‘Sacking’ January

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The mass tech layoffs of 2022 are continuing into the new year, and Indian companies and startups are among the leaders in firing staff…reports Asian Lite News

More than 1,600 tech employees are being laid off per day on average in 2023 globally including in India, and the sacking episodes have gained speed amid global economic meltdown and recession fears.

In 2022, over 1,000 companies laid off 154,336 workers, as per the data from layoffs tracking site Layoffs.fyi.

The mass tech layoffs of 2022 are continuing into the new year, and Indian companies and startups are among the leaders in firing staff.

Homegrown social media company ShareChat (Mohalla Tech Pvt Ltd) laid off 20 per cent of its workforce due to uncertain market conditions, affecting more than 500 employees.

Backed by Twitter, Google, Snap and Tiger Global, ShareChat has about 2,300 employees.

In December 2022, ShareChat laid off less than 5 per cent of its employees after it shut down its fantasy sports platform called Jeet11.

Companies like Ola (which fired 200 employees) and voice automated startup Skit.ai also dominated the headlines for laying off employees this month.

Homegrown quick-grocery delivery provider Dunzo has laid off 3 per cent of its workforce amid cost-cutting measures.

The year 2023 has begun on a bad note for tech workers globally and 91 companies have laid off more than 24,000 tech employees in the first 15 days this month, signalling worse days ahead.

Amazon announced to lay off 18,000 employees globally, including nearly 1,000 in India.

Meanwhile, LinkedIn is full of job hunts, offers of support for laid off friends and colleagues, and advice for coping with career hurdles as several companies trim their workforce to navigate through an uncertain macroeconomic environment.

According to market research firm Sensor Tower, the LinkedIn app was downloaded an estimated 58.4 million times in 2022 globally across Google Play Store and Apple App Stores — up 10 per cent from 2021.

Meanwhile, Hiring by Indian start-ups declined by 44 per cent during the last quarter of 2022 as compared to the first quarter that year.

According to a study by the company, hirings among Indian start-ups had been on a steady decline.

“The hiring experienced a 44 per cent decline in hiring in Q4 compared to Q1 of 2022,” the company said.

With the start-up sector witnessing turbulent times, attrition continued to be a major roadblock for the players.

Despite high attrition rates, the average median tenure increased to 1.9 years in start-ups vis-a-vis 1.7 years 6 months back. However, it is still not on par with other sectors like ITES (5.8 years), FMCG (4.1 years) and MSME Manufacturing (3.6 years), the study notes.

The study further stated that 64 per cent of the respondents (start-up employees) are willing to move to a “stable job”. Amongst these respondents, 47 per cent have stated job security as a concern to move to another job, followed by reasons like no work-life balance (27 per cent) and Better Pay in established firms (26 per cent).

Commenting on this, Aditya Narayan Mishra, Managing Director & CEO of CIEL HR Services, said, “India continues to be the front-runner of the Startup ecosystem despite the current threatening economic uncertainties. This downfall is only for a transient period, it will push the start-ups to be more serious in their overall operations and set new thresholds.”

“In this context, we see startups preferring onsite work, with 94 per cent of job openings looking for awork from office’. Startups are on the lookout for highly productive and skilled talent that can adapt quickly to the changes and stay ahead of the curve,” Mishra said.

As to the gender diversity in the start-up sector, the study notes that the women representation is at 24 per cent amongst start-ups with a negligible 11 per cent representation in leadership positions.

“Lack of flexibility, shift-away from remote working culture and inadequate support for childcare and eldercare needs continue to be hindrances for women to sustain and progress in the start-up ecosystem,” the report notes.

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