New Delhi, Feb 17: Twitter on Friday morning shut down two of its three India offices and told its staff to work from home, emphasizing Elon Musk’s mission to cut costs and get the struggling social media service in the black.
Twitter, which fired more than 90% of its roughly 200-plus staff in India late last year, closed its Offices in the national capital Delhi and its financial capital, Mumbai. However, the social media platform’s office in the country’s IT hub, Bengaluru shall continue as usual.
Musk has fired staff and shut offices around the world as part of an effort to get Twitter financially stable by late 2023. Yet India is regarded as a key growth market for US tech giants from Meta Platforms Inc. to Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which are making long-term bets on the world’s fastest-growing internet arena.
Musk this week said he may need till the end of the year to stabilize the company and make sure it’s financially healthy. Since the $44 billion buyout, Twitter has failed to pay millions of dollars in rent for its San Francisco headquarters and London offices, been sued by multiple contractors over unpaid services, and auctioned off everything from bird statues to espresso machines to raise money. Musk undertook the task of cutting costs and improving Twitter’s financial health. In a bid to save costs, the social media platform laid off about 50 per cent of its staff globally late last year. In India, over 90 per cent of its staff including a majority part of its communications team was handed pink slips. An exodus of workers – many of whom were fired – since Musk’s acquisition has raised concerns about whether Twitter can sustain its operations and regulate content.
Musk has also publicly discussed going bankrupt, citing a “huge loss” in revenue as a result of sponsors leaving because of uncertainty about Twitter’s capacity to screen out objectionable content. Significant bugs and outrages have also occurred on the platform, most notably earlier last month.
Twitter has evolved in past years into one of India’s most important public platforms, home to heated political discourse with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 86.5 million followers. Yet revenue there isn’t significant for Musk’s company, which also has to contend with strict content regulations and increasingly savvy local competition.