As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit the global economy hard, companies across various industries are scrambling to cut costs and preserve their businesses. Unfortunately, the result of this is a surge in layoffs, with many organizations forced to let go of a significant portion of their employees. One particularly notable case is that of the Indian transportation startup, Shuttl.
Shuttl is a New Delhi-based company that offers a unique bus-based mass transportation service for daily commuters. The company was founded in 2015 by Amit Singh and Deepanshu Malviya, with a vision to revolutionize public transportation in India. Shuttl’s innovative approach proved successful, and the company quickly gained the attention of investors
Shuttl’s funding history is quite impressive, with the company raising over $122 million through various rounds of financing, including a Series C funding round in August 2019. The company’s investors include Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed India Partners, and Amazon Alexa Fund, among others. With such strong financial backing, Shuttl was well-positioned to disrupt the Indian transportation sector.
However, like many other startups and established businesses, Shuttl’s growth trajectory was abruptly halted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company was forced to pause its services in March 2020 when the Indian government announced a nationwide lockdown. This not only led to a significant drop in revenue but also left the company with a significant workforce that was no longer generating any revenue.
To mitigate the impact of the pandemic on its business, Shuttl was forced to take drastic measures, including laying off 40 employees in April 2020. This decision was not taken lightly, as Shuttl’s founders were acutely aware of the impact it would have on the affected employees. According to a statement by Amit Singh, co-founder, and CEO of Shuttl, “Laying off employees is always a painful decision, and we have taken this step as a last resort.”
The layoffs, which represented about 10% of Shuttl’s workforce, were carried out across various departments, including operations, marketing, and product. While the company did not provide any specific details about the affected employees or their roles, it is clear that the decision was driven by the need to reduce costs and preserve the business.
In a statement, Shuttl also acknowledged the challenging economic environment caused by the pandemic and expressed its commitment to navigating through these difficult times. “We believe that this decision is essential for us to emerge stronger and well-positioned to scale our business once the situation improves,” said Amit Singh.
Despite the layoffs, Shuttl remains optimistic about the future of its business and its ability to bounce back from the pandemic’s impact. In a press release, the company announced that it was looking to resume its operations in a phased manner, starting with select routes and gradually expanding to cover more areas.
In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has been disruptive to the global economy, and its effects are being felt across various industries. Shuttl, like many other businesses, was forced to take drastic measures to preserve its business, including laying off employees. However, the company remains optimistic about its long-term prospects and its ability to adapt to the changing economic environment. As businesses continue to grapple with the pandemic’s impact, it is essential to strike a balance between preserving the business and supporting the affected employees.