KARACHI: Alibaba-owned e-commerce platform Daraz Group is reducing its workforce in the Indian subcontinent by 11 per cent due to the ‘current market reality’, Chief Executive Officer Bjarke Mikkelsen said, suggesting job losses that could affect about 300 people.
Daraz confirmed to Reuters that the cuts will affect a base of 3,000 full-time regional employees.
A difficult market environment, the Ukraine crisis, supply chain disruptions, soaring inflation, higher taxes and fewer government subsidies were among reasons for the cuts, Mikkelsen told employees in a letter on Monday, which was also published on the company’s website.
Pakistan and Bangladesh are the group’s biggest markets, Mikkelsen told Reuters. It also operates in Sri Lanka and Nepal.
“Both Bangladesh and Pakistan have a similar number of staff impacted since both of them are similar in market size,” Mikkelsen said, indicating there would be 100 cuts from each of these countries.
Ehsan Saya, managing director of Daraz Pakistan told Reuters: “Our headcount in Pakistan was 1,300, out of which 11pc were laid off.” Daraz, Pakistan’s largest e-commerce retail platform, was founded in 2012 in Pakistan and acquired by Chinese giant Alibaba in 2018. It has 100,000 small and medium companies in Pakistan on its platform.
Mikkelsen said the company will now refocus on its core e-commerce business, simplify operations, and boost product innovation and automation.
He said that there would be no hiring freeze, especially in sustainable growth areas: “If this requires new hires for certain functions, we will be proceeding with them.”
Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2023
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