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indya.com to announce lay-offs

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CIOL Bureau
New Update

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.

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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

on Wednesday.

"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.

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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.

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