With its plan to downsize in the wake of COVID-19 crisis, BookMyShow joins the league of other well-funded consumer internet companies to have either fired or furloughed workers. The online ticketing company has laid off or furloughed 270 employees. It did not provide a breakup of the number of employees who had been fired, and those put on furlough.
Ashish Hemrajani, Chief Executive of BookMyShow, wrote an email to all the employees to inform them about the company’s plan to cut its workforce.
“Today, we are at the stage where I have to share with you, the uncomfortable, unfortunate yet inevitable downsizing exercise that we have to take due to the unfavourable environment,” he wrote.
The email further read, “Out of 1,450 employees at BookMyShow in India and globally, about 270 employees across various functions and teams will be impacted through this exercise. This includes those who will be put on furloughs, along with those who we will have to part ways with, at least, as of now.”
Employees that have been laid off will be provided severance pay of two months’ salary irrespective of their tenure or as per notice period, whichever is higher. They will also receive medical insurance cover, along with their nominated family members, until September 30. On the other hand, the furloughed employees will continue to remain employed with BookMyShow and will be eligible for all medical insurance, gratuity and other benefits as per their employment standards.
BookMyShow was valued at about $800 Mn during its last funding round in 2018 and has investors like SAIF Partners, TPG Growth and Accel Partners. But the pandemic brought troubles for the emerging consumer-internet company, with measures like travel ban, social distancing and movie theaters closed across the globe. Although BookMyShow had quickly adapted to the new normal and had started linking its app with registrations for online events, yet the scale at which it operated with multiple large and small events and bookings for movies can’t be matched so easily.
"“The company has cut all other expenses and renegotiated with vendors, partners and landlords and after exhausting all other cost-saving measures, we have taken this decision as a last resort,” wrote Hemrajani, in the email addressed to all the employees.
Like many other businesses, BookMyShow also struggles to keep up with the cost and despite avoiding it for a while, it had to take the decision as the last option. But the CEO of the company has ensured that he shares all information with the employees and has even taken measures to support them in some way through severance pay and medical insurance. Hemrajani and the leadership at BookMyShow seems to have held onto the pillars of transparency, empathy, compassion and communication even while taking a tough decision.