Cab-hailing platform Uber is in the process of letting go of around 500-700 employees from its India office as it has witnessed a sharp decline in its business due to a nationwide lockdown, according to two people familiar with the matter. They plan to have the layoffs within the next two weeks, added the people cited above.
This comes just in the backdrop of a news report that said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told its staff to expect a decision on layoffs in the next two weeks. The Information had reported a week ago that Uber is in discussions to lay off 20% of its employees.
“The company is set to lay off up to 700 people in India. The decision has been almost final and likely to be announced when lockdown will get lifted,” said one of the sources requesting anonymity. “With this, Uber would be laying off about 25-30% of its overall workforce in India.”
Uber has over 2,000 employees in India, per sources. However, Entrackr couldn’t independently verify this.
“We cannot comment on employee-related matters, but are aware of the government’s advisory related to them during the ongoing lockdown,” said an Uber spokesperson in a response to emailed queries sent by Entrackr.
The ride-hailing business has taken a major toll due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic which has confined people to their homes. This has seen Uber’s business witness a significant drop across the globe including India. Dubai’s ride-hailing and delivery firm Careem, which was acquired by Uber last year, has also planned to slash 31% of its workforce.
“Since the government had requested companies not to lay off employees amid the Covid-19 crisis, Uber is delaying the announcement of the layoff in India,” added the second source. He requested anonymity as well.
Uber’s ride-hailing business isn’t the only one being impacted by the pandemic. Its food-delivery arm UberEats recently announced the shuttering of its on-demand food business in seven markets including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Romania, among others.
Uber has also handed over its UAE’s food delivery business — Uber Eats to Careem. The company had already sold out the local food ordering business to Zomato in $206 million. While the investment was valued at $171 million, the remaining $35 million was received as a reimbursement of goods and services tax receivable from Zomato.