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Oyo notifies employees about layoffs via emails

OYOothers
Oyo also informed staffers that it was doing much more than the required due HR processes followed by other companies in the country.
NEW DELHI: After acknowledging that it asked some of its employees to explore careers outside the company, SoftBank-backed Oyo has begun the process of notifying thousands of staffers individually about their status in the organisation through individual emails, people familiar with the matter said.

Layoffs in locations like Delhi and Jaipur were communicated to the staff on Monday, while in Gurgaon employees were notified on Tuesday. The people said the company fired about 200 employees in Delhi on Monday.

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The job cuts come after the company charted out its ‘new strategic objectives for 2020’ in an internal email on Monday.

ET has seen emails sent to some employees who have been retained by the company. One such email sent by an employee’s manager read: "Dear Oyopreneur, thank you for attending today’s all hands meeting. As per the reorganisation in our hub, your role is NOT impacted. Considering the sensitivity of the situation I advise you to maintain utmost confidentiality on the matter. Please continue your work plan, field visits, meetings, and calls for today as you had planned … I look forward to seeing you tomorrow and continuing to work together to meet our business goals."

Oyo did not respond to ET’s queries on the matter till the time of going to press on Tuesday.

The people said Oyo was giving a month's salary to employees who have worked in the company for a year, two months' salary to those who have worked two years and three months' salary to those who have stayed on for three years. It also informed employees that it was doing much more than the required due HR processes followed by other companies in the country.

Oyo is also offering the variable pay due to sacked employees, gratuity, now being called ex gratia, for the period worked, along with three months of medical coverage, they said. There were townhalls arranged by the company following the announcement and senior leaders were sent to major centres.

The layoffs include profiles like that of city heads who are responsible for managing the city operations of the chain.

ET was the first to report on the company’s plans of laying off about 2,000 employees in India across functions by January end in a bid to save on manpower costs and make some of its processes more ‘tech-enabled’, in its edition dated December 19. Sources had told ET at the time that divisions like sales, supply and operations would account for a chunk of the layoffs and that area managers who take care of operations in places like Gurgaon would also be in the firing line.

In a response to ET’s queries at the time, an Oyo spokesperson had said the company did not anticipate replacement of thousands of people in the near term and that in order to ensure a “meritocracy-based” performance evaluation programme, every month the company tracked the performance of individuals and depending on the results (a grading-based system) and the individual’s interests, it might replace some candidates after giving them an opportunity to go through a performance improvement programme. On being asked if it was laying off people as technology would replace some roles, the spokesperson had said the company did see technology replacing select roles in various business side engagement buckets. However, every such team member is given another opportunity, the spokesperson had said.

In the email sent to employees on Monday, founder Ritesh Agarwal said the company was doing everything it could to ensure its outgoing colleagues received as much assistance and support as possible through this transition. Agarwal said he wanted to thank Oyo’s employees, whom it refers to as Oyopreneurs, for their efforts and apologised for the impact the development was causing.
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