Alibaba’s South Asian e-commerce unit Daraz to conduct new round of lay-offs

Alibaba’s South Asian e-commerce unit Daraz to conduct new round of lay-offs

Alibaba’s South Asian e-commerce unit Daraz to conduct new round of lay-offs

“Reluctantly, we will bid farewell to many valued members of the Daraz family,” acting chief executive James Dong said in an internal memo published on the company’s website on Tuesday. Alibaba, owner of the South China Morning Post, acquired Daraz in 2018.

“Despite our efforts to explore different solutions, our cost structure continues to fall short of our financial targets,” he said. “Facing unprecedented challenges in the market, we must take swift action to ensure our company’s long-term sustainability and continued growth.”

A Daraz Express rider makes a same-day delivery run in Pakistan. Photo: Daraz
The number of Daraz employees – spread across the company’s Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal operations – to be affected by the latest job cuts was not disclosed.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

In spite of the new lay-offs, Dong said in his memo that Daraz remains committed to maintaining its regional presence, with a focus on “improving the consumer experience by diversifying our offerings of value-for-money products and expanding our product categories”, as well as “enhancing the operational efficiency of sellers”.

The latest job cuts at the firm show that some units under Alibaba’s International Digital Commerce Group, which includes Daraz and Lazada, still need to optimise their operating efficiency to boost sales and narrow losses. Led by international online shopping service AliExpress, this group’s combined orders in the December quarter rose 24 per cent year on year.

Tech lay-offs spread to South Asia as Alibaba unit Daraz cuts 360 jobs

In February last year, Daraz announced job cuts that affected 11 per cent of its workforce, or about 360 people, amid headcount reductions across the broader technology industry owing to an economic slowdown caused by the Ukraine war, global supply chain disruptions and soaring inflation, among various factors.

Launched by German company Rocket Internet in 2012 as a small fashion retailer in Pakistan, the larger Daraz Group was formed in 2015 with expanded operations in Bangladesh. It acquired rival online shopping platform Kaymu in 2016 to enter Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Daraz now has more than 30 million monthly active users across Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal, according to the firm’s website. Alibaba acquired Daraz from Rocket Internet a few years after buying a controlling stake in Lazada from the German firm in 2016.

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