Saarthi.ai, an AI tech support startup based in Bengaluru, has reportedly terminated employees in response to "investor pressure" to achieve profitability. Additionally, the company is said to have withheld the salaries of several employees since March 2023.
Although an employee posted on a social media platform stating that the withholding of salaries has impacted a significant portion of the staff, the exact figures could not be independently verified.
In response to inquiries, Founder and CEO Vishwa Nath Jha acknowledged that the company has dismissed employees in groups due to "investor pressure" to achieve profitability. However, he declined to disclose the specific number of employees impacted by this decision.
"Our team has been restructured in light of technological advancement and many team members were let go in batches as a result. We had to automate low level professional cognitive skills of our staff due to investor pressure to become profitable," he told PTI.
Assuring those concerned about salary withholdings, he stated that the full and final settlement for the early batches of employees who were let go has been fully cleared.
"The rest will be cleared within 90 days as per the company policy. We're working with investors to resolve this...event," he added.
A post by an employee on the startup social media platform Grapevine alleges that Saarthi.ai, an AI-based tech support startup, has not paid salaries to its employees since March 2023. The post further claims that the company has been providing false assurances to the 140+ affected employees that they will receive their salaries soon, while the senior management continues to receive payment.
"Employees are scared to call this out as they are worried that they won't get their backlog salary,” the post further read.
Amidst these developments, Dunzo, a quick commerce logistics startup, has also postponed employee salaries for June and July until September 2023. Additionally, Dukaan CEO Suumit Shah recently took to Twitter to announce that the company has replaced 90 per cent of its customer care staff with the AI chatbot Lina as part of their efforts to achieve profitability.