BANGALORE: Indian consumer Internet portal indya.com, which was acquired by
media moghul Rupert Murdoch's Star Network this month, is cutting 35 percent of
staff in a second round of layoffs to prune losses, a spokesman said.
The latest job cuts will involve about 60 employees and follows the layoff of
about 50 staff that was carried out two months ago, the spokesman told Reuters
"In order to build rapidly towards a profitable business, indya.com is
rationalising its activities and re-aligning its resources according to market
needs," the spokesman quoted indya.com's chief executive officer Sunil
Lulla as saying. Star, owned by Murdoch's News Corp this month hiked its stake
in Bangalore-based indya.com to nearly 100 per cent from the 37 percent it had
acquired last year.
"indya.com is restructuring its activities to align them realistically
with its renewed business focus-to create and exploit new business opportunities
on its way to profitable leadership," Lulla said. The latest staff cuts
will be indya.com's last job reduction hit across all activities including
content and technology.
Star, through indya.com, plans to unveil a combined Internet and television
strategy for advertisers in a satellite television viewership market where it
has grabbed the top slot. indya.com, a brain-child of the closely-held Microland
Group, targets the 15-30 age group through its 35 channels and plans to build
several services offered or negotiated over the Internet.
It faces competition from homegrown portals like Rediff.com and sify.com
owned by India's Satyam Infoway Ltd besides fighting Yahoo, MSN and Lycos, all
of which have Indian versions of their sites and aim to expand.
All these players are fighting it out to grab a chunk of India's small but
fast-growing Internet market, forecast to have 15 million users in about two
years from the present three million.
(C) Reuters Limited 2001.