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Pink slips: Startups forced to lose employees to stay afloat

Ten months ago, Bhuwan Arora started up Oditty, an online content platform for news, videos and books. The 26-year-old IIT-Delhi alumnus relied on his personal savings and angel funding of Rs 25 lakh, which came in by April, to get the venture going. Over the next few months, Arora pitched his business plan to countless investors, but none was willing to bankroll the startup.

 

Early this month, the Delhi-headquartered Oditty ran out of money. Arora laid off the team of 25 and put up the startup’s shutters. “I am bankrupt, but my survival is the last concern on my mind. I feel terrible for my employees,” says Arora.

 

Cut to Indore, where Piyush Tiwari is now based after a stint as marketing head at TinyOwl, a Mumbai-based food-ordering venture. After 82 days, Tiwari’s first job in a startup had run its course; he became a casualty of a restructuring exercise in October, when he was asked to leave. “I am hurt. It (the short stint at TinyOwl) has badly damaged my profile,” he laments, adding that he should have reviewed the background of the cofounders before accepting the job offer. “I regret joining a startup and will never go back.”

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