Dubai's Careem says no more layoffs, hires engineers for tech hubs

The Dubai-based ride hailing app is recruiting 100 new employees for tech hubs in Dubai, Pakistan and Berlin

Careem employees are seen at the company headquarters in Dubai, UAE December 13, 2018.

Careem employees are seen at the company headquarters in Dubai, UAE December 13, 2018.

REUTERS/Satish Kumar

Ride hailing app Careem says it is not currently planning more employee layoffs as it makes the shift to remote working permanent.

During a LinkedIn Live event to announce its new ‘remote first’ policy, co-founder and CEO Mudassir Sheikha, said that there would not be more layoffs to accompany the move.

“We are hiring aggressively,” he said in response to questions from viewers, adding that the company had 100 vacancies on its web page, many of them for engineers, for tech hubs in Dubai, Berlin and Pakistan, with potential to expand to other territories.

“Our view is that we are still at two percent of the addressable opportunities, we still have a long way to go to keep growing that business to become a bigger part of people’s lives. Now we have launched the delivery business, which is super early stages,” he said.

In June, Careem launched a new ‘super app’ which Sheikha describes would cover 80 percent services that any user would need.

That move came one month after Careem was forced to slash 31 percent of its workforce due to COVID-19 impacts in May.

Sheikha said: “The business is recovering very strongly, stronger than expected, the ride service is on the way back. The delivery business, which was a small part of our business, has done extremely well during this time.”

He said remote work during COVID-19 restrictions had improved productivity as office-based employees spent less time on the road, and would save some costs, and enhance the quality value position for recruitment globally.

In a press release, the company said its 36 offices would remain open as collaboration spaces or for those who preferred to be office-based.

Employees will also be able to work from any location within the country in which they were hired, and also choose to spend 60 days per year working from a different country.

Careem was founded in Dubai in 2012 and was acquired by ride-hailing giant Uber for $3.1 billion in January 2020.

Sheikha said Uber was supportive of Careem’s new remote first policy.

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria)

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© ZAWYA 2020

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