen as crucial to sustaining Unacademy’s financial health and ensuring effective financial governance amid its continued growth and diversification. As the online education sector remains dynamic and competitive, having experienced financial leaders in key roles is essential for strategic decision-making and sustainable financial performance.Unacademy seeks online, offline CFOs to fuel growth | Mint

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While the identity of potential candidates for the CFO roles remains undisclosed, Unacademy’s move to address the leadership vacuum in its finance team reflects the company’s commitment to securing top-tier talent to drive its financial strategy and navigate the complexities of the rapidly evolving edtech landscape. 

Pratik Dalal, presently serving as the finance head at Cred, is reportedly in talks to join Unacademy, according to sources familiar with the matter. While discussions are ongoing to finalize the specifics of his role, it is anticipated that Dalal will take charge of the offline business division, which includes overseeing the platform’s physical centers.

The potential appointment of Pratik Dalal is seen as a strategic move by Unacademy to bring in an experienced financial executive to lead its offline business operations. With his background in finance and presumably significant expertise, Dalal would play a pivotal role in shaping the financial strategy for the offline segment, contributing to the overall financial health and growth of Unacademy.

As the negotiations progress, the platform aims to secure top-tier talent like Dalal to bolster its leadership team and enhance financial governance across its diverse business units. The addition of experienced professionals in key roles is essential for Unacademy to navigate the competitive landscape of the online education sector and maintain a robust financial position in the evolving market.

In a strategic move to streamline its financial leadership, Unacademy is reportedly considering the appointment of two Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) to oversee distinct lines of business. The plan is to have dedicated CFOs for the offline business, which includes the management of physical centers, and another for the online and other segments of the company.

The discussions indicate Unacademy’s intent to adopt a specialized approach to financial leadership, aligning each CFO with specific business units. This structure aims to optimize financial strategies, decision-making, and performance monitoring for the different facets of Unacademy’s operations. By assigning CFOs to distinct lines of business, the company seeks to enhance financial governance, efficiency, and overall business agility.

As discussions continue, Unacademy is engaging with potential candidates for these crucial CFO roles, aiming to bring on board individuals with the expertise and experience needed to drive financial excellence in both the online and offline segments of the edtech platform.Despite queries from Mint, Unacademy and Pratik Dalal, the potential CFO hire from Cred, have not provided responses.

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Unacademy, established in 2015 by Gaurav Munjal, Hemesh Singh, and Roman Saini, boasts significant backing from investors such as Temasek, SoftBank, General Atlantic, Dragoneer Investment Group, and Tiger Global, among others. The edtech platform has successfully raised $877 million and achieved a valuation of approximately $3.44 billion in 2021.Unacademy - Startup Story | Founders | Business Model

Unacademy is reportedly in the process of recruiting two Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) to oversee its offline and online businesses. Pratik Dalal, the current finance head of Cred, is said to be in talks with Unacademy and is likely to head the offline business. The move is seen as an attempt to have dedicated leadership for each line of business. The decision comes amid high-level exits at Unacademy, including the departure of its Chief Financial Officer, Subramanian Ramachandran, in October.

The company is navigating changes in its business dynamics, with a slowdown in its offline business and moderating growth in the online segment. Despite these challenges, Unacademy’s founder, Gaurav Munjal, communicated optimism in April, projecting a revenue of ₹1,250 crore in 2023 on a consolidated basis, up from ₹992 crore in 2022. The company expects its core operating revenue to drop to ₹620 crore from ₹732 crore the previous year. The reported recruitment of two CFOs indicates Unacademy’s strategic approach to address the evolving landscape of its business and position itself for future growth.

Unacademy is reportedly experiencing a deceleration in its online business, particularly in the NEET and JEE segments, with a decline of 20-25% compared to the previous year, according to an anonymous source. The company is said to be losing over ₹45 crore-₹50 crore a month in its under graduate and postgraduate centers.Unacademy to launch 15 offline centres within a month: COO Sinha - Education News | The Financial Express

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Unacademy has witnessed changes in its leadership team, including the departure of its CFO Subramanian Ramachandran in October, and is now seeking two CFOs to oversee its offline and online businesses separately.

The reported slowdown in its online business aligns with broader trends in the edtech sector, where companies have faced challenges as students return to physical classrooms post-COVID-19. Unacademy, backed by SoftBank, has undergone cost-cutting measures, including layoffs, to address the evolving dynamics of the education technology landscape. The company’s leadership changes and strategic initiatives indicate its efforts to navigate the changing market conditions and position itself for sustainable growth.



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