Uber cuts 600 jobs in India as lockdown hits business

Technology

FILE PHOTO: Uber’s logo is pictured at its office in Bogota, Colombia, December 12, 2019. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez/File Photo

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc will cut around 600 jobs in India as part of its plans to lay off 23% of its global workforce, as the company navigates a lockdown that has brought businesses in the country to a grinding halt.

Last week, Uber said it would focus on its core businesses of ride-hailing and food delivery and cut costs 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 IndiaSA with no choice but to reduce the size of its workforce,” Uber India and South Asia President Pradeep Parameswaran said.

The company’s rival in India, SoftBank Group-backed Ola said last week it would cut abut 1,400 jobs as a lockdown brought down revenue by 95% in the last couple of months.

Both Ola and Uber’s business came to a halt in late March as India enforced a countrywide lockdown to contain the spread of the virus. The government has since lifted some restrictions, but companies across the board face challenges as demand for their services have dropped.

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

(This story corrects paragraph two to drop reference to Uber saying last week it would cut a third of its jobs)

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

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