The layoffs in India’s food tech sector are well on their way to continuing onto 2016. After Zomato had fired 10% of its workforce, and TinyOwl had let go of 100 employees which resulted in its cofounder being held hostage in their Pune office for 2 days, Foodpanda has fired around 300 of its staff in India. This represents 10% of its workforce.
The firing season for Indian startups is not quite over. After the flurry of layoffs last month when Zomato, TinyOwl and Helpchat had fired employees, there had been a lull in the bad news coming in from India’s startup space. Not any more.
It has been reported that realty startup Grabhouse has fired an undisclosed number of workers. These layoffs are chiefly in the operations and data collection teams.
Although there is huge outrage of start-ups retrenching employees, actual facts and figures behind these lays offs and shutdowns are not what meets the eye. Dearth of investments may not be the identified cause. Yes, the cheque sizes or amounts being invested in start-ups may be declining but the overall funding story is quite different.
Retail baron Kishore Biyani, head of the Future group, has been watching recent developments in the Indian hyperlocal sector with interest. He’s watched grocery delivery startups raise tremendous amounts of money and offer incredible discounts. He’s seen these companies attain some jaw-dropping valuations. But he isn’t impressed.
With startups like Localbanya, TinyOwl, Zomato, Helpchat letting go off employees, employees across the startup sector, where people were rushing towards until recently, are spooked. Indian startups require thousands of engineers and skilled workers, and now compete with large MNCs for talent, hence there is a huge demand and supply gap, which leads to salary hikes.