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COVID-19: Ride-Hailing Firm Gojek Lays Off 430 Workers And Ceases Two Of Its Services

Indonesia-based ride-hailing firm Gojek announced on Tuesday night (June 23) that it will be trimming off 9 per cent of its workforce.

According to Gojek, 430 workers will be affected — most of them will be from its Indonesia office, and the impact on its Singapore team will be minimal.

It also assured that this will be the only COVID-19-related layoffs the company will be carrying out.

Retrenched staff will be provided with benefits including enhanced severance payments, a health insurance scheme extension and outplacement support. They are also allowed to keep their laptops to help with their future job search.

Closing GoLife And GoFood Festivals

Beyond the layoffs, Gojek will also be closing some of its services in Indonesia to cope with the COVID-19 fallout.

Gojek will cease its GoLife service, which offers on-demand home services like massage and cleaning. It will also close GoFood Festivals, its physical food court concept.

“These businesses are dependent on close human interaction and have seen a significant downturn over the past few months as the Covid-19 pandemic has affected consumer habits,” said Gojek.

In contrast, Gojek saw its logistics business grow by 80 per cent and demand for its grocery delivery services has more than doubled.

Moving forward, Gojek will shift its focus on its three core services: payments, transport and food delivery.

In an internal email sent out to all employees, Gojek co-CEOs Andre Soelistyo and Kevin Aluwi explained that they needed to shut down verticals that are no longer viable during this period, and making bold bets on changing customer needs.

The duo also expressed regret at the cuts.

“We had previously optimised the company for growth and impact and we imagined, naively, that the rate of growth would always accelerate. We didn’t plan enough for the inevitable downturn and we are paying for that now,” said Soelistyo.

“One of my biggest fears as a leader is failing all of you, hence that was by far the hardest moment I had at Gojek, until today. We are sorry that this time we have failed you,” added Aluwi.

Earlier this month, its rival Grab also announced layoffs. It was letting go 360 of its employees or about 5 per cent of its workforce, due to the impact of COVID-19 on its business, along with the foreseen prolonged slowdown.

Featured Image Credit: Lampung Pro

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