Interswitch CEO Rules Out Workforce Reduction

August 31, 2022
Interswitch CEO

By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigerian unicorn, Interswitch, has revealed that it is not cutting jobs amid global shocks that are causing tech companies to resize their workforce.

The business environment is globally facing economic turbulence that is seeing companies like Twitter, Netflix, Walmart, and other startups downsize.

The African continent has not been exempted with tech startups with footprints in Nigeria like Getequity, Alerzo and 54gene, among others, also reportedly downsizing. Unicorns are not exempted with Francophone Africa-centred company, Wave cutting about 15 per cent of its workforce in June.

However, the CEO of Interswitch, Mr Mitchell Elegbe, while responding to a query from Business Post at an event to mark the 20th year of the company’s existence in Lagos, stated that the firm does not have most of the challenges that other fintechs have, adding that the organisation has enough in the reserves to withstand shocks.

“We run a very profitable business, we are not in the business of raising funds every year because we are able to generate enough money to grow our business. When you are able to grow profitably, you keep reserves for those shocks.

“Last year, Interswitch wanted to recruit about 300 more staff, but we did about 250, we couldn’t get the number we wanted, we lost some but there is still a big gap to fill,” Mr Elegbe said.

The Interswitch CEO added that the company will be looking to recruit more hands as it continues to deliver its expansive services.

“Interswitch has no intention. Retrenchment is not even anywhere near the horizon. In the last 20 years, we never had to retrench staff. We believe in growing sustainably… we try to grow in a way that we can sustain,” he added.

He noted that although shocks were not unprecedented, Interswitch’s management has designed its structure to withstand the pressures building on its experience of 20 years.

“The first thing when you do when you receive shocks is not to shock your staff; they have got families, they have got dependents, and there is a lot more that happens when you retrench staff and for Interswitch, even in the instance we are not profitable, it is our responsibility that our staff can meet their responsibilities.”

While analysts point out that job cuts take second place behind the competition for talent as the biggest concern for companies in 2022, Mr Elegbe said that the company is creating a structure that makes it competitive within the ecosystem.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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