The Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown is causing enormous misery to businesses. Online food delivery startup Swiggy, which is one of the many companies very badly hit, is in the process of laying off around 800 to 900 employees from its ‘cloud kitchen’ division.
Cloud kitchens are delivery-only properties that don’t offer dine-in facilities. Incidentally, Swiggy is also set to close down fifty percent of its cloud kitchens, which till the lockdown kicked in was one of its successful endeavours.
The cost-cutting was inevitably enforced on Swiggy due to the lockdown and the consequent squeeze on its business.
According to reports, the layoff will happen next month (May) once the company’s board approves it. “It is only a formality and the board will endorse these decisions,” said a source privy to the developments.
Swiggy, it is learnt, is also in the process of renegotiating rents on the properties for many of its cloud kitchens.
The developments are not really a surprise as the talk of layoffs had been in the air for quite some time. In fact the Bengaluru-based startup had wanted to go ahead with the layoffs in March itself, but the company held back its decision. Now the long lockdown has firmly forced the company to take the bitter decision.
Most of those being laid off will be done on performance grounds, said a company source. “The low graders are the ones to get the chop.”
Swiggy, as is the norm today, has assured that it would support the employees during this transition.
Swiggy, to make the most out of the limited business opportunities in the lockdown period, has also extended its delivery business to groceries and vegetables in select cities.