Mobility startup Swvl has announced plans to lay off a third of its workforce in a move meant to save the business from higher costs and uncertainty.
In a message to employees, the CEO, Mostafa Kandil, blames collapsing stock markets for causing a global crisis with unanticipated implications, particularly in recent weeks, when Swvl, like others throughout the world, has been slapped with changes to its financial realities.
“While change is often unexpected, we believe that any attempt to resist it instead of adapting to it will prove futile. Today, with the current global economic downturn, as much as we did everything we could to put people first, we now know that we are not able to keep everyone unimpacted. We know we have to make tough decisions in order to prioritize profitability over growth to ensure that Swvl thrives once we are on the other side of this.” the CEO, Mostafa Kandil said.
Swvl is pursuing a portfolio optimization program to focus on its highest profitability businesses, improve efficiency, and minimize central costs in order to attain profitability within the next year. The company is also trying to capitalize on the most profitable operations, such as TaaS and SaaS, which now have over 500 contracts in over ten countries and generate up to $5 million in revenue every month.
Besides voluntarily deducting salaries of the top management team, the company has also reduced the current office space, frozen its current hiring program, frozen travel and hotel expenses, and tied expenditures to critical business requirements.
The proposed layoffs, according to the company, will affect teams responsible for functions that have been automated as a result of investments in engineering, product, and support services.
“To those who will leave, I would like to say I am sorry. And more importantly, this is not your fault. You will forever be part of Swvl, and our door will always be open to you in the future. We are incredibly lucky and grateful to have worked with such remarkable talent that many companies would be fortunate to have.” read part of the statement.
SWVL operates in 13 countries throughout the world, including the UAE, Egypt, Kenya, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Japan, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Pakistan.
The company outlined this send-off package to ease the transition of the affected employees.
Severance: All impacted employees to receive severance based on gross salary and complete cash payout
Provident Fund, Gratuity & Leave encashment other legal payments
All RSU to be considered vested
Expense claims/OPD claims to be cleared
All Final Settlements to be taxed as per local requirement
Payout Transfer to be complete in the next 21 days
Medical Insurance: to be extended for all entitled employees
Stock Options: all unvested stocks for impacted employees to continue to vest as per schedule
Alumni Directory: an alumni network directory to support our impacted workforce
No interview policy for rejoiners
Laptops to be retained by employees subject to data security requirements