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Kaymu Bangladesh Lays Off 25-30% Of Staff, Shifts Strategic Focus To Making Business Work

Kaymu webscreenshot on Oct 27

Some restructuring is underway at the Rocket Internet's Marketplace startup Kaymu. Future Startup has learned, and has now confirmed with the company, that Kaymu Dhaka is laying off around 25-30% of its current workforce, as it looks to cut costs, integrate more with its regional hub, and and shift more focus into revenue-generating.

Kaymu Bangladesh DMD, Quazi Zulquarnain, tells FS that the cuts is part of a strategic shift as Kaymu plans to focus more into maturing its business. “We’ve been investing in growth and technology in the past years, and now we are redesigning our strategic goals for coming years and for last few months we are working hard to make the business work and actively working on commissions on sellers and other important parts of the business,” he said.

Kaymu has been in operation in Bangladesh for one and half year now. It has invested heavily in building up its ecommerce marketplace. The company claims it has around 10k sellers on its platform with more than 1 lakh searchable products. In the past years, the company invested in customer acquisition, content development, and getting more sellers on its platform. Now, the cuts are signalling a shift in the company’s strategy. A bulk of those layoffs is focused on content and acquisition team as it signals. Moreover, this also signals a more regional control in Bangladesh operation of the company.

"When it is important to build up your platform," says Quazi, "it is also important to build your business. This is not a policy we share here at Kaymu Bangladesh, it is a policy shared by Kaymu across Asia. Kaymu Asia is very much focused in building a profitable business as soon as possible," he adds.

This means Bangladesh operations will employ fewer people to run the show compared to the past in order to bring burn rate down and focus more into making business strong. 

This is the first layoff by the company since its launch in Bangladesh. Kaymu declined to confirm the number of employees it is laying off. However, we have learned that it is in between 25-30% of its total workforce in Dhaka.

Laying off is always a hard decision for any company. However, the cost of layoff to Kaymu is not clear and we could not find how the whole process working out inside the company, whether people were given notice advance enough to find alternative options.

Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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