Gojek Laid-off 9% of Its Employees due to Pandemic
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic eventually also hit a giant company like Gojek that was worth hundreds of trillions of rupiah. Last Tuesday (23/6), the top technology company in Southeast Asia announced the Termination of Employment (PHK) of 430 employees or around 9% of total employees.
The duo headed by Gojek conveyed the bitter decision directly to all of its employees. For more than half a day on Tuesday, from morning until around 7 pm, Gojek Co-CEO Kevin Aluwi and Andre Soelistyo held a townhall meeting, aka a grand meeting with all of its employees, totaling nearly 5,000 people.
There are two important announcements made by the successor of Nadiem Makarim: stopping some of the non-core Gojek services and streamlining the company’s structure with a layoff of as many as 430 people.
The reason is that the company’s business has been affected by Covid-19 and is maintaining sustainable growth in the future. The grand meeting was divided into 16 sessions, with each CEO leading 8 separate sessions.
Each Meeting Session Lasts for One Hour
Each session was attended by hundreds of employees and lasted for up to an hour. The goal is that Gojek’s Co-CEO can explain the problem and decision directly, more intimately, and personally to employees.
In addition, employees can submit their views and questions directly to the leaders so that they understand in more detail the reasons and background of the business and employee downsizing decisions.
As in an e-mail to employees, which were published through a Gojek press release on Tuesday night (6/23), Kevin and Andre explained the extraordinary impact of Covid-19 on the current Gojek business.
The problems faced are not only that. There are still uncertain conditions in the future and it is believed that it will forever change the way operational of some Gojek products and services.
“We must respond to what is happening out there and increase focus to build a stronger and more efficient business so that it can continue to survive and remain relevant to existing conditions,” they said. For this reason, Gojek decided to focus on core services, and stop services that could not survive in the midst of a pandemic.
The three core businesses that have the most extensive impact on society are transportation, food delivery and electronic payments. While the services that are closed are GoLife, which includes GoMassage and GoClean services, and GoFood Festival which is the GoFood food court network in many locations.
These two services were hardest hit during the pandemic because of changes in people’s behavior who were more alert to physical contact activities. While both services are not possible to maintain distance. “GoLife and GoFood Festival require close interaction,” he said.
For this reason, the majority of the 430 employees affected by layoffs come from divisions related to GoLife and GoFood Festival. However, Kevin and Andre made sure this was the only employee reduction decision made by Gojek during the pandemic.
Startup Layoff Waves have Occurred since the Pandemic
The efficiency measures due to his efforts have been severely depressed by Gojek in the early days of the pandemic in Indonesia last March. Gojek cut the Co-CEO and senior management’s annual salary by 25%.
In addition, the company redirects the annual salary increase budget of all employees for relief funds to its partners. Last week, Gojek’s main competitor, Grab, had already announced employee layoffs.
Decacorn from this neighbor country dismissed 360 employees or around 5% of its total employees due to the impact of Covid-19. Grab Co-Founder and CEO Anthony Tan promised not to lay off again until the end of this year.
“I am confident that by carrying out the latest plan to meet the stated targets, we will not go through this painful process again in the coming time,” Tan said via e-mail message to his employees.