India markets closed

Uber cuts 600 jobs in India as lockdown hits business

FILE PHOTO: An Uber sticker is seen on Margaret Bordelon's car in Lafayette, Louisiana

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc has cut about 600 jobs in India as part of plans to reduce its global workforce by 23%, the company said on Tuesday, joining local rival Ola as the COVID-19 pandemic crushes demand for app-based cab services.

Last week, Uber said it would focus on its core businesses in ride-hailing and food delivery and cut staffing globally in an attempt to become profitable despite the coronavirus pandemic.

"The impact of Covid-19 and the unpredictable nature of the recovery has left Uber India SA with no choice but to reduce the size of its workforce," Uber India and South Asia President Pradeep Parameswaran said.

Laid off employees will receive a minimum of 10 weeks worth of payout, medical insurance coverage for the next six months and other help, Parameswaran added.

The ride-hailing taxi business in India came to a halt in late March as the government enforced a countrywide lockdown to contain the spread of the virus. The lockdown has since been eased, but companies across sectors face challenges as demand for their services has dropped.

Uber's main rival in India - SoftBank Group-backed Ola - said last week it would cut about 1,400 jobs as the lockdown brought down revenue by 95% in the last couple of months.

Uber did not say how many workers it employs in India, but a source told Reuters the company employed around 2,400-2,500 employees before Tuesday's job cuts were announced.


(Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Shounak Dasgupta)