Exotel, a customer engagement platform based out of Bengaluru, has laid off 15 per cent of its employees in the latest lay off rounds, Business Today has learnt.
In the latest downsizing round, the company terminated 142 roles comprising 15 per cent of its workforce after a change in the company's Performance Improvement Program (PIP), a source close to the matter told Business Today. The terminated employees were allegedly also not provided with severance pay.
"Company PIP policy was changed just 15 days before to accommodate the layoffs," the source said.
An internal note sent by the company's CEO, Shivakumar Ganesan, tried to justify the change in PIP model by saying, "In the model today, there is no appetite for risk. We should land up at INR 44 Cr loss along with a 15 per cent salary hike provided we execute a 142 people PIP plan correctly."
Employees claim that as per the new PIP policy, the employees were given no warnings post which they could improve their performance. Furthermore, the beginning of PIP was identified as start of the notice period.
"The mandatory clause of two performance warnings before initiating a PIP was removed from the policy, also the notice period of employees was started along the PIPs," the source noted.
Business Today has reached out to Exotel for a response. The company's spokesperson said, "Exotel is an employee-first organisation and any difficult choice that affects our people is our last resort. Exotel is cash positive & we are experiencing steady growth in an uncertain economic environment. Recently, some members of our team have been affected due to our restructuring efforts of 35 employees & the mid-year review, a part of the business as usual performance improvement planning process of around 45 employees."
Exotel has raised $40 million in a Series D funding round led by Steadview Capital in January 2022. The startup has raised over $100 million in debt and equity funding till date.
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