EXCLUSIVE: upGrad is rushing its employees back to Mumbai and Bengaluru⁠ offices⁠— and relocating many without more money or temp accommodation

EXCLUSIVE: upGrad is rushing its employees back to Mumbai and Bengaluru⁠ offices⁠— and relocating many without more money or temp accommodation
Ronnie Screwvala, co-founder, upGradBCCL
  • It’s not just that people who decided to move back home during the lockdown are being called back.
  • Even those who were hired to work in other cities are being moved either to Bengaluru or Mumbai.
  • Employees have less than a week to comply with the order. And they have not been offered additional money or support in terms of temporary accommodation.
  • “Revenues have dipped in January is what we have heard,” said at least a couple of sources that Business Insider spoke to.
Just as fast as the phrase ‘new normal’ became overused since the COVID-19 pandemic broke, it seems to have disappeared in a similarly shocking pace for the employees of upGrad.

Sources at the famed edtech startup, owned by millionaire Ronnie Screwvala, told Business Insider that the management is pushing its employees to report back to office, in Mumbai or Bengaluru. The decision was revealed to the employees in a virtual townhall held on Sunday (February 7).
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What makes it difficult for those who were remotely working for upGrad is that they have less than a week to comply with the order. “Earlier, we were told that work from home has been extended to June 2021 and that if there’s any change we will be given a one month notice,” an employee told Business Insider. The hurried shift could be many times more difficult for employees with children and dependent parents.

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Business Insider reached out to upGrad with queries and is awaiting response. The article will be updated if there is a reply from the company.

It’s not just that people who decided to move back home during the lockdown are being called back. Sources told Business Insider that even those who were hired for Gurugram, Pune, Kolkata and Hyderabad are now being asked to relocate to Bengaluru or Mumbai, without any added remuneration or temporary accommodation to ease the shift.

There are over 2,000 people working at upGrad. The edtech major increased its employee headcount four-fold within a short period of 8 months. Scaling up at that speed required the company “to review and restructure its people’s policies, as employees prepare to continue working remotely till June 2021,” according to a press release in November, 2020.

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Screwvala also recently took to Twitter to say their redesigned employee policies focus on the holistic well-being of the employee. So, what changed now?


According to many employees, the pressure is mostly on the sales team. “Revenues have dipped in January is what we have heard,” said at least a couple of sources that Business Insider spoke to.

upGrad lost a major deal recently, according to sources. The Bar Council of India had recently abolished the one-year Master Degree in Law (LL.M.) in India. This meant upGrad had to withdraw its blended learning course in partnership with Jindal Global Law School.
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While the students who had already enrolled for the current course will complete the course, and their degree will remain valid, it has been a setback for the platform.

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