Online fashion company Koovs sacks about half its staff


New Delhi: Barely two months after Reserve Bank of India (RBI) rejected Kishore Biyani’s investment proposal to throw a Rs 64-crore lifeline to fashion e-commerce company Koovs, the latter sacked about half its staff, or 140 people, two people familiar with the development, said.

One of them said except for the technology vertical, the company has virtually sacked whole teams of buying and merchandising and marketing.

“Koovs has successfully re-financed the business and re-focused its business priorities, which included streamlining of some of its operations,” Mary Turner, CEO of Koovs, said in an emailed response without answering specific questions on the sacking of employees.

“We have been instrumental in bringing the latest in international fashion to Indian wardrobes and will endeavour to become the ‘go-to’ western fashion destination for India’s millennials and Gen Z,” she said.

In 2018, Biyani’s Future Lifestyle Fashions had announced plans to buy 30% stake in Koovs for Rs 140 crore, making the Indian retail group the largest shareholder in the AIM London-listed fashion retailer.

Koovs was Biyani’s second attempt to purchase an online retailer and chase his elusive fashion e-commerce business after his unsuccessful 2016 bid to buy, which was later acquired by a Flipkart’s unit Myntra for $70 million. In 2018, a Biyani-owned firm invested Rs 54 crore and another Rs 34 crore last year by purchasing new ordinary shares. Future Group later did not subscribe to compulsorily convertible preference shares worth another Rs 64 crore, which was part of the deal agreement.