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Subramanian Swamy asks government to save AskMe from shutdown


21 Jun 2013
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Recently, the Gurgaon-based consumer internet search platform AskMe was reported to have shut down, consequently laying off 4,000 of its employees. According to a report by Times of India , the sudden shutdown was presumably because of a cash crunch. Suspiciously, the unplanned and unannounced shutdown took place immediately after the exit of AskMe’s biggest investors, Astro Holding. However now, another report by the newspaper suggests that the Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy is in talks with the ministry of corporate affairs to help out the startup.

Swamy has reportedly approached the corporate ministry to step in and help the Indian search platform from winding up, as the shutdown would render 4,000 people jobless. The Rajya Sabha member has suggested the ministry to buy out the 98.5 percent stakes that were earlier held by Astro Holdings. The AskMe site is currently live, however, they have stopped taking any new orders. According to Times of India, the e-commerce and search platform is scheduled to be shut on August 31, on account of lack of funds.

According to the publication, sometime ago, AskMe had written a letter to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Registrar of Companies to request them to ensure that Astro Holdings, which was AskMe’s principal investor, does not exit the country without meeting its liabilities and commitments. “Apart from this, AskMe also saw resignations from more than 650 of its employees, who had annual salary packages between Rs 2.5 lakh to 6 lakh. This sudden shutdown has affected more than 4,000 employees, vendors and other creditors,” the newspaper reported.

This isn’t the first instance where startups begin enthusiastic hiring at the beginning of setting up, but eventually mismanagement or tough luck, makes them lay off thousands of employees, suddenly rendering them jobless. Just last month, it was reported that Flipkart may be laying off some of its employees who have failed to meet performance expectations. This decision came days after the e-commerce giant announced the acquisition of online fashion website, Jabong for $70 million in cash. The employees who were laid off were to be given two options either resign or be sent off with a severance pay.

Subramanian Swamy asks government to save AskMe from shutdown
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