Test prep startup Exampur delays staff salaries, F&F dues of ex-employees

Exampur, a startup that prepares government exam candidates, has not paid its staff, and held off full and final (F&F) settlements of those who left the company this year, with salary backlogs going as far as back as July.

The Noida-based company was founded in 2018 by Vardaan Gandhi and Vivek Kumar (Representational Photo)
The Noida-based company was founded in 2018 by Vardaan Gandhi and Vivek Kumar (Representational Photo)

Speaking to Moneycontrol, which broke the story, Vardaan Gandhi, co-founder, Exampur, said that the test preparation firm ‘ran out of funds’ and had to scale down its operations as a result of a ‘potential acquistion’ that ‘did not work for us.’

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“We could have stopped the operations, maybe eight months back when there were no liabilities. It was an easy thing to do. But we wanted to continue so we sold our personal holdings and mortgaged our belongings. There were months where salaries were delayed during this time,” Gandhi said. The ‘acquisition’ he was referring to was by edtech unicorn upGrad from August last year; upGrad, however, called off the deal just four months later.

Gandhi, meanwhile, told Moneycontrol that by the end of February, Exampur expects to pay off the December salaries, adding that the staffers will also be given an option to convert the accrued amount into an equity. The ex-employees, he claimed, will receive their dues ‘in the next three to four months,’ beginning with the first tranche of payment to be made by January 31.

‘Workforce down by over 400’

Vardaan, who founded Exampur with Vivek Kumar in 2018, further stated that in the process of scaling down, the company’s employee strength was reduced from about 650 in January, to around 200 as of date, with some people laid off, and others leaving due to the delay in payments.

The Noida-based startup, Gandhi noted, had as many as 24 YouTube channels till the beginning of 2023, though that number was now down to just nine due to the failure of the upGrad deal.

Exampur offers more than 200 test preparation courses for government jobs, delivering most of the content through its YouTube channels with a user base of over 10 million (1 crore) students (as told by it in 2022).

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