Temasek-backed eCommerce startup Zilingo slashes 12% more jobs, downsizes marketing team

Temasek-backed eCommerce platform Zilingo has further reduced 12% of its workforce, impacting employees in Thailand, Vietnam and India. This comes a few months after it initially cut 5% of its workforce in April. In a blog post, Zilingo’s co-founders Ankiti Bose (pictured left) and Dhruv Kapoor (pictured right) said it downsized marketing, sourcing and support teams in Singapore, Indonesia, US and Australia to adapt to its current business model and operate more efficiently. This was part of its realignment strategy to focus only on key value propositions for the next 12 months.

With those consenting, Zilingo has created a roster with LinkedIn profiles and other personnel details that will assist each in finding their opportunity by actively circulating and matching relevant profiles among top investors, recruiters, tech companies, founders and CEOs that are in our networks.

“Every manager or leader is here to help out and will provide necessary testimonials or referrals or any other help we can do to vouch for you as you look for new opportunities,” Zilingo said.

In addition to the organisational restructure, Zilingo’s leadership has also taken a 30% pay cut to help save costs and ensure the company’s cash reserves are used judiciously. The co-founders said that for now, the company would be accepting pay cuts only from the groups that have been invited to do so, and it would like to ensure a majority of its teams remain on full pay.

While the Singapore office remains the global headquarters, the blog post said that a few positions in the Singapore office have been relocated to other offices in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and India, to make the roles focused on local geographies. Zilingo's spokesperson declined to comment further on the job cuts and relocation.

Founded in 2015, Zilingo has offices in eight cities globally with over 796 staff covering 20 different nationalities. The eight cities include Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, India, Hong Kong, Australia, Los Angeles and New York. The company currently has over 33,000 merchants on its platform, and aims to make the fashion and beauty supply chain more efficient and levelling the playing field for merchants and suppliers through technology. 

“For those of you who were affected, I am extremely sorry. You have been an integral part of the Zilingo team and without you, we couldn't have made it this far. I want to take this opportunity to thank you, for your service, your dedication and your effort towards furthering Zilingo’s mission. We are going to do our absolute best to ensure this transition is a smooth one for you,” the blog post said.

Both Bose and Kapoor explained that in the last few months, the company has “sharply reassessed evolving needs” for businesses along with the entire supply chain which works for the company. It remains focused on enabling B2B commerce and enabling merchants with the critical digital services. With regards to the latter, the blog post explained that it is fundamental to Zilingo’s mission as an enabler to give businesses comprehensive solutions across software, logistics, marketing and payments.

“We have successfully strengthened the business over the last few months with improved margins across all segments and cutting down various costs. We have a strong runway to chase this big, audacious mission. I am extremely proud of all your efforts in helping scale the organisation during this tumultuous period. All of your cohesive efforts have helped us gear up for long term profitability and a hopeful future,” the co-founders said.

Both also added that the company has managed to identify opportunities in adversity, especially in the areas of digital distribution partnerships and remote sales, as well as expansion into new categories.

Zilingo’s team has leveraged digital sales across the board and helped digitalise multiple workflows for businesses helping them with their sourcing and distribution needs even as lockdowns continued in many regions. Over the past few months, the platform also opened up to include categories such as health, beauty, home and living and some categories of essential goods and PPE and are seeing tremendous early traction from these.

“The expansion of our catalogues have enabled our partner merchants to take advantage of our tech and infrastructure and paved the way for new opportunities and associations,” the blog post added.