Dukaan CEO Replaces 90% Of Customer Support Staff With AI Chatbot

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    Suumit Shah, the Founder and CEO of e-commerce firm Dukaan, has come under fire from social media users after announcing on Twitter that his company has replaced 90% of its customer care team with an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot. As the post gained attention, users criticized Shah for making a decision that would impact the lives of many employees.

    In response to the backlash, the CEO justified his decision, stating that it was a challenging move made to achieve profitability. He emphasized that response times had decreased from over two hours to three minutes, and the costs associated with customer support had been reduced by 85%.

    “We had to lay off 90 percent of our support team because of this AI chatbot. Tough? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely,” tweeted Shah. He further added, “Given the state of the economy, startups are prioritizing ‘profitability’ over striving to become ‘unicorns,’ and so are we.”

    However, social media users were unimpressed by his explanation. One user tweeted, “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 has followed its journey.”

    Another Twitter user criticized the announcement of the layoffs, stating, “He is talking about laying off people with the same glee that a kid has after getting a double scoop of ice cream.”

    Reflecting on the broader impact of AI, another user expressed concern, saying, “What about AI replacing businesses itself? We will soon live in an era of interacting only with machines and serving machines. Human life has become subservient to machines, and soon machines will become life itself by dictating to us. Let’s pity the employees and wish them a great future.”

    A third user commented, “How can anyone think AI chatbots provide better responses? Quick response versus quality response. Profitability will be short-lived. There will be no brand loyalty.”

    When questioned about the assistance provided to the laid-off staff, Mr. Shah responded, “As expected, ‘someone’ will get offended on behalf of ‘someone else,’ so I had this reply ready: When I post about assistance on LinkedIn, then you can see, my friend. Here on Twitter, people only look for ‘profitability,’ not ‘sympathy.'”

    Criticism continued from Twitter users, with one person stating, “Laying off is never a pleasant experience. Why is there a need to proclaim and be proud about it?”

    Read more: Wipro launches ai360 in India, to invest $1 billion in 3 years; all 2,50,000 employees to be AI-trained


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