Flipkart starts Workforce Optimization, Anticipates 5-7% Reduction in Team Size

Flipkart, the e-commerce giant led by Walmart, has initiated a workforce optimization drive that could lead to a 5-7% reduction in its total team size. According to sources cited by ET, the company aims to complete this initiative by March-April as part of its ongoing performance reviews.


Over the past two years, Flipkart has been conducting annual performance-based job reductions and suspended fresh hiring in the previous year as a cost-control measure. The company is finalizing a $1 billion financing round from Walmart and other investors.


Sources familiar with the matter indicate that Flipkart is strategizing better resource utilization across existing and new businesses. The restructuring and roadmap for 2024 are expected to be discussed and finalized by next month. However, despite these changes, there are no plans to reconsider the decision to postpone its public offering for 2024.


Although Flipkart had initially considered launching an IPO during 2022-23, those plans have been deferred. Walmart, holding a majority stake in Flipkart, has expressed its long-term ambition for the e-commerce giant to go public despite acquiring Tiger Global’s stake.


The trend of streamlining teams is not unique to Flipkart, as several large Indian internet firms have been restructuring their workforce after aggressive hiring in 2021, driven by record fundraising during the pandemic-induced surge in demand for tech services.


According to Inc42 data, over 35,000 startup employees have lost their jobs since the onset of the funding slowdown in Q1 2022. Experts in the industry indicate that over 5,000 layoffs may not have been officially reported.


 Paytm, for instance, laid off over 1,000 employees as part of its cost reduction and business realignment strategy, resulting in a 10-15% downsizing of its workforce. Likewise, both Amazon and Meesho, supported by SoftBank, have undertaken workforce reductions and business restructuring measures.


In July, Flipkart-owned Myntra reduced its workforce by at least 50, focusing on its top private labels. The planned restructuring at Flipkart aligns with the company’s evaluation of its current and upcoming business lines.


For months, Flipkart has been working on internal synergies. In September, the company merged vital technology and product roles of its new businesses, Cleartrip (travel) and Flipkart Health Plus (e-pharmacy), into the core commerce team to streamline operations. More recently, Flipkart launched OppDoor, a new business-to-business (B2B) platform to assist e-commerce companies seeking expansion into new regions.