COVID-19 Tech Job Losses Over 10,000 Now, Show No Sign of Slowing
Tech companies in India have seen thousands of layoffs because of COVID-19. Ever since the lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus in March, most industries have struggled to make money, and have been cutting jobs at a steady pace. One of the latest developments on this front was BookMyShow, which laid off 270 employees, around 18 percent of its total staff, on Thursday.
The combined scale of all the job losses taken together now goes into the thousands — and this is just for some of the biggest and best-known companies in India. The actual number of the ground is likely to be significantly higher if anything.
According to a recent Nasscom survey published in May, nine out of ten Indian startups are bleeding. Nasscom conducted its survey with over 250 startups in India in April and found that around 62 percent are suffering revenue decline of over 40 percent, while 34 percent are facing revenue decline of over whopping 80 percent — all due to the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
“Out of the blue, this flourishing growth saga has suddenly been hit by a roadblock… the COVID roadblock” said Debjani Ghosh, President, Nasscom, in the report. “There is no country, business or living being that has not been affected by the COVID pandemic.”
Most recently, BookMyShow laid off or put on furlough 270 employees in India and abroad, out of its total 1,450 employees. BookMyShow CEO Ashish Hemrajani added that the remaining team had voluntarily taken salary cuts ranging from 10 percent to 50 percent at the leadership level, given up their bonuses, and all salary raises. But that’s far from the biggest impact of the coronavirus related lockdown taking place right now.
Zomato has announced a layoff for 600 employees and up to 50 percent pay cut for the remainder for the next six months, CEO Deepinder Goyal said in an email to the employees. In April, it was reported that Swiggy will lay off hundreds from its cloud kitchen business and shut down half its kitchens — by May, Swiggy had to lay off 1,100 employees due to the impact of coronavirus.
Another report states that B2B startup Udaan laid of 3,500 contract workers in three days, of which 600 were in Bangalore alone.
Reportedly, layoffs and furloughs at Oyo go into the thousands to mitigate pandemic woes and lack of revenue. Oyo was already seeing challenges at the start of 2020, with reports of around 2,400 layoffs in January; a later report said Oyo is in the process of firing another 3,000 direct employees and furloughing some of its discretionary staff.
Indian social commerce startup Meesho is reported to have laid off over 200 employees in a bid to cut costs. The company is also looking to slash salaries from next month, and senior executives are expected to see severe pay cuts.
Other cuts that have been reported include MakeMyTrip (which reportedly plans to fire over 60 percent of its headcount that is not on its payroll), 120 people at scooter rental startup Bounce, and over 500 people at travel portal Fareportal.