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The fault in our startups

By Newsd
Updated on :

Just six months after firing over 300 people and facing mass backlash over the layoffs, restaurant search and discovery service, Zomato is again hiring people. As Newsd discovered, the company website is proudly carrying the “We’re Hiring!” advertisement on its homepage. (see image)

"We're Hiring!" advertisement on Zomato homepage.
“We’re Hiring!” advertisement on Zomato homepage.

This periodical cycle of hiring and firing people every six months is not new to Zomato, as the unicorn startup has been hitting headlines ever since its mass layoffs began in 2015.

Founded by Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah in 2008, the startup is known for its aggressive pace of acquisitions and operations in 23 countries.

The Gurgaon-based company was in news for all the wrong reasons in 2015, when it handled pink slips to about 10 percent of its 3,000 strong workforce in November last year. In a letter addressed to his employees, Goyal blamed the under performance of the sales team and its failure to rake up revenues and bring in more investors. Even the content team faced massive layoffs as the company cited “a shift in approach” as the reason behind firing people. In his letter, Goyal wrote, “We are far behind the numbers that we promised our investors for this financial year (year ending March 2016) — our investors have said that so far, we have always delivered what we have promised. We are close to not living up to that for the first time in the last 5 years. So we really need the sales team to achieve peak performance, and it needs to happen right now.”

In a move that contradicts its own stand, the layoffs happened soon after Goyal announced that the company was revamping its staff strength in February 2015. Exactly six months after announcing more than 1,200 vacancies at the organisation, Zomato fired 300 people. This along with abrupt changes in job offers, irregular payments and a spat with IIT resulted in it getting banned from holding placements in any of the IITs.  The company prides itself on a rigorous work culture, long working hours and is increasingly being known for its hire-fast-fire-fast policy. Newsd was unable to contact Zomato officials for a comment.