Zomato, food delivery platform on Saturday said it has laid off 541 people across customer, merchant and delivery partner support teams. The sacking of 541 people means 10 per cent of the company's total strength has cut down. The company said the reason behind the move is an improved Zomato platform with Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven bots and automation in resolving customer queries that has led to an overall reduction in direct order-related support queries, the company said in a statement.
"While this has been a painful decision, to make the transition smoother, we have extended between two-month months severance pay (based on tenure), family health insurance cover (till the end of January 2020) and career fair opportunities with companies," said Zomato.
On August 30, the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) hit out at Zomato for plans to introduce Zomato Gold in the delivery vertical as well, and said it is determined to eradicate the epidemic of deep discounting.
The association said it deliberated on eight critical issues pertaining to the online delivery space on Thursday with Zomato and Swiggy. The company has claimed it has improved the speed of service resolution and now only 7.5 per cent of its orders need support (down from 15 per cent in March).
"Over the last few months, we have seen our technology products and platforms evolve and improve significantly. This has led to an overall reduction in direct order-related support queries," said the company.
News agecy IANS reported that Zomato has hired more 1,200 people across functions (excluding its last-mile delivery fleet) and another over 400 off-rolls positions, and is currently hiring in technology, product and data sciences teams.
The company is planning to introduce its Gold programme across multiple cities on its delivery platform.