CEO, Mudassir Sheikha of Careem, a Dubai-based ride-hailing company Careem has shed off 31 percent of its workforce. The move was targeted at its mass transportation business as it aimed to shake off the adverse effects of COVID-19. Commonly referred to as the “Uber of the Middle East” will lay off 536 employees in an unprecedented move.
Careem CEO, Mudassir Sheikha, attributed the drastic measures to the 80 percent decrease in business and the uncertainty of a future comeback. As recompense, the employees will receive a decent send-off package that includes a 3-month severance pay accompanied by visa and medical insurance.
As part of the response and adaptation to the pandemic, the company will “cut costs” and reduce all “non-essential spending.” Part of their strategy was to prioritize “tech colleagues” who are directly involved in advancing their products and streamlining the services.
There seems to a pattern of shutdowns as more businesses halt non-essential parts of their businesses to remain afloat. Uber Eats stopped its food business in 7 markets that included Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Operations on its UAE market will remain in the hands of Careem. In a parting shot fill of regret and gratitude for their hard work, Mudasir expressed them to remain active “pioneers of the digital economy.”
The company will invest more in their deliveries segment as well as its “super App.” Careem was founded in 2012, as a ride-hailing company. It has ever since diversified its portfolio into food and package deliveries, credit transfer, and bus services.