Dukaan CEO Receives Severe Backlash For Post Announcing Layoffs, Showing A ‘Stunning Lack Of Empathy’

The CEO of Dukaan, an Indian AI app, faced severe criticism on Twitter after proudly promoting the replacement of 90% of the customer support team with chatbots. Despite claims that AI would enhance job performance rather than replace workers, Suumit Shah’s actions contradicted those assurances.

Suumit Shah, the founder of Dukaan, faced backlash on Twitter for championing mass layoffs in pursuit of profitability and touting an unrealistically fast response time. Twitter users condemned him as “heartless” and “tone-deaf” for his approach.

In a series of tweets, Shah initially acknowledged the move as “tough” but “necessary.” However, he proceeded to boast about the remarkable reduction in response time, from 1 minute 44 seconds to instant, and the 85% decrease in customer support costs since implementing Dukaan’s AI assistant. He emphasized that in the current economic climate, startups prioritize profitability over striving to become “unicorns.”

Shah even hinted that Dukaan’s customers would soon be able to achieve similar results with the chatbot, noting, “It’s less magical, sure, but at least it pays the bills.”

Unfortunately, Shah’s decision came at a time when many of his employees were likely struggling to make ends meet due to the soaring cost of living globally, as pointed out by some of the 1.7 million-plus users who read his tweets. The promotion of mass layoffs and an unattainable response time drew widespread condemnation on Twitter, with users criticizing the CEO’s lack of empathy and his penchant for gloating about job losses.

Twitter users responded with biting remarks, mocking Shah’s claims. One user retorted, “Time to think before tweeting went from 44s to INSTANT! Personal Brand cost reduced to 0,” echoing Shah’s own post. Another wrote, “It’s unfortunate. I hope people choose wisely before working with founders who have zero empathy and like gloating about their layoffs.”

The response on Twitter also highlighted a sense of disappointment in the Indian startup community, where founders seem more interested in crafting viral threads and gaining followers than displaying basic human sensitivity toward their employees. Several users expressed concern and urged caution when considering partnerships with founders who lack empathy and take pleasure in celebrating layoffs.

While some Twitter users acknowledged the need for companies to increase profitability, they criticized Shah for glorifying layoffs to promote his new AI tool and boasting about growth. Such actions left a disconcerting and ominous impression among observers.

Defenders of AI and its role in the workforce were not opposed to technological advancements but disagreed with the cost of human jobs. They argued that Shah’s situation exposed poor business practices and governance rather than being solely attributed to AI.

One widely supported response stated, “Make no mistake. The support team was laid off here because business and funding are failing. Not because of AI.”

To exacerbate the pain of those who lost their jobs, Shah concluded the thread by announcing his intention to fill roles in other areas of the business, including e-commerce and product design.

Shah is not the first CEO to propose a reduced workforce through automation. According to IBM, three-quarters of CEOs are eager to adopt AI, citing productivity gains as the primary reason. Recent data revealed that solely in the United States, approximately 3,900 workers lost their jobs due to AI, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Looking ahead, a widely circulated Goldman Sachs study predicts that up to 300 million jobs worldwide could be displaced by AI in the next decade.

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