Uber is cutting 600 jobs in India, or 25% of its workforce in the country, it said on Tuesday as it looks to cut costs to steer through the coronavirus pandemic.
The job cuts, which affect teams across customer and driver support, business development, legal, policy, marketing, and finance, are part of the company’s global restructuring that eliminated 6,700 jobs this month.
The American giant, which claimed to be the top cab hailing service in India earlier this year, said it was providing 10 to 12 weeks of salary to the employees who were being let go, in addition to offering them medical insurance for the next six months.
"The impact of Covid-19 and the unpredictable nature of the recovery has left Uber India 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. Today is an incredibly sad day for colleagues leaving the Uber family and all of us at the company. We made the decision now so that we can look to the future with confidence,” said Pradeep Parameswaran, President for Uber’s India and South Asia businesses, in a statement shared through a spokesperson.
“I want to apologise to departing colleagues and extend my heartfelt thanks to them for their contributions to Uber, the riders, and the driver partners we serve in India,” he added.
Uber’s announcement follows a similar cost cutting measures enforced by its local rival Ola, which eliminated 1,400 jobs, or 35% of its workforce last week.
India announced a lockdown in late March that shut down all public transportation services across the country. In recent weeks, New Delhi has eased some restrictions, however, that has enabled both Ola and Uber to resume several of their services -- excluding pool rides -- in most parts of the country except those where concentration of coronavirus cases is very high.
As in most other parts of the world, the Covid-19 outbreak has disrupted several industries in India including food delivery, hospitality and travel. Food delivery startups Swiggy and Zomato have together eliminated about 2,600 jobs (with 2,100 at Swiggy alone) as many of their existing customers attempt to avoid exposure to the world. Uber sold its Indian food delivery business to Zomato earlier this year.
Travel and hospital firms such as MakeMyTrip and Oyo have also cut several jobs or furloughed thousands of employees in recent months as their revenues drop significantly.