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Social commerce startup Meesho lays off 200 employees as COVID-19 stresses business

The company recently launched its operations in Indonesia.

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Facebook-backed social commerce startup Meesho has reportedly let go of over 200 employees to cut cost as its operations have practically come to a standstill due to the three-week lockdown India started imposing last month.

According to local news website, Entrackr Meesho will lay off people from departments such as customer support, operations, marketing, and account managers.

“They have fired a lot of key account managers who are responsible for onboarding vendors,” one of the sources told Entrackr. “Since Meesho wants to control the speed of signing up of vendors, they will instead convert the fixed cost of salaries to a variable by outsourcing the vendor acquisition.”

Apart from this, Meesho might also have to resort to salary cuts which will be announced later in April, according to one of the people quoted in the report.

KrASIA has reached out to the company to confirm this report and we will update the news once we get a response.

Founded in 2015 by Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal, two graduates from India’s prestigious engineering institute IIT Delhi, Meesho’s platform is used by a network of resellers who buy products such as apparels, footwear, accessories, among other products to sell it to their family and friends. The company has informed its resellers that any order placed during the lockdown would take a minimum of 30 days to be delivered.

With the 21-day lockdown in place to contain the spread of the COVID-19, delivery of all non-essential products has been put on a hiatus impacting all the e-commerce players including Amazon India, Flipkart, Ola, Oyo, and others. Only essential products such as medicine, grocery items, and food from takeaway restaurants are allowed to be home-delivered.

Seeing the increase of demand in the grocery space, late last month, Meesho started taking orders for FMCG products such as packaged food, sanitizers, masks, and other daily essential products for its resellers to sell in their friends and family group. Although the pilot is currently limited to Bengaluru, the company said it would expand it into other cities as well.