Another startup, Dukan lays off 25% of its workforce as it focuses on profitability

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Dukan.pk an e-commerce startup that lets anyone with a smartphone build a web store has laid off 25 percent of its workforce. In a redirecting of their goals and business models, startups around the globe are adopting austerity measures due to the drying up of VC funding.

https://mydukaan.io/us

Initial reports indicated that Dukan.pk has shut down completely. But in a conversation with profit, Dukan’s CEO Monis Rahman said “Shutting down is not an option for us. Ever.

The change in strategy comes as the company tries to decrease its reliance on VC funding and focus on achieving profitability. The total number of employees is not confirmed, but they have 83 active employees on LinkedIn & the tally is assumed at 100-150 employees in total. This means that they’ve laid off 25-40 people.

The development comes after three days of the announcement of Airlift shutting down its operations completely. The supposed jewel in the startup ecosystem crown of Pakistan, Airlift, received the highest VC funding and everyone in the ecosystem aspired to become a company like them. Sadly, if you don’t play your cards right, no amount of funding can save you.

Airlift was burning A LOT of cash. They were nowhere close to becoming a profitable business and that was the dealbreaker for them. Dukan is trying to avoid such a scenario.

“These are exceptionally challenging times for startups and the economy. Extraordinary and sometimes painful steps need to, unfortunately, be taken during downturns like these”

-CEO added.

Other startups like Bykea, Truck It In, Retailo and Tajir have all discretely laid off employees, as every company is adopting austerity measures to become more sustainable. 

Dukan had seen an impressive growth trajectory. As per a press release of August 2021, the startup onboarded 100,000 small businesses in Pakistan only five months after it started operations.

Course correction is one thing but having an unsustainable plan in the first place is something these companies need to avoid in the future. It’s a smart move to change your strategy in order to keep the business running. But then again, there isn’t any excuse for careless hiring which leads to wreckless laying off of employees.


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Shaafay Zia
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