Amazon is likely to undertake a layoff exercise in India that could potentially impact at least a few hundred jobs across divisions as part of a global plan to deal with slowing sales, multiple people aware of the matter said.
The Jeff Bezos-founded tech major – which operates various businesses in India including ecommerce, data centre under Amazon Web Services, and Prime Video – is expected to let go 10,000 corporate and technology employees, as reported by global media on Monday.
While the exact number of affected employees in India is not yet finalised, people cited above said the cuts could go ‘deeper’ than a few hundred given Amazon’s sizeable workforce here, estimated at 100,000.
“The retrenchment is happening here (India) and discussions are underway on the numbers,” one of them said. “There is a sense it might be relatively higher as compared to peers like Meta-owned Facebook and others where India was not affected in a big way.”
In May, the local arm of the Seattle-based firm had said it generated a total employment of over 1.1 million, comprising indirect and contract jobs. Amazon India, besides its key offices in Bengaluru, also has employees working from coworking spaces across Indian cities.
An executive working at a recruitment services firm in Bengaluru said hundreds of employees, especially in the shared services, back-office and retail operations, are under threat from the Amazon layoff exercise in the country.
An emailed query sent to Amazon India did not elicit a response till press time Tuesday.
The layoffs would be across engineering and other departments, similar to the global process followed by Amazon, said the person quoted above.
The New York Times had first reported on Monday that Amazon would start the downsizing this week, targeting corporate and technology jobs. The exercise is expected to impact about 3% of its white-collar employees.
In India, the exercise may impact a relatively smaller part of its total workforce in the country.
Big Tech job cuts
Amazon’s layoff exercise is in line with big technology firms trimming their workforce amid a grim macroeconomic environment, taking a cautious approach as the Covid-induced bump up for online businesses wanes and concerns about a global economic downturn grow.
For Amazon, this would be the largest job cut in the US, similar to Facebook-parent Meta which announced cutting 11,000 jobs last week. Twitter also slashed its team by half after tech billionaire Elon Musk took over the company.
Singapore ecommerce firm Shopee parent also is cutting about 7,000 or 10% of its workforce. Shopee had made an abrupt exit from India in March this year.
Aditya Mishra, chief executive of CIEL HR Services, said the tech job cuts will impact India-based global capability centres of US firms barring a few rare exceptions in the coming weeks.
Kamal Karanth, cofounder at specialist staffing firm Xpheno, said, “While a hiring freeze has been operational at Amazon for a quarter now, the mandate to reallocate workforce among verticals and projects was a recent addition. Functions, projects and verticals that had generated sufficient slack to deal with the buoyancy are now in focus for the resizing.”