Article: How Indian startups are showcasing resilience amid layoffs


How Indian startups are showcasing resilience amid layoffs

During this period, although more than 2,000 employees were laid off, the number signifies a noteworthy 60% reduction compared to the same period last year.
How Indian startups are showcasing resilience amid layoffs

In the world of Indian startups, the first quarter of the current calendar year has offered a glimmer of hope amidst the chaos, with a noticeable reduction in layoffs signalling a potential shift in the startup landscape.

Data from reveals that while over 2,000 employees were laid off during this period, the figure represents a significant 60% decrease compared to the same period last year. 

This stark contrast underscores the resilience of the startup ecosystem, especially considering the challenges posed by the notorious "funding winter" experienced in the previous year.

Looking back at the tumultuous first quarter of 2023, the startup arena witnessed a wave of layoffs, with 43 companies bidding farewell to more than 5,358 employees. Notable among these was the edtech giant Byju’s, which made headlines by terminating 1,500 employees across various departments. 

Other prominent startups such as Swiggy, ShareChat, Ola, and MediBuddy also contributed to the high number of layoffs, shedding light on the broader challenges faced by the industry.

Fast forward to 2024, and there seems to be a noticeable shift in the layoff landscape. Only 11 startups resorted to employee terminations in the first quarter of this year, a stark contrast to the previous year's numbers. 

Flipkart, a stalwart in the Indian e-commerce scene, grabbed headlines with its decision to lay off approximately 1,100 employees as part of its annual performance reviews. Similarly, Swiggy downsized its workforce by 400 employees, constituting nearly 7% of its total workforce. Other startups such as InMobi,, and Pristyn Care also underwent layoffs during this period, albeit on a smaller scale.

The cyclical nature of hiring and layoffs in startups is closely intertwined with funding dynamics and capital availability in the market. Last year's funding winter saw a staggering 16,400 employees laid off from 111 companies, reflecting the harsh realities of a capital-strapped environment. 

Conversely, the funding boom experienced in 2021 resulted in approximately 4,000 layoffs, highlighting the unpredictable nature of the startup ecosystem.

As funding rounds begin to normalize in 2024, particularly for early-stage companies, the frequency of layoffs is expected to diminish. Recent data from Tracxn indicates a 28% increase in early-stage funding rounds in Q1, signaling a positive trend for the startup ecosystem. 

However, challenges persist, with economic uncertainties, market volatility, and evolving consumer behavior continuing to pose hurdles for startups.

In navigating these challenges, startups must prioritise prudent financial management, strategic decision-making, and sustainable growth strategies. 

Additionally, fostering a culture of innovation, prioritizing employee welfare, and embracing adaptability will be critical for startups to thrive in the dynamic business environment.

While the reduction in layoffs is indeed a positive development, it serves as a reminder of the resilience and adaptability inherent in the Indian startup ecosystem. As startups continue to evolve and navigate the ever-changing landscape, their ability to weather storms and emerge stronger than before will be a testament to their ingenuity and determination.

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Topics: Startups, #Layoffs, #HRCommunity, #HRTech

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