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Paytm Reports ‘Slight Reduction’ in Workforce After Implementing AI

Paytm

FinTech firm Paytm has reportedly confirmed a “slight reduction” in its workforce while denying media reports that it could cut more than 1,000 roles.

The FinTech’s parent company, One 97 Communications, did not specify the number of jobs that will be cut, Reuters reported Monday (Dec. 25).

“We will be able to save 10% to 15% in employee costs as artificial intelligence (AI) has delivered more than we expected it to,” a company spokesperson told the media outlet.

Paytm is overhauling its operations, aiming to achieve its first net profit since it went public in November 2021, according to the report.

The Economic Times (ET) reported earlier that One 97 Communications had laid off more than 1,000 employees over the last few months.

That report said that the layoffs followed the company’s withdrawal from small-ticket consumer lending and the buy now, pay later (BNPL) segment after India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), clamped down on unsecured loans.

Like Reuters, the ET reported that a One 97 Communications spokesperson denied that number while acknowledging that there had been layoffs.

“Our core business of payment may see manpower increase by 15,000 in the coming year,” the spokesperson told the ET. “We are transforming our operations with AI-powered automation, eliminating repetitive tasks and roles to drive efficiency across growth and costs, resulting in a slight reduction in our workforce within operations and marketing.”

It was reported on Dec. 20 that Paytm is overhauling its wealth management operations as it aims to fast-track profitability. The company also plans to hire more than 15,000 contract salespeople to add more merchants to its network.

This push, combined with cost reduction measures fueled by AI automation, could get the company to profitability within the next year, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of both One 97 Communications and Paytm, said at the time.

Days earlier, on Dec. 18, it was reported that Paytm’s shares had dropped about 30% after the RBI announced its crackdown on unsecured consumer loans.

The RBI announced in November that lenders had to change their capital requirements. The central bank made this change in an effort to prevent ballooning consumer debt and delinquencies after seeing an increase in delayed payments.