In a bold move fueled by the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Bengaluru-based startup Dukaan has significantly reduced its support team, laying off a whopping 90% of its staff. This decision comes as the company embraces AI technology to manage its customer support system.
The founder of Dukaan, Suumit Shah, shed light on the matter through a series of recent tweets. He announced that the majority of the support team had been replaced with an AI chatbot, a change that brought about notable improvements. The new system not only cut down customer query resolution time but also trimmed customer support costs by an impressive 85%.
Shah’s tweets reflected both the challenging and the essential nature of this transition. “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 (around) 85%,” Shah wrote.
In a world increasingly anxious about AI replacing human jobs, Shah addressed these concerns head-on. He clarified that the objective was not to replace humans with AI, but rather to harness AI technology for operational optimization, particularly in customer support. Shah argued that using AI for routine tasks while dedicating human expertise to specialized areas made for a more efficient system. This strategic decision not only saves time but also cuts costs, enabling a more effective allocation of human resources.
While there have been layoffs, Dukaan has simultaneously announced openings in several other departments. Job opportunities in AI, e-commerce, and product design have been declared, indicating a shift in the company’s focus.
This isn’t the first time Dukaan has made headlines for workforce reduction. In September last year, the startup laid off approximately 23 employees, which was followed by an additional 57 layoffs in early 2023, as reported by the Financial Express. Various departments, including sales, business development, and operations, were affected by these cuts.
It is noteworthy that Dukaan isn’t alone in its decision to integrate AI to bolster efficiency and cut costs. In May 2023, US companies announced a record-breaking 80,089 job cuts, with 3,900 in the tech sector directly linked to AI.
While the apprehension regarding AI taking over human roles persists and layoffs certainly exacerbate this fear, Shah’s proposition to channel human skills towards more specialized work may indeed hold some merit. It remains to be seen how this paradigm shift in the startup industry will shape the future of work.
This news article is based on a report by indiatoday.in.