It’s a growing practice these days. Start-ups get aggressive with hiring immediately after they receive funding, but are also quick enough to cut down on staff as soon as the funds dry up.
The latest company to go this way is Grofers. The grocery delivery service start-up has decided to lay-off 10 percent of its workforce, and at the same time it has revoked joining of 67 fresh hires.
The start-up – funded by Softbank Corp. and Tiger Global Management – has over 1,000 employees. It has cited adverse market conditions as the biggest reason behind this move.
A mail sent to the entire staff by the company’s head - human resources, Rishi Arora states, that the teams to be worst affected by the layoffs will be the customer support and the content team.
The company will pay the employees a month’s salary as part of the severance package. The 67 students whose offer letters were revoked, belonged to – National Institute of Technologies (NITs) at Allahabad and Surathkal; Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani, and its Goa campus; and the Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad.
Apologising to the students and staff about the decision taken, the founders Albinder Dhindsa and Saurabh Kumar in an official blog post, says, “We had to take some difficult decisions over the past few days. We realise the impact this has on our campus hires and we do not view it lightly. But even before that, we want to apologise for the way we handled the situation”. Although the post affirmed that the reason behind this decision was some strategic business changes that outgrew the need for these roles, it also clearly stated that there was a lack of enough empathy.
“Our communication yesterday has left a lot to be desired and we accept full responsibility for it. The ones affected by this decision deserved much more empathy and understanding – and the fact that we failed in that is unacceptable. We are really and truly sorry”, the blog post added.
Without getting into the debate whether this apology sounds genuine or fake, the fact does not change that the company has put fresh graduates and some of its employees in a fix.
Recently, other startups such as Zomato, Snapdeal and Cardekho also underwent retrenchment owing to rising competition, tightening budgets and tough market conditions, while a food ordering app-based company Tiny Owl shut down operations in four cities, leaving hundreds of its employees jobless.