Uber cuts 600 jobs in India due to COVID-19; 'made the decision so that we can look to future with confidence', says country head

Uber announced it is laying-off a fourth of its total headcount of 2,400 in the country across customer and driver support, business development, legal, finance, policy and marketing verticals.

FP Staff May 26, 2020 10:41:03 IST
Uber cuts 600 jobs in India due to COVID-19; 'made the decision so that we can look to future with confidence', says country head

Last week, after  cab aggregator Ola said it is laying off 1,400 employees, Uber India has announced it is axing 600 jobs in India.

The company announced it is laying-off a fourth of its total headcount of 2,400 in the country across customer and driver support, business development, legal, finance, policy and marketing verticals. The retrenched employees would be paid 10 to 12 weeks of salary, besides medical insurance coverage for the next six months and outplacement support, the company said, according to a report in The Business Standard.

“The impact of COVID-19 and the unpredictable nature of the recovery has left Uber India with no choice but to reduce the size of its workforce. Around 600 full time positions across driver and rider support, as well as other functions, are being impacted. These reductions are part of previously announced global job cuts this month. Today is an incredibly sad day for colleagues leaving the Uber family and all of us at the company. We made the decision now so that we can look to the future with confidence,” said Pradeep Parameswaran, President for Uber’s India and South Asia businesses, in a statement shared through a spokesperson, a report in Tech Crunch said.

Uber Technologies Inc, the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company, has been laying off its staff in the US. In total, the firm will cut a total of 6,700 jobs, including the 3,700 it had announced earlier this month, Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi said, adding that the company plans to reduce investments in several “non-core projects,” according to Reuters.

Before the pandemic struck, Uber said it would become profitable on the basis of adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by the end of this year. The company withdrew that guidance as global stay-at-home orders to curb the virus pummeled its ride-hailing business.

On 20 May, Ola said on Wednesday it is laying off 1,400 employeese from rides, financial services and food business as the company's revenues have declined by 95 percent in the last two months due to coronavirus pandemic, a note by CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said.

In an email to employees, Aggarwal made it clear that the prognosis ahead for the business is "very unclear and uncertain" and the impact of this crisis is "definitely going to be long-drawn for us".

"The fallout of the virus has been very tough for our industry in particular. Our revenue has come down 95 percent over the past 2 months. Most importantly, this crisis has affected the livelihoods of millions of our drivers and their families across India and our international geographies," he said.

The company has decided to downsize and "let go" of 1,400 employees, Aggarwal added. Aggarwal said this will be a one-time exercise and will be complete by the end of this week for the India Mobility business, and by the end of next week for Ola foods and Ola Financial Services.

"No more COVID-related cuts will be done after this exercise," he said in the email.

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