The latest layoffs in India’s startup space had been largely concentrated within ed-tech companies, but now they seem to be spreading to other sectors.
Oyo Rooms has said that it’s undertaking a downsizing of its staff and laying off 600 employees. Prior to the layoffs, Oyo had an employee base of 3700, which implies it’s now let go of more than 16 percent of its staff. Most of the fired employees were from its product and engineering teams, and the Oyo vacation homes teams. The layoffs were also in teams that were developing pilots and proof of concepts such as in-app gaming, social content curation and patron facilitated content.
“It is unfortunate that we are having to part ways with a lot of these talented individuals who have made valuable contributions to the company,” said Oyo CEO Ritesh Agarwal. “As Oyo grows and a need for some of these roles emerges in the future, we commit to reaching out to them first and offering them the opportunity,” he added.
“We will be doing all that we can to ensure that most of the people we are having to let go, are gainfully employed. Every member of the Oyo team and I myself will proactively endorse the strength of each of these employees,” Agarwal continued.
Oyo said that while it was downsizing from specific teams, it was also making wide ranging changes in its organizational structure. Oyo said that members of projects that have now been ‘successfully developed’ and deployed such as ‘Partner SaaS’ had been either let go or were being redeployed in core product and newer tech areas such as AI driven pricing, ordering and payments. Meanwhile, the company said it was adding people to the partner relationship management and the business development teams. Oyo is also reassessing its corporate headquarter base afresh and is “merging congruent roles and flattening team structures” where needed.
Oyo’s layoff announcement comes after a string of ed-tech startup layoffs in India. Byju’s had announced last month that it was laying off 2,500 employees. Fellow ed-tech unicorn Vedantu has laid off 424 employees this year, and Unacademy has also laid off more than a thousand employees. Apart from ed-tech, Zomato had laid off 3% of its workforce earlier this month, and Ola had laid off 200 engineers in September.
This follows a global pattern of layoffs in the tech space. Meta has laid off 11,000 employees in one of the biggest layoffs in tech history, and Amazon has said it plans to let go off 10,000 employees. Google meanwhile has said it’ll slowly ask 10,000 “low-performers” to leave the company. These are difficult times in tech, and Indian startups are also slowly having to come to terms with the global slowdown.