Swiggy is cutting about 1,000 jobs, most from its cloud kitchen division, as India’s top food delivery startup scales back some of its businesses in response to the coronavirus pandemic that has drastically affected millions of firms.
In a statement, the Bangalore-based startup said it was “evaluating various means to stay nimble and focus on growth and profitability across our kitchens.”
“This will, unfortunately, have an impact on a certain number of kitchen staff who will be fully supported during this transition,” said the startup, which, according to an analysis on LinkedIn, employs about 12,000 people.
Swiggy did not reveal the number of people it was letting go, but an anonymous source revealed to media that about 1,000 jobs were being cut. Indian news outlet Entrackr first reported the layoffs.
As the firm cuts its headcount, it is also looking to reduce its monthly burn rate to about $5 million, down from about $20 million it spends in winning customers currently, the source said, requesting anonymity as some of these matters remain private.
Swiggy — which has raised $1.42 billion to date, including $156 million as part of an ongoing Series I round this year — competes with Ant Financial-backed Zomato, which is also in talks to raise about $500 million by mid-May, Deepinder Goyal, the co-founder and chief executive of the Gurgaon-based startup, told TechCrunch last week.
Swiggy and Zomato have, however, struggled to cut costs in fear that they might lose customers. And those fears are well-founded.
Late last year, Swiggy executives said they had established 1,000 cloud kitchens for its restaurant partners in the country — more than any of its local rivals. The startup said it had invested in more than a million square feet of real estate space across 14 cities in the country in the last two years.
In the wake of the pandemic, multiple internet businesses — including Oyo, BlackBuck, Treebo, Acko, Fab Hotels, Meesho, Shuttl, Capillary, Niki.ai, Swiggy and Fareportal — have on average cut workforce by 30 percent, including temporary staff, in the past one month.
Many others, such as Ola, Zomato, Zoomcar, MakeMyTrip, Chaipoint, Cashify, Livspace and Shopmatic, have reduced pay by as much as 50 percent, while a few have withdrawn job offers, according to data shared by Big.Jobs, a crowdsourced jobs portal.
The portal also revealed that retail, hospitality, travel, mobility, and financial services — worst affected by the pandemic — will see maximum job cuts. More than 600 businesses have downsized staff in the past one-month, while a further 660 have cut salaries,
In fact, according to the ongoing People Matters COVID-19: Impact & Measurements survey, 25 percent reveal they plan to cut the workforce by 10-20 percent due to the coronavirus outbreak. Further, eight percent of companies said they expect to cut 20-30 percent of the workforce and seven percent expect retrenchment by cutting down more than 30 percent of the workforce.