In the year 2022, 44 startups fired about 16,000 people. MakeMyTrip also had to make layoffs during the pandemic, which Deep Kalra considers the most difficult step he has ever taken
Image Credit source: TV9
K Krishnakumar, TV9 Network-
The wave of layoffs in startups has seriously damaged the employable image of India’s startups. 44 in the year 2022 startups fired about 16,000 people from the job. This raises serious questions whether startups are doing things right. Deep Kalra, founder of Makemytrip.com, is one of those who knows what should be the size of a company. In a conversation with TV9 Network’s K Krishnakumar, Deep Kalra described his online travel company as a “22-year-old startup.” This is the culture that he has developed in his company.
The pandemic badly affected the travel and tourism sector. Makemytrip.com’s revenue dropped by almost 96 percent when the pandemic was at its peak. Kalra says, â€œWe were almost ruined. No matter how economically you work, our position regarding profits used to be bad. Kalra himself took a 100 per cent pay cut while the top management took a 50 per cent cut in their salaries. Despite this, the company had to lay off 10 percent of its employees. Kalra says this was the toughest decision he has taken in the company’s history. This still hurts them the most. â€œBut if we had not done that, we would have been doing a wrong to other people in the company,â€ he added.
Kalra has a simple lesson for entrepreneurs, â€œCompanies should keep fixed costs as low as possible because you never know when the next bad time will comeâ€. To do this, Kalra says, start-up founders need to think deeply about each and every hiring decision they make. Kalra says the founders of companies need to ask whether they will be able to keep running if revenues fall by 20 per cent, 30 per cent or even 40 per cent.
Kalra believes that the pandemic has also brought a ray of hope with it as India’s internet and e-commerce ecosystem has grown rapidly due to it. It gave birth to more than 100 unicorns. He said that the year 2021 was a historic year for the country’s startup ecosystem as startups raised the highest ever funding of $42 billion in more than 1,500 deals. He says that the trend of online shopping and payment by consumers during the epidemic is not going to change now. He said that something similar is visible in the larger digital focus of the TV9 group.
Talking about TV9 Network’s English news debut with News9 Plus, the world’s first OTT video magazine, Kalra said, â€œFirst of all congratulations! ‘This start-up’ is very exciting. You have picked a very exciting segment. I am sure it will do really well. My best wishes to News9Plus. I think you guys are doing a great job with this app. I think it is going to be a game-changer in the days to come. Best wishes!”