On 10 June, New Delhi-based logistics SaaS startup FarEye laid off 250 employees.
On 7 June, Bengaluru-based gold loan provider Rupeek laid off around 200 people from its workforce, saying that the recent economic downturn “compelled [it] to re-calibrate”.
On 30 May, Indian mobile esports platform Mobile Premier League (MPL)—which entered the unicorn club last September at a valuation of US$2.3 billion—laid off around 100 people. It’s also exiting the Indonesian market.
And these are just a handful of examples. Over 9,500 people have been laid off in total this year, as per Inc42’s layoff tracker tracker Inc42 Indian Startup Layoff Tracker Read more . Tech startups in India are letting go of people on the daily. What was once an employee’s market has suddenly become an employer’s market—just months after the Great Resignation wave wave Livemint How the Great Resignation wave is impacting hiring, job shifting Read more that saw many employees leave, because back then, they could.
To understand the ripple effects of this on employees, The Ken caught up with a 25-year-old payments executive who joined an Indian e-commerce startup about six months ago—at the height of the Great Resignation. At first, he sounded confident about his current job situation. “My role is very critical. I’m indispensable,” he said.
After some time, though, his insecurities began to show. After months of working from home, he now shows up at work everyday. He says he fears his role could get diluted, and that there is simply no room for any slack or any error. “Earlier I would be very vocal about anything I spotted, I would push back if the feature they wanted to work on didn’t make sense. But now I just do my job,” he said.
In hindsight, he believes he should have stayed back at CRED, his previous employer. “Kunal [Shah – Founder, CRED] has some experience in dealing with crisis situations like this. Maybe I would have been better off staying there,” he admitted.
Layoffs are almost a rite of passage in startups. In the last five years, The Ken has looked into this a couple of times. In 2017 2017 The Ken The story of 6000+ layoffs Read more , companies that were a year old then—Snapdeal, PropTiger, Housing.com—laid off in the hundreds when funding dried up. Over 6,000 people lost jobs. And again, in late 2019 2019 The Ken Hire to grow, fire to sustain: Indian startups’ layoff loop Read more , when hiring-led growth caught up with the likes of Paytm, Oyo, Zomato, Ola, Rivigo—and over 3,000 startup employees were asked to leave.