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Uber India fires quarter of its workforce in the country

Uber India on Tuesday announced that it will furlough nearly 600 employees in the country. The announcement was on the expected lines, after Uber having laid off almost 6,700 employees globally over the last few weeks.

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The announcement has come barely days after Ola – regional rival of US-based ride-hailing giant – announced that it will lay off 1,400 employees. With India imposing one of the strictest lockdowns in the world, Coronavirus has put a huge speed breaker in the path of ride-hailing companies.

The impact of COVID-19 and the unpredictable nature of the recovery has left Uber IndiaSA 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,” Pradeep Parameswarn, President Uber India and South Asia said.

The company has said that laid-off employees will be offered 10-week payout and medical insurance coverage for the next 6 months.

Even before coronavirus snowballed into major global crises, Uber was well in the process of scaling down its business in India as well as across the world. The ride-hailing major sold its food delivery business in India to Zomato in an all-stock deal earlier this year.

The company had also recently sold its online food delivery business in the middle-eastern region in order to streamline its balance sheet. However, the company hasn’t given up all together on the online food delivery business as it is currently engaged in talks to acquire American online food delivery company Grubhub.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 has forced almost all high profile Indian startups to opt for mass lay options as they clamor hard to preserve capital. Oyo, Curefit, Udaan, Sharechat, Swiggy, and Zomato are some of the well-known startups that have recently scaled down their businesses.

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