Tech sector layoffs which have left almost 1.5 lakh employees with an uncertain future, have triggered panic across the globe. With a media organisation such as Disney planning layoffs, the prospect losing employment ahead of a recession is scary for workers across sectors. Now in India’s media industry, 300 employees are at risk with reports suggesting that Zee Hindustan will soon be shut down.
At a time when a leading national news channel NDTV is also facing acquisition over failure to repay a loan, a report by exchange4media suggests that Zee Network has shut down its Hindi news channel Zee Hindustan. The channel, reportedly with a staff strength of 300 people, is also said to have done away with several employees already.
Zee Hindustan’s closure comes in the backdrop of two major reasons as cited by the media report. First one being that the channel’s content was similar to that of the parent firm Zee news. The second reason is said to be financial stress.
Layoffs across the tech firms
According to data from layoffs.fyi, a crowdsourced database of tech layoffs, 1,388 tech companies have fired a total of 233,483 employees since the onset of Covid-19, but 2022 has been the worst for the tech sector.
As of mid-November, more than 73,000 workers in the US tech sector have been laid off in mass-level job cuts led by companies like Meta, Twitter, Salesforce, Netflix, Cisco, Roku, and others.
Robinhood, Glossier, and Better are just a few of the tech companies that have notably trimmed their headcount in 2022, according to Crunchbase.
Big Tech companies like Amazon and PC and printer major HP Inc have joined the global layoff season, and were set to lay off more than 10,000 and up to 6,000 employees in days to come, respectively.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has warned employees that there will be more layoffs at the company in early 2023 “as leaders continue to make adjustments”.
The massive job cuts have hit several divisions, especially the Alexa virtual assistant business that reportedly set to lose $10 billion this year as the voice assistant never managed to create an ongoing revenue stream.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is reportedly gearing up to lay off about 10,000 “poor performing” employees, or 6 per cent of its workforce.
According to a report in The Information, Google plans to ease out 10,000 employees through a new ranking and performance improvement plan.
Layoffs in India
In India, nearly 16,000 employees have been asked to go by about 44 startups, led by edtech companies like BYJU’S, Unacademy, and Vedantu, as VC funding dried up.
Other tech startups and unicorns that have laid off employees in India include Ola, Cars24, Meesho, LEAD, MPL, Innovaccer, Udaan and more.
Meanwhile, thousands of contractual employees have also been let go, making 2022 the harshest year for workers in the technology sector.
The startup ecosystem’s funding winter could last another 12 to 18 months and the industry may face “a lot of turmoil and volatility”, Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy has warned.
Indian startups are going through steep hiring cuts and hiring of permanent employees has dipped by a significant 61 per cent in the last 12 months,Aaccording to the annual insights report by RazorpayX Payroll, the business banking platform of Razorpay.
Only two startups in India, Shiprocket and OneCard, attained the unicorn status (valuation $1 billion and above) in the July-September period, according to a latest PwC India report.