Healthcare start-up Practo's moves to sack 150 people, or 10 per cent of its workforce, is part of the new reality at Indian start-ups, who have been forced to rationalise costs and increase focus on profitability.
joins other firms such as Snapdeal
and its unit FreeCharge, both of which are up for sale, as they struggle to compete with established rivals. Practo, backed by Chinese firm Tencent, has made five acquisitions over the last year and has been looking to cut extra flab that came with these companies.
started in 2007 as a platform to exchange information between patients, doctors and healthcare providers. Currently, the company works as complete healthcare services provider from booking appointments to sharing information and even insurances. It raised its latest round of funding, amounting to $55 million, in January this year. It had also expanded its services to Brazil last year.
“Yesterday, 150 of our colleagues left the company to pursue opportunities outside. This is a combination of natural redundancies that emerge as we integrate our five acquisitions and evolve our businesses, as well as the performance required for the next phase of Practo’s growth. In line with our policy, we provide employees with 2 months pay, employment and outplacement services to help them find them their next great opportunity. We continue to rapidly grow our consumer and enterprise businesses and will continue to hire talent across the board,” said a company spokesperson in an emailed response. The company maintains that it had no financial crisis and remains well funded.
The company has acquired Enlightiks, Qikwell and Insta, FitHo and Genii to expand its services.
is not the first firm to sack employees. In fact, since the start of this year, Snapdeal, the country’s third largest e-commerce firm, has sacked close to 500 to 600 employees. This was followed by StayZilla, a company that is currently in another legal battle, shutting shop and sacking employees.
Yepme, a fashion e-tailer, also sacked 30 employees after outsourcing its warehousing and quality control. Similarly, another fashion e-tailer, Craftsvilla, sacked 100 people from its merchandise and technology department.