Fitness and well-being start-up, has sacked more than 800 employees across Indian amidst lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The home-grown start-up has also permanently closed a number of fitness centres to slash the operating cost. Services like Gyms, spas and wellness centre have been badly affected due to nationwide lockdown that entered its third phase from today.

As per news agency Reuters, the Bengaluru headquartered company shut down its fitness centres at the beginning of lockdown but as the situation further goes south, it has not decided to reopen several of its centres in smaller cities.

Founded by Mukesh Bansal who was also the co-founder of fashion retailer Myntra, and Ankit Nagori, ex-chief business officer at Flipkart, the company attracted the investors in no time.Credit:Twitter to close many fitness centres is founded by two former Flipkart executives, Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori in 2016. The start-up has attracted investors including Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings. Soon after its launch, it has attracted huge support helped by its state-of-the-art group fitness sessions and celebrity endorsements. Within four years of its establishment, it opened more than 130 locations across India. The operations were expanded to Dubai in June 2019. As per the sources in its HR department, more than 5000 people are working for including those in and units offering medical services and healthy eating options. Notably, the layoffs have been done across the business. Official Website

Surjit Singh, a 27-year-old boxer from West Bengal's Kolkata who was working at one of the centres in Bengaluru said, "I cannot face my family, how will I survive when it is not clear when this lockdown situation will end or when people will start to hire again? The trainer had joined the company 11 months ago. One of the other employees said that the star-up is planning to go all virtual, planning to conduct the classes online. app has already been providing virtual personal training sessions.

With the objective of running the business even in the times of lockdown, also launched a grocery delivery service in cities like Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai last month. The employees were brazenly asked to resign. One of the employees said, "We were asked to resign on Friday and all official accounts were blocked in a couple of hours. We can't reach out to our managers for any clarification, they dropped it on us out of nowhere and disappeared." issues official statement

"Given the current pandemic and restrictions across the country, our business is going through significant changes. The lockdown has affected all our business offerings and we do not see the situation improving for quite some time, considering the pandemic spread has affected all the markets we operate in. This unprecedented situation has forced us to close operations in small towns in India and the UAE."

"While we are doing everything we can to solve for our customers, we also need to adjust to the new realities and manage costs to ensure the long term viability of the business. We have downsized our employee base across markets where we have shut operations and have initiated pay cuts across levels. The founders have taken a 100% pay cut, the management team 50% and the rest of the staff depending on seniority have a reduction of 20 to 30%."

"90% of the cult trainers continue to be with us and have been moved to a fixed plus variable model to tide over the crisis. All employees part of the downsizing have been provided with a significant severance package to help them with the current situation, including extended health insurance for them and their families. Further, we will provide our full assistance in out-placing them in the coming days. We have also created an emergency fund of Rs 2 Cr to support affected employees in the coming months."

"We are ensuring our customers do not lose out and have extended unlimited pause for their CULT memberships for as long as it takes to exit the lockdown. We are ramping up our digital fitness offerings to support members stay fit, while tele-consultants have been introduced to provide medical services at home. We are also doubling down on health food & essentials home delivery while maintaining rigorous hygiene standards across all our kitchens."

"We recognise that this is a major global crisis and as a leading health and wellness business in the country, we have responsibilities not only to our employees and shareholders but to the society at large. We have contributed over Rs 5 crores to PM Care fund, ACT Grants, and other relief funds. This has been contributed by the company, founders, and management teams. We are also contributing our engineering resources to many community initiatives."

"We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from our customers and our employees who have worked tirelessly for the last two months to make all of our services available digitally and at home. We remain deeply committed to our vision for "Making Health Easy" for millions of Indians."