2023 had seen dozens of Indian unicorns lay off thousands of employees, and 2024 appears to have gotten off to a similar start.
Some of India’s biggest unicorn names, including Flipkart and InMobi, are looking to lay off employees early in 2024, reports suggest. Flipkart could slash as much as 5-7 percent of its workforce, which could amount to around 1,500 employees. Meanwhile InMobi, which also runs Glance and Roposo, could lay off 125 employees.
Flipkart will lay of these 1,500 employees through an annual performance review, which is already in motion. The review will be complete by March, following which the job cuts will be made. Flipkart has already frozen its hiring, and hasn’t onboarded new talent over the last year to cut costs. Flipkart currently has 22,000 employees, not including those working at its fashion subsidiary, Myntra.
“This has become an annual practice now. As part of the appraisal cycle, they (Flipkart) are restructuring teams. Overall business in 2023 had its ups and downs for the ecommerce industry, including Flipkart. So, corrections are being done now,” ET quoted a source as saying.
InMobi, meanwhile, is letting go of 125 employees, which account for 5 percent of its overall workforce. The layoff exercise is currently underway, is expected to be completed by the end of this month. InMobi is reportedly using AI and automating some internal processes, which has caused the redundancies.
In a statement, InMobi said that AI has been sweeping the world, and that the market needs and the expectations that the company’s customers have changed rapidly. The products for addressing the market needs and customer expectations, the skill sets for delivering those products and the go-to-market strategies are going to be significantly different from those of the past decade, it added. “The changes that we are bringing in at the organisation level are a proactive step for us to address the above needs, stay competitive and win globally in this decade and beyond,” InMobi said without explicitly referring to job cuts.
It’s not only Indian tech names that are laying off employees — global giants have been cutting their workforces too. Within the first 15 days of 2024, Google has laid off 1,000 employees, Twitch has laid off 500 employees, Audible has laid of 100 employees, and Discord has laid off 17 percent of its workforce. But Flipkart and InMobi are juggernauts of India’s tech space — prior to its acquisition, Flipkart was India’s most valuable startup, while InMobi was India’s first-ever unicorn. For both companies to be laying off employees right at the beginning of the year could indicate that pain of the tech sector of the last few quarters isn’t likely to end anytime soon.