Jobs on the line as Jumia Kenya downsizes its staff


E-commerce platform Jumia Kenya is letting go 6 per cent of its staff, CEO Sam Chappatte confirmed in an email to staff.

The CEO did not give specific reasons for the decision, only stating that the move was informed after ‘careful consideration’. “These roles have been identified following an operating model review, reflecting productivity improvements achieved and evolving priorities,” he noted.

The changes will be implemented this month, with a leaner team expected from January 2020.

The move comes weeks after Jumia shut down operations in Tanzania and Cameroon. In shutting these businesses, it stated that they were necessitated by the need to “focus resources” on other markets as part of “ongoing portfolio optimization efforts”.

It will now remain in 12 African countries.

In Rwanda, it also shut down Jumia Foods, after operating there for six years of delivering food and drinks. Speaking to The New Times, Albert Munyabugingo, Jumia’s Managing Director for the Rwandan operations, stated the group has been “struggling with profitability” in different markets, which informed the decision to suspend some operations.

In Kenya, sources indicated they are letting go staff working in Jumia Mall.

It has also emerged that Jumia Travel is being acquired by Travelstart.

Jumia Mall was officially introduced in September this year, a move the CEO said was meant to “build trust in online shopping”. The company partnered with over 50 brands to launch their Official Online Stores with Jumia Mall. It allowed customers to shop from the official suppliers if they choose to and brands to differentiate their official suppliers from the wider marketplace. “Through this, we seek to attract new customers into the online shopping category, for the benefit of both our brands & wider marketplace vendors,” added Mr. Chappatte

On the downsizing, the CEO affirmed that “we are making this decision to support our path to success and help put our focus and resources where they can bring the best value and help Jumia thrive.”

He was however ecstatic that the year has been promising for them saying “we have had good momentum and an exciting year ahead in Kenya.”

It has been an otherwise great year for Jumia Global after listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The stocks were positive until a damning Citron Research report stated that they had failed to state that 41 per cent of their orders were either returned, not delivered or cancelled, leading investors to shy away from the stock.

The staff will exit from 5th January, 2020.


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