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Flipkart denies layoffs, but says underperformers “encouraged to seek opportunities outside”


In an emailed statement to MediaNama, Flipkart denied “allegations of a layoff,” instead, going on a defensive about its ‘transparent evaluation process’ which allows it to identify employees who meet and do not meet its performance standards. The company says that it underperformers were “encouraged to seek opportunities outside”, and that this was a regular yearly exercise in which 1% of the workforce would be affected. Full statement below.

Last week, Economic Times reported that Flipkart had laid off 700-1,000 of its employees to make it a “lean organisation”. As of 2015, Flipkart had 33,000 employees, making the laid off employees 2.3-3.3% of the total workforce according to the report. However, MediaNama has not been able to independently verify the number of employees who were asked to leave.

Flipkart’s full statement:
“Flipkart denies all allegations of a layoff. As a performance oriented organisation, we follow a transparent evaluation process. Employees are assessed in a fair, simple, transparent and development oriented manner. We use our review process to differentiate performance and maintain a high bar, which is reflected in our total rewards philosophy. The top performers are rewarded highly and promoted to the next growth level. The solid performers are accordingly recognized and groomed for future roles through mentoring, coaching and on-the-job learning opportunities. At times, we have employees who do not meet the performance bar. In those situations we work closely with employees to enable them improve their performance. In due course, if these employees are unable to make the desired progress, they are encouraged to seek opportunities outside the company where their skills can be better utilized. This is a fairly common practice across various industries- especially in high performing internet organizations.”

Layoffs in other organisations this year:
– In June, Mint reported that Grofers was laying off 10% of its workforce while retracting job offers given to fresh graduates. Sharad Harjai, AVP of Marketing at Grofers, refused to comment to MediaNama on the development.
– In May, the AskMe Group was believed to have laid off employees, but it said that it had moved around 300 of its employees to its partner organisations.
– In April, GirnarSoft laid off 60 people in the company in a round of restructuring.
– In February, Economic Times reported that Snapdeal had laid off 200 employees, a development Snapdeal denied to the publication and said was a part of its performance evaluation program.
– In January, Foodpanda laid off 15% of its staff across verticals, to become ‘sustainable and profitable’. Foodpanda claimed that it has reduced manual intervention and hit 98% automation rate in order processing, thus leading to cutting its workforce.

Recent developments at Flipkart:
– Last month, Flipkart bought Jabong from Global Fashion Group for $70 million.
– In June, Flipkart shut down its Ping chat feature starting along with its image search as well.
– In May, Flipkart’s logistics company Ekart launched a courier service called Ekart Courier to build a direct consumer facing business.
– In April, it bought bought payments company PhonePe.
– In February, it shut down its grocery delivery service Nearby.

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