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Dukaan CEO Brags About Laying Off 90% Of Staff Because Of AI Chatbot, Slammed for Insensitivity

In the past 2 years, coming across news headlines of companies laying off employees has become the new normal. The coronavirus pandemic resulted in the worldwide economy going for a toss and the effects of it are being seen in recent times. And with the arrival of free artificial intelligence-run apps, the scenario seems worse.

According to a report by Firstpost, the tech industry has been one of the first to experience massive job loss because of AI tools. May 2023 saw a significant number of job losses. Approximately 4,000 people lost their jobs because of artificial intelligence. Several companies across the world are using ChatGPT instead of human workers.

Similarly, the CEO of Dukaan, Suumit Shah, recently announced that 90% of the staff at his company were laid off because of the introduction of an AI chatbot. He shared that it was tough but the results were favourable, strictly from a business point of view because profitability is of utmost importance.

However, he made a somewhat celebratory or bragging Twitter thread out of the entire incident. First, he spoke about how customer assistance has always been an issue for the company so he got an AI expert to build a very own AI assistant for Dukaan.

After experimenting with a few demos and upgrading the AI assistant as per their specific needs, they finally had a chatbot that could resolve both general and specific queries. It was basically running the entire customer support by itself.

Suumit Shah went on to celebrate his team and claimed that anyone with the right ideas and support can launch their own business. You can read his full thread here:

We had to layoff 90% of our support team because of this AI chatbot.

Tough? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely.

The results?

Time to first response went from 1m 44s to INSTANT!
Resolution time went from 2h 13m to 3m 12s
Customer support costs reduced by ~85%

Here’s how’s we did it 🧵

— Suumit Shah (@suumitshah) July 10, 2023

However, in the last tweet of the thread, he mentioned that his company is hiring for various other professions.

P.S. We’re hiring for multiple roles at Dukaan.

If you’re passionate about AI, E-commerce, Product Design and want to be part of the unfuckwithable team, you know how to reach out to us.

Note: Lionel Messi, we’re keeping a spot open for you, just in case 😉

— Suumit Shah (@suumitshah) July 10, 2023

What really hit people’s conscience was the clear lack of sensitivity and empathy in the Twitter thread. They called him ‘tone-deaf’ and ‘disrespectful’. Technology has a real-world negative impact, resulting in millions of people losing their means to earn daily bread. If a business owner wants to make cuts to their budget, that’s fine. But what if an employee who just got laid off comes across such a thread by their boss?

One can make difficult decisions. But is it really okay to publicly celebrate one aspect of the result while the other aspect (laid-off employees) is probably suffering?

Why are some Indian techbro founders so heartless and insensitive to human impact? An employee is NOT just an OKR fulfilling machine. Disgusting.

This is absolutely poorly worded. And tone deaf.
Nothing is an excuse to celebrate technology when it has a real world negative… https://t.co/KnayHMtD7K

— Ankit.Today (@ankitv) July 12, 2023

Imagine beginning a thread with “we had to layoff” and ending it with “we are hiring”.

Techbros are a disease. https://t.co/Kl4x93xwWr

— Sreya (@darthdevi) July 11, 2023

MFers are now starting to brag about layoffs.

Thread summarised: We fucked up, now let’s blame it on AI and use it for marketing. https://t.co/EPDhKgywDY

— Sooraj Chandran (@soorajchandran_) July 11, 2023

This is extremely disrespectful towards all the people who were laid off.

And a founder is boasting about layoffs along with a new feature in the same thread?

This leaves such a bad taste for everyone who knows Dukaan and have followed its journey. https://t.co/xo50b0bxke

— Kumar Abhijeet (@kumar_abhijeet3) July 11, 2023

Companies need to make more profit and we get that 👀

But glorifying layoffs to promote your new AI tool and brag about growth? Gives a really eerie, foreboding feeling 🥶 https://t.co/VxIyoQD6yD

— Aditya Oberai (@adityaoberai1) July 11, 2023

I don’t think people losing their jobs is something to boast about. Stunning lack of empathy in this thread https://t.co/lNMI2B2lsk

— Chandra (@NCResq) July 11, 2023

Honestly whenever I passed Dukaan’s office in HSR I would have mad respect for what these guys were building but after reading this thread I dont think so I can think about them that way anymore. https://t.co/TQoqqJ0jmF

— Shreshth Arora (@AroraShreshth) July 11, 2023


You disrupted the lives of 90% of your support team & you’re celebrating it in public. You also likely destroyed your customer support (disprove with good CSAT for the bot) – all for a basic ChatGPT wrapper. 🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️

This is a new low even for you.

— Lakshmi Narayanan G (@_glnarayanan) July 11, 2023

Maybe it was the right decision for the business, but it shouldn’t have turned into a celebratory/marketing thread about it. IMO

— Santosh P 〽️ (@santoshp) July 11, 2023

What are your views on this incident?

Mark Sikaundi
Mark Sikaundihttps://devcircleafrica.com
I'm Mark Sikaundi a talented software engineer and software tester with a passion for developing high-quality software that meets the needs of users. i have several years of experience in the software development industry and am known for the dedication to delivering projects on time and to the highest standards.

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