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CEO fires 90% of support staff saying AI outperforms them and gets slammed online

CEO fires 90% of support staff saying AI outperforms them and gets slammed online

Suumit Shah, the CEO of the e-commerce platform Dukaan, defended his decision, stating that 'AI is taking our jobs'.

An e-commerce CEO fired 90 percent of his support staff and replaced them with an AI Chatbot, which has sparked outrage across social media.

Suumit Shah, the 31-year-old CEO of the platform Dukaan, which is based in the city of Bengaluru, India, shared an update on Twitter about overhauling the customer support branch for his company.

The platform helps businesses set up their online storefronts.

He claimed that by introducing the new chatbot, he reduced customer support costs by 85 percent.

The CEO said 90 percent of staff were laid off.

In a Twitter thread shared on 10 July, Shah tweeted: “We had to layoff 90% of our support team because of this AI chatbot. Tough? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely.”

The first tweet has been viewed 1.9M times since it was posted.

And in the thread, the entrepreneur claimed that an AI chatbot took less than two minutes to respond to customer queries whereas his human support team reportedly took over two hours.


Social media was in uproar about the move and hundreds of people made their feelings known amid growing concerns about the use of AI.

One Twitter user, whose tweet has been viewed just under 400,000 times, replied: “Note to all young starry eyed startup folks - Make no mistake. The support team was laid off here because business is failing and funding is dry. Not because of AI.”

While another Twitter user wrote: “What horrible storytelling. No emotion, no empathy.”

A third social media user warned: “I'm calling it now. This is an AI mistake. Avoid doing it this way at all costs. It's not worth the trade.

“Chatbots are great, they can do some really great things, but this is NOT the way to do it. Customer first. Always.

“This won't end well.”

The AI chatbot apparently worked much faster than human staff.

And another critic complained: “This is extremely disrespectful towards all the people who were laid off.

“And a founder is boasting about layoffs along with a new feature in the same thread?

“This leaves such a bad taste for everyone who knows Dukaan and have followed its journey."

Shah told Insider that he let go of 23 of the 26 members of his company’s customer support team, and now Dukaan employs 60 people.

He responded to being slammed online and admitted that he regrets starting a conversation about layoffs on Twitter but added his point still stands.

"AI is taking our jobs," he told the publication. "Over time, everybody will start doing this. It's not just us. Maybe I'm just too straightforward to have put it on Twitter.”

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@suumitshah/Pixabay

Topics: Technology, Artificial Intelligence, News, World News