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India’s bleeding startups stare at a harsh summer, hands out pink slips to hundreds

Source | By Supraja Srinivasan, Biswarup Gooptu & Mugdha Variyar, ET Bureau

Lay OffsThe Indian startup sector is bracing for more job losses as some half-a-dozen midsized companies issue layoff notices to hundreds of employees in a bid to trim costs and conserve cash in what portends to be a harsh summer for an industry struggling to deal with the effects of fast-paced growth.

While the trouble at Snapdeal — India’s third-largest online marketplace — has grabbed attention, others such as ethnic online retailer Craftsvilla, fashion portal YepMe and Tolexo  are among the startups that have handed out pink slips in recent weeks, according to several employees and industry sources that ET spoke to.

“(Craftsvilla) has laid off more than 100 staffers in recent weeks, including its entire product and technology teams and most of its operations and marketing teams,” said a former senior executive of the company.

In fact, some senior employees aware of the coming troubles had put in their papers a couple of months ago, sources told ET. Craftsvilla CEO Manoj Gupta did not reply to email queries or phone calls from ET.

While industry insiders blame the tough funding environment for the job cuts — startup investments dropped by 28% to $1.4 billion from a high of $2 billion in 2015, according to data aggregator Venture Intelligence — others argue that rash decisions by founders and the top management also contributed to the current bloodbath.

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