May 19, 2020 / 8:07 AM / 8 days ago

WeWork India lays off 20% of workforce as virus lockdowns weigh

BENGALURU, May 19 (Reuters) - WeWork's India franchise said on Tuesday it laid off 100 employees, or 20% of its workforce, as the office-sharing startup joins a slew of firms that are cutting costs and revamping operations as a prolonged nationwide lockdown to curb the coronavirus has kept people indoors.

A number of Indian startups, including restaurant aggregator Zomato and food delivery service Swiggy, have cut down their employees, as they reshape their business in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced 1.3 billion Indians indoors and crippled business.

"We have optimised and planned our team strength based on the core business, as we continue to execute our long-term business strategy in India and aim to be profitable by early 2021," said Karan Virwani, chief executive at WeWork India, set up by real estate firm Embassy Group over 2 years ago.

In October last year, WeWork India's chief shareholder Jitu Virwani had said the company would be profitable by end of 2020.

Softbank Group Corp has poured in more than $13.5 billion into New York-based WeWork.

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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