The start-up bubble in India seems to be further exposed by recent turn of events. Grofers has recently joined the list of start-ups that have trimmed their manpower because of slower than expected growth rate and funding crunch.
Grofers, the grocery delivery start-up, has decided to lay off 10% of its workforce after shutting down its operations in 9 cities, this January. Apart from this, it has also revoked job offers to 67 fresh graduates, leading to widespread protests on social media. The fired employs were given two options- either resign or accept the layoff. The company informed the employees about their termination through one-on-one conversation, post which their email accounts were deactivated.
“The primary driver of this decision is our changing growth trajectory. We grew at an insane pace last year but given that as of April this year, we have effectively reduced marketing spend next to nothing. We don’t foresee the same growth rates to continue. This is also driven by a general slowdown in activity in the market, which we don’t see improving in the next few months, and which is a reality we want to adjust to as quickly as possible” said the email from human resource head Rishi Arora to the fired employees. The start-up has communicated this development to institutes such as NITs Surathkal and Allahabad, BITS Pilani and Goa through mail.
The layoffs at Grofers has come at a time when questions are being asked about the Indian Start-up ecosystem. Recently India’s largest shopping portal Flipkart had delayed the joining of 17 graduates from IIM Ahmedabad. Another Indian Start-up Roadrunner had similar issues which did not go down too well with various engineering and management institutes around the country. As a result, Placement heads of 16 IITs banned 6 firms from participating in campus placements for the academic year 2016-17.
On the contrary, some experts believe that these are one-off incidents and should not be made a reference point to judge the Start-up ecosystem in the country.