Skill-Lync, a startup supported by the Iron Pillar fund, has reportedly laid off more than 400 employees

Skill-Lync, an upskilling startup based in Chennai that provides job prospects for students who finish their programme, has joined the list of edtech startups that have downsized their workforce due to a lack of funding. According to sources, the startup, which has a staff of more than 2,000 according to its LinkedIn page, recently terminated over 400 employees as part of a restructuring effort.

In an internal email seen by Inc42, Skill-Lync co-founder SuryaNarayanan PaneerSelvam informed the affected workers of the layoffs and blamed “recent macroeconomic conditions” for the decision.

The sales, marketing, pre-sales, tech, and talent acquisition departments were among those affected. The startup provided severance packages to the impacted employees depending on their notice periods, and also closed its Delhi NCR office after the most recent layoffs.

Earlier, Skill-Lync had closed its Mumbai and Pune offices and let go of around 300-400 employees, according to insiders. The impacted employees were from sales, marketing, pre-sales, tech and talent acquisition departments.

Packages offered to employees

The startup offered severance packages to the laid off employees based on their respective notice periods.

This is a worrying trend for the Indian edtech industry, which has seen tremendous growth over the past few years, with the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating the adoption of online learning.

However, the lack of funding, coupled with increased competition, is putting pressure on startups to cut costs and streamline operations. Skill-Lync is not the only startup to have downsized its workforce in recent months, with Unacademy and Simplilearn also making similar moves.

It remains to be seen how this trend will impact the industry in the long run.

In a statement provided to Inc42, the startup confirmed its most recent round of layoffs. The statement, attributed to Skill-Lync co-founder SuryaNarayanan PaneerSelvam, cited the current macroeconomic conditions as the reason for the decision.

PaneerSelvam went on to explain that the company had decided to moderate its growth expectations and slow down some of its projects focused on the future.

What else?

The statement also revealed that Skill-Lync had changed its delivery model to provide better learning outcomes through a combination of technology and experts.

This change resulted in some redundancy of roles, which led to the layoffs. According to PaneerSelvam, the company had decided to consolidate its operations across Chennai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, with only corporate-facing teams operating from Pune/Delhi.

This consolidation also contributed to the reduction in headcount.

In addition to the changes mentioned above, Skill-Lync had also reduced the hierarchy in its organization to promote more agile decision making and accountability.

While these moves were undoubtedly difficult for the affected employees, PaneerSelvam emphasized that the changes were necessary to ensure the long-term viability of the company.

It’s worth noting that Skill-Lync is not alone in making tough decisions regarding layoffs and restructuring. Many other startups in the edtech industry have been forced to take similar measures due to the challenging economic conditions caused by the pandemic.

While the situation is undoubtedly difficult, it’s important for companies to take steps to adapt and remain competitive in the changing landscape.

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