It would be a long firing season for startups — experts say 60,000 could lose their jobs


  • Indian startups have already laid off over 6,000 employees in the last five months.
  • The layoff season is likely to continue in the coming months as investors get cautious.
  • So far companies like Ola, Unacademy, Vedantu have laid off over 3,600 employees this year.

Indian startups have already laid off around 6,000 employees in the last five months. But this startup firing season will continue, according to several experts that Business Insider spoke to.

Archit Garg, co-founder at Glamyo Health, pegs startup layoffs at 10 times the current number at — 60,000.

“Unfortunately there is more pain in the ecosystem and funding environment could take 6- 9 months to reverse, so chances are that the actual number will be 10 times of this as I expect there will be more negative news which we will hear about in the near future,” said Garg.

Edtech employees could be the biggest victims as students are going back to schools. “With the significant crisis brewing in the Indian edtech sector, a lack of clarity in structure and processes comes as a blockage,” Naveen Jangir, co-founder of HRTech company Incluzon, said.

So far companies like Ola, Unacademy, Vedantu have laid off over 3,600 employees this year, according to media reports as well as company’s announcements.

Company Layoffs
Ola 2,100
Unacademy 925
Vedantu 624
Cars24 600
Mfine 600
Trell 300
Lido Learning 200
Furlenco 200
Meesho 150
OkCredit 40
Total 5,739

Source: Company Announcements, Media Reports

Read more: The worst for Indian startups is yet to come — be prepared for layoffs, unicorn slowdown and startup shutdowns in 2022

Hired too, and now there will be much firing

Yogita Tulsiani, the managing director and cofounder at global tech-recruiter provider iXceed Solutions, noted that both low-funded and highly-funded startups would be impacted by this. Most companies hired aggressively during the start of the pandemic and are unable to handle it now.

Each company has a long term plan and unprecedented scenarios such as the events happening now can impact their hiring and team sizes, said Sarbojit Mallick, co-founder of advanced hiring platform Instahyre. He noted that the plan would also include consolidation of internal departments, streamlining of operations and tightening of the gaps.

Sujata Pawar, co-founder and CEO of menstrual care startup Avni, noted that startups that fail to manage their runway and carefully grow the business will be subjected to such layoffs.

“As long as organisations are successful in adapting to the changing market dynamics, retaining talent won’t be much of a hassle. In this new world, with the workforce ready to jump into multiple opportunities, consulting, contractual projects and more, these obstacles will not concern either employers or employees.” Piyush Raj Akhouri, co-founder and business head at recruitment firm Bridgentech Consulting, said.

Startups will keep hiring too

Piyush Bhartiya, co-founder and CEO of AdmitKard — which helps with end-to-end career advisory startup for students studying abroad — highlighted that for every company that is laying off employees there are another 100 who are hiring.

“Like I said, some companies are laying off, others like ours are hiring. I do not see that will impact the employment ratios too dramatically,” he added.

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