Fab Furnish Downsizes by a Fourth, Vacates Warehouses for Rejig

The online furniture seller is changing its model but it may point towards some trouble at ecommerce co
In what could be the first sign of trouble at a large foreign-funded ecommerce firm in India, Rocket Internet-funded FabFurnish.com has fired at least 50 employees, or about a fourth of its workforce, and is vacating warehouses as part of a business restructuring.The online furniture seller is changing its model and laying off employees at various levels, said multiple sources ET spoke to. The company said it has “undertaken a resource optimisation exercise“ and is “hiring a talent pool ideal for our new business positioning“.

The changes come weeks after German Rocket Internet replaced the management at FabFurnish, with cofounders Vikram Chopra and Mehul Agrawal moving out of day-to-day responsibilities and senior directors Ashish Garg and Ankita Dabas taking over the reins.

“The chief technology officer has left and the whole marketing team has been laid off,“ said a person who is aware of the de velopment. He said he has already inter viewed several of the sacked employees for possible jobs at his firm. While this person put the number of employees who lost job at 50, another person said the company fired around 70 people. FabFurnish had around 200 people on its pay role.

“The situation was chaotic. While people who had been hired just two to three months ago were being asked to go and si multaneously more were being hired with out any clear or defined roles,“ said yet another person who said she had resigned from FabFurnish within 10 days of joining. “There was much confusion.“

Dabas said the workforce had grown rapidly over the past year and “we have had to rejig headcount to bring fresh talent and perspective.“ In an emailed response to queries from ET, she said: “Our technology and marketing team are very much intact. We are currently hiring for key positions in both the teams aggressively.“

India’s ecommerce sector is synonymous with deep discounting as companies shelled millions of dollars to lure customers away from traditional retailers. They have also been quite aggressive on hiring, offering attractive salaries and other benefits to staff. However, with investors now questioning their business models and demanding them to chart their path to profit, the companies are becoming more cautious on their approaches.

In coming months, FabFurnish will reduce its inventory and move towards a marketplace-heavy company, Dabas said. It plans to bring its inventory level down to 2030% from about 50% at present.

Source: The Economic Times

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Author:

Neeraj; an entrepreneur & a visionary in the field of Railway, Defense & Automobiles, is a graduate in commerce and a Harvard Business School Alumni. He’s an expert in govt. liasoning & contracting and has an exceptional network & connections at both local as well as global level. He’s an expert in Market Strategy & Planning and has served number of overseas companies as an advisor/consultant. He takes a profound interest in upcoming startups & is very receptive towards ground-breaking ideas & innovations. He likes to brainstorm those ideas and if the values & philosophies matches; he is even ready to invest his resources, serve as a mentor or act as an incubator to futuristic businesses.

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