Indian Companies' Employee Layoffs in 2023 Across IT and Startups
Post-pandemic world brings fresh challenges: layoffs increase in 2023
21 February 2023
As the world emerges from the pandemic era, over-hiring, cost pressures and funding challenges have posed fresh problems for companies.
The layoffs which started last year have only increased since the beginning of 2023.
Cost pressures, over-hiring, and funding challenges are causing fresh problems for companies as the world emerges from the pandemic era, resulting in tens of thousands of tech employees being laid off globally in recent weeks. The layoffs, which started last year, have only intensified since the beginning of 2023.
Recent projections indicate that around 20,000 job cuts are anticipated in the next six months, with certain job profiles being more vulnerable. India has also been impacted by these job cuts, with Amazon India being the first company to initiate layoffs in 2023, resulting in the loss of 1,000 jobs.
Twitter recently shut down two of its three offices in India and instructed its employees to work from home as part of Elon Musk's efforts to cut costs and restore the financially troubled social media service. Sources familiar with the matter had revealed to Bloomberg that Twitter, which had already fired over 90% of its approximately 200-plus employees in India late last year, had closed its offices in Delhi and Mumbai. However, the company still has its Bengaluru office operational.
Google India has fired over 450 employees across various departments, and earlier this year, the company announced that it would cut 12,000 jobs, which is over 6 percent of its global workforce. It is not clear if the layoffs in Google India were part of the previously announced cuts or a new round of layoffs. However, while some companies are undergoing layoffs, others such as TCS, KPMG India, and Zomato are not laying off and are even hiring.
Milind Lakkad, the Chief Human Resources Officer of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), said that instead of laying off employees, the company focuses on grooming talent for longer careers. He further stated that the company believes that once an employee joins, it becomes their responsibility to make them productive and derive value.
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KMPG said that the company is unlikely to feel the impact of global layoffs across the accounting firm. In a reply to Mint, Sinha, partner and head – People, Performance and Culture at KPMG said, “Our business outlook continues to remain very strong. Last year, our head count grew by 35% and this year we have hired freshers from over 100 campuses cutting across graduate, engineering and business schools. We at KPMG in India remain focused on growth opportunities in India and aligning our hiring to our growth strategy, engaging with potential talent and providing dynamic growth opportunities to all our people." Two months after Zomato laid off around 3 percent of its workforce on the basis of regular performance, CEO urged people to apply for more than 800 vacant positions within the organisation.
Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar interacted with the youth of St. Teresa's College in Kerala and stated that despite the ongoing layoffs in India, they are happening more in tech companies in the US and not in India. He further highlighted that India has added 18 lakh jobs in the tech and electronic sector in the past two years.
Indian startups, in addition to the IT sector, have also experienced layoffs since the start of 2023. Swiggy, a food and grocery delivery platform, let go of 380 employees as part of a "restructuring exercise." Dunzo, a Google-backed delivery platform, laid off 90 employees, approximately 3% of its workforce. Rebel Foods, a cloud kitchen brand, and Lead School, an edtech unicorn, have also let go of employees. Ola Cabs, a Bengaluru-based cab aggregator, laid off employees in certain verticals as part of a "restructuring exercise," but the exact number of employees affected is unknown. To cut costs, startups have had to reduce their headcount.
Several Indian ed-tech companies have laid off employees in recent times, with Byju's laying off 1,500 employees and Unacademy-owned Relevel letting go of 40 employees so far in 2023. Harappa Education, owned by UpGrad, sacked 70 employees and more layoffs are likely. Additionally, Bounce, Skit.ai, Moglix, and UpScalio have also laid off employees.