GitHub, the popular developer platform owned by Microsoft, has taken the unusual step of laying off almost its entire engineering team in India in response to weakening global market conditions. The company has cut over 100 jobs in the South Asian market, according to a source familiar with the matter, with employees informed of the job cuts on Tuesday. The move was first reported by Gergely Orosz, a former software engineer who runs the newsletter Pragmatic Engineer.
A spokesperson for GitHub confirmed that the layoffs are part of a streamlining effort disclosed by the firm in February, which announced it would cut around 10% of its workforce by the end of March. The spokesperson explained that the layoffs are necessary to “protect the health of our business in the short term and grant us the capacity to invest in our long-term strategy moving forward.”
The job cuts are part of a wider trend of companies looking to reduce costs amid the ongoing economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. India is one of the largest developer markets in the world, and a key engineering hub for many large companies. It remains to be seen how the GitHub layoffs will affect the wider Indian tech industry.
GitHub has a large user base in India, and the layoffs may have an impact on the company’s ability to continue to support these users. However, GitHub has stated that it remains committed to the Indian market, and that it will continue to invest in the country going forward.
The layoffs come at a time of heightened tension between India and China, with many Indian tech workers calling for a boycott of Chinese-owned tech companies. GitHub is not Chinese-owned, but the layoffs may still be seen as a blow to India’s tech industry at a time when many are calling for the country to reduce its reliance on foreign companies.
It remains to be seen what impact the GitHub layoffs will have on the wider Indian tech industry, and how the company will continue to support its users in India going forward. However, the move is a reminder that even large tech companies are not immune to the economic pressures created by the ongoing pandemic, and that difficult decisions may have to be made in order to ensure long-term viability.