By Ariba Shahid
KARACHI, PAKISTAN (Reuters) -Alibaba-owned e-commerce platform Daraz Group is reducing its workforce by 11% to prepare for the 'current market reality', Chief Executive Officer Bjarke Mikkelsen said.
In a letter to its employees on Monday and shared on the company's website, Mikkelsen cited a difficult market environment, with a war in Europe, huge supply chain disruptions, soaring inflation, increasing taxes, and removal of essential government subsidies in its markets.
The group operates in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Daraz, Pakistan's largest e-commerce retail platform, was founded in 2012 in Pakistan and acquired by Chinese giant Alibaba in 2018. It has 100,000 SMEs in Pakistan on its platform.
Ehsan Saya, managing director of Daraz Pakistan, told Reuters that Pakistan is its biggest market and said that Pakistan has the most number of employees employed across Daraz markets.
He adds,"almost one-third of the staff in Pakistan is from regional teams which work with teams in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Singapore, and China."
Saya confirmed to Reuters that the 11% employee cut across the group will also mean an 11% cut in Pakistan.
The group did not immediately respond to a Reuters request to comment on the number of employees to be impacted by the move and details on resturcturing.
In the letter, Mikkelsen said Daraz had been able to increase their active shoppers from 3 million in 2018 to more than 15 million at present, adding that this was done with "an average order growth of almost 100% until last year."
Daraz said in 2021 it had access to 500 million customers, with a team of 10,000 employees. It has invested $100 million in Pakistan and Bangladesh over the last two years.
(Reporting by Ariba Shahid; Editing by Kim Coghill and Rashmi Aich)
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