Uber is planning to shift engineering jobs to India
After laying off 25% of its workforce, or about 600 employees, in India, ride-hailing giant Uber is looking to create jobs in the country. A new report has revealed that the company's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is planning to move a large chunk of Uber's engineering work to India in a bid to save money. Here is more about this development.
Since 2017, the number of engineers working for Uber in India has increased from 80 to 600. This is about 15% of the company's global engineering team. The increase has been driven by Khosrowshahi, and now, according to The Information, he is looking to build on that effort and create more jobs by shifting a bigger portion of Uber's engineering work to India.
A person familiar with the developments at Uber told the outlet that Khosrowshahi has already asked the engineering team of the company to shift over a third of the work related to their data center infrastructure to India by the end of this year. In addition to that, the CEO also wants to move the company's IT infrastructure to India, the person added.
The sudden push, which follows the massive wave of COVID-19 layoffs that affected thousands of Uber employees, comes as part of an effort to cut engineering costs and tackle the financial crisis stemming from the ongoing pandemic. India has a huge talent pool and is much more affordable compared to high-cost locations like the San Francisco Bay area, where Uber's HQ is located.
While Uber was already losing a lot of money (it lost $5 billion+ in a single quarter last year), the situation has grown worse since the pandemic began in the US and other parts of the world. The ride-hailing giant's business went down by 80%, following which it had to start the layoff exercise and ditch newer businesses like scooter renting to preserve cash.
As Khosrowshahi continues to push the shift to India, some employees in engineering teams are concerned about the impact of the move. They think that moving to India would make it difficult for Uber to keep its systems running and manage data centers. Notably, Uber's former CTO, Thuan Pham resisted the shift to India and argued that moving there would mean accepting lower-quality candidates.
"We don't believe Silicon Valley has a monopoly on tech talent. We want our engineers on the ground in markets like San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Toronto, Brazil, India, and the Netherlands, to build locally relevant products where we intend to win."