An emergency meeting for the heads of placement committees across the Indian Institutes of Technology will be held on Friday with the agenda to device a strategy for startups and e-commerce companies after Flipkart postponed the hiring of campus recruits. Professor Kaustabha Mohanty , convenor of the panel, said in a statement-
“Our AIPC (all-IITs placement committee) meeting was scheduled for October. But we are having to convene this out-of-turn meeting in light of recent developments,”
The meeting will be held in Mumbai and all out-stationed members who can’t join in person will log in via Skype. The discussion points will include the slotting of startups, which ones to invite and which to refuse during campus interviews. They may decide on action against Flipkart, which delayed the joining dates of all new campus recruits by six months and offered to pay Rs 1.5 lakh as joining bonus.
Even after several requests from IITs and the Indian Institutes of Management, Flipkart hasn’t changed its stand on reducing the delay or increasing the compensation. Brand strategy expert Harish Bijoor, CEO of Harish Bijoor Consults says-
“Flipkart is a bellwether client of the current era of ecommerce companies. What Hindustan Unilever is to FMCG and what Infosys was to IT services, Flipkart is to ecommerce,…I do believe the brand is already affected by this furore. What’s worse is that it is not Flipkart alone, but the entire industry of ecommerce and the startup world that bears the brunt of this image drubbing. It’s temporary for sure and life will go on, but the scar is left behind for sure.”
Some other startups including Road-Runnr, Zimply Home Shopping, Click Labs and PepperTap have also delayed joining dates or withdrawn job offers across IITs because of cost pressures and in some cases, closing of operations. Hopscotch and CarDekho have deferred offers at IIMs. Kaustabha Mohanty added-
“There are also instances of some startups reducing pay packages from what was initially promised,”
IITs have now told students to go ahead and consider job offers and interviews with other companies that have approached them including commerce firms Amazon, Paytm and Voonik.
*All statements have been given to Economic times.