Snapdeal orders mass lay-off; FreeCharge to be sold for $300 mn

Founders forego salary

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Once a success story of the burgeoning start-up ecosystem, Gurgaon-based online marketplace Snapdeal on Wednesday said it would cut more jobs, stop paying its founders and sell its digital wallet FreeCharge.

Co-founder Kunal Bahl, in an email to employees on Wednesday, finally accepted tough decisions— including letting go of people and a full pay cut for him— are being taken. It has also put on sale FreeCharge and is in talks with Naspers, the South Africa-based internet group, to sell it for $300 million.

“We are combining teams, reducing layers, eliminating non-core projects and strengthening the focus on profitable growth. Sadly, we will also be saying really painful goodbyes to some of our colleagues in this process. This is, by far, the hardest decision we have ever taken,” said Bahl.

Though the company refused to divulge the exact number of people to be sacked, sources close to the development said 800 employees would be laid off over the next few days. Sources confirmed 100 were asked to go on the day itself, within a few minutes of Bahl’s email.

“By the time we finished reading the mail, HR (human resource) called us to their office. They said we would get three months of severance pay. We said yes, as that was the only option on the table,” said an employee who was sacked on Wednesday.

According to sources, employees from marketing, ad-tech, category, digital marketing, engineering team, catalogues, have all been asked to leave. Bahl and his co-founder Rohit Bansal said they will not take pay henceforth.

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