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IM App For Personal Assistance HelpChat Reportedly Lays Off One-Fourth Of Its Employee Base Due To Lack Of Funds

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And the rather unfortunate (and unnoticed I’d say) sacking spree in India’s startup ecosystem continues. HelpChat, one of the more popular chat based personal assistance apps, has reportedly fired around 150 employees from the company, according to a report from an office gossips blog — Officechai.

Out of those 150 employees, 90 were Brand Experts, 4 were Assistant Managers and 13 were working as Team Leaders, details report.

The report claims that Sushil Kumar, who worked as Brand Expert for the company, was called into the office by HR Team at around 11 AM and informed him – “We will not be requiring your services any more. Today will be your last day at work”. Later, he learnt that he was not the only one to be terminated but there were 149 others.

Another employee, who was also terminated from the company, told Officechai –

My team was performing well. However the HR told me that this decision wasn’t based on performance but on an internal decision.

It is believed that HelpChat has run out of money as a promised new round of funding didn’t materialize. Earlier, in May 2015, the company had raised Rs. 100 crore. This makes one wonder as to how much more money is actually needed to support such HR-intensive startups — considering that a 100 crore investment four months back — hasn’t been enough.

The employees who were fired allege that due processes were not followed in their termination and the company has mistreated them. Some employees are even considering moving to court.

Helpchat was earlier known as Akosha. It rebranded itself as Helpchat when it changed its business model from chat based complaints redressal to personal assistance. Just two weeks ago, the company acquired Niffler for an undisclosed amount to fuel its expansion (another reason for jobcuts maybe ?).

The personal assistance company, which claims to be handling more than 50,000 requests a day, had more than 600 employees with offices in Bengaluru, New Delhi and Mumbai.


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