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BookMyShow founder and CEO Ashish Hemrajani.
BookMyShow founder and CEO Ashish Hemrajani.

BookMyShow lays off, furloughs 18% employees

Founder and CEO Ashish Hemrajani says the company has tried to do its best to offer financial support, continued health insurance cover and outplacement support to try and make the exercise slightly less painful and ease the burden for employees and their dependents

NEW DELHI : Online ticketing site BookMyShow has decided to lay off and furlough 270 employees across its offices in India and globally, which make up 18.6% of its workforce amid the aggravating covid-19 crisis. In an email to employees on 28 May, founder and CEO, Ashish Hemrajani said the company has tried to do its best to offer financial support, continued health insurance cover and outplacement support to try and make the exercise slightly less painful and ease the burden for employees and their dependents.

“Today, we are at the stage where I have to share with you, the uncomfortable, unfortunate yet inevitable downsizing exercise that we have to take due to the unfavourable environment. None of these decisions reflect the quality of the work that any of these team members have put in," Hemrajani wrote.

Support for employees includes medical insurance, gratuity and other benefits for all those on furlough or leave without pay, severance equivalent to a minimum of two months of salary irrespective of their tenure or as per notice period, whichever is higher for those asked to leave, medical insurance cover for affected employees and their nominated family members until 30 September, 2020, continued access to their internal mental health helpline programme, career transition support and certification highlighting skills of employees along with a dedicated team from HR that has been created to assist impacted employees through the entire process.

Hemrajani added that the teams that are staying back have voluntarily taken salary cuts ranging from 10% to 50% at the leadership level, given up their bonuses and all salary raises.

“The company has cut all other expenses and renegotiated with vendors, partners and landlords and after exhausting all other cost-saving measures, we have taken this decision as a last resort," he said.

To be, the online ticketing site launched in India in 2007 has borne the brunt of the enormous hit that the media and entertainment sector has taken in the country. While the film business is losing Rs. 80-90 crore every week that theatres are shut, the events and exhibition sector is expected to take a Rs. 1 trillion hit as almost all big scale events across categories have been postponed or cancelled in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

The economic slowdown, exacerbated by the covid-19 pandemic, is set to cull the Indian media and entertainment industry’s revenue by 16% to Rs. 1.3 trillion this fiscal, according to domestic rating agency CRISIL.

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