E-commerce startup Dukaan has replaced 90 per cent of its customer support team with an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, founder and CEO Suumit Shah informed on Tuesday.
Attributing the decision to prioritising profitability, he said customer support costs were reduced by 85 per cent while resolution time went down from over two hours to three minutes.
"We had to lay off 90 per cent of our support team because of this AI chatbot. Tough? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely," Shah tweeted.
Several Twitter users criticised the tweet, deeming it insensitive.
"Given the state of the economy, startups are prioritising "profitability" over striving to become "unicorns", and so are we," Shah added.
He explained in detail about Lina, the AI assistant which he claimed, replaces generic and delayed responses, as well as limited availability of resources and poor communication. After 12 tweets, Shah said that the company is hiring for multiple roles.
When asked by a Twitter user about the assistance provided to the laid off staff, he asked them to look out for his LinkedIn post, reiterating that it was a tough decision.
"As expected, 'someone' will get offended on behalf of 'someone else', so I had this reply ready: Assistance ke bare mein jab Linkedin pe post karunga tab dekh lena mere dost, yahaan Twitter pe log "profitability" dekhte hai "sympathy" nahi", Shah tweeted.
"Laying off is never a pleasant experience, why is the need to proclaim and be proud about it," a Twitter user wrote.
The announcement comes after Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar deemed any concerns about AI threatening jobs as "nonsense".