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A healthy business will make India relatively safe from Meta layoffs

Meta Platform’s India employees are likely to be impacted, albeit at a lower scale, if the company were to execute its layoff plans as reported by sections of the media. According to industry experts, the impact of any layoffs is likely to be relatively low in India.

“If the news is true, it is likely that India will face the heat too, but the impact should not be too high as the team is already lean here and the India business is performing well,” an IT consultant said on the condition of anonymity.

Meta is estimated to have about 300-400 employees in India.

The net profit of Facebook India Online Services, the registered entity of Meta in India, increased to Rs 297 crore in in FY22 against Rs 128 crore in the previous year. Revenues grew 56% to Rs 2,324 crore from Rs 1,485 crore in FY21, according to business intelligence platform Tofler.

Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, could be the latest tech giant to issue pink slips to employees, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The US-based publication reported that Meta may lay off several thousands of employees and clarity may emerge by November 9.

When FE asked about the veracity of the layoffs and its implications in India, a Meta spokesperson for India responded with CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s comments in the latest earnings call: “In 2023, we’re going to focus our investments on a small number of high priority growth areas. So that means some teams will grow meaningfully, but most other teams will stay flat or shrink over the next year. In aggregate, we expect to end 2023 as either roughly the same size, or even a slightly smaller organisation than we are today.”

Meta’s revenue has been declining even as costs have been on the rise. Meta’s total revenue was down 4% year-on-year to $27.7 billion even as total expenses were up 19% to $22.1 billion for the September quarter.

Meta had a headcount of 87,314 employees as of September 30, but its hiring has been on a slow trajectory. “Our pace of hiring slowed in the third quarter, consistent with our previously-stated plans. We added 3,700 net new hires in Q3, down from our Q2 net additions of 5,700 despite Q3 typically being a seasonally stronger hiring period. We expect hiring to slow dramatically going forward and to hold headcount roughly flat next year relative to current levels,” Dave Wehner, CFO, Meta, said during the Q3 earnings.

Wehner also cautioned that the company has increased scrutiny on all areas of operating expenses.

A large chunk of the potential layoffs could be from the sales, marketing, and admin departments as Meta’s marketing & sales and general and administration (G&A) expenses increased 6% and 15% respectively, mainly driven by headcount-related costs.

Meta’s big bet on Reality Labs, its metaverse and virtual reality division, has also been under stress which is eating into the profit margins. The Reality Labs expenses were up 24% to $4.0 billion, primarily due to employee-related costs and technology development expenses. Reality Labs’ operating loss for the third quarter stood at $3.7 billion. FinancialExpress

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