In what appears to be a fresh round of layoffs, Ola, India’s largest ride-hailing platform, has fired about 200 employees. The news was first reported by Inc42, a media start-up that focuses on start-ups and technology.
This is not the first time Ola has gone through a round of layoffs. In March 2019, the company reportedly laid off 1,400 employees in the areas of customer and driver support. This round of layoffs was attributed to Ola’s cost-cutting efforts.
The latest round of layoffs was reportedly undertaken “due to the ongoing economic crisis in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic”. The company stated in an internal email that the “current economic environment has forced us to take a hard look at our operations, and we have been forced to make some hard decisions.” The layoffs are said to have affected employees in the engineering, product and design, and corporate functions. According to the company, some of the affected employees will be given one month’s salary as compensation.
Ola has been facing a tough time due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company’s rides and food delivery business have been hit hard due to the nationwide lockdown. The company has been forced to take drastic measures to cut costs. In April, the company announced that it will be shutting down its food delivery service, Food panda. The company has also reduced the salaries of its employees by up to 25 percent. The layoffs have come as a shock to the employees. Many have taken to social media to express their disappointment. One former employee tweeted, “Sad day for us. We were asked to leave without notice. No one has even asked how we are doing.”
The layoffs have also raised questions about the company’s future. Ola has been facing stiff competition from its rival Uber, which has been investing heavily in the Indian market. Moreover, the coronavirus pandemic has further weakened Ola’s position, as people are increasingly avoiding public transport.
It remains to be seen how the company will cope with the current crisis. The layoffs have come as a wake-up call for the company and it will be interesting to see how it adapts to the changing market dynamics.
With the Indian economy still reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, many more companies will likely resort to layoffs in the coming months. This is a worrying sign for the Indian economy, which is already facing its worst recession in decades.
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