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After IIM-A, Flipkart Could Face the Wrath of the IITs

This decision did not go down well with the IIM-A and now the IITs have expressed their disappointment. 

4 min read
After IIM-A, Flipkart Could Face the Wrath of the IITs
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Flipkart is undergoing restructuring of its campus programme, leading it to push the new recruits’ joining date by six months, from June 2016 to December 2016. Flipkart made its announcement but Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) took it hard and wrote a strongly-worded letter to the online marketplace.

The decision to defer the date of joining, coming as it does so close to the earlier promised date of June 2016, is sure to make this talent pool regret its decision of joining your company. Talented students fresh out of campus, on the eve of starting successful careers, now feel cheated.
IIM-A, in the letter to Flipkart

Just when you thought this was the last of it, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) jumped aboard the IIM-A train and is likely to strip Flipkart of its “Day One” status in the campus placement programs.

Flipkart says the organisation is undergoing structural changes, postponing the joining date for new recruits. (Photo: iStockphoto)

He Said-She Said: What Flipkart Said That Got IIM-A Riled Up

It all started when Flipkart made an announcement about the company undergoing structural changes, forcing it to defer the joining date for the IIM grads.

We have re-designed our campus program in order to align that with our new business focus and provide meaningful opportunities to our campus hires. As part of this re-design, we are looking at a decentralised program that takes into account specific business needs as per the business unit. As part of the redesign process, we will be postponing the joining of the new recruits by a few months. This postponement was necessitated by the fact that Flipkart is undergoing an organisation redesign that involves creation of new units in some cases and integration of a few units. Instead of June 2016, the new recruits will now be part of the improved campus program in December 2016. Flipkart will also be paying an additional joining bonus of Rs 1.5 lakh to all campus recruits.

The points highlighted by IIM-A are the deferred joining date and the joining bonus to all 18 IIM-A recruits hired by the online marketplace giant.


All Aboard the Pissed-Off Train

Multiple sources across the IITs to have hinted to The Economic Times that Flipkart is most certainly bumped down from the Day One slot that is generally reserved for reputed companies such as Google and Microsoft.

Our next AIPC meeting was scheduled for October, but we are planning to have a video conference in the next few days to decide on how to sort out the problem.
All-IITs Placement Committee (AIPC)

Flipkart has been on the Day One slot so far in almost all IITs except for IIT Bombay.

It is a delicate situation. Many of our alumni are still at Flipkart and it would be unwise to have a kneejerk reaction.
Placement head

Seven IIT Bombay grads have been hired by Flipkart and they too, plan to send out an email to the company asking them the reduce the deferment period or increase the compensation amount.

We had been kept in the dark till just a few days ago. Now it means forced unemployment for six months for students who’ve been hired by Flipkart.
IIT Bombay student
IIM-A argues that Flipkart must guarantee the job to students despite the changing start date. (Photo: iStockphoto)

IIM-Ahmedabad Takes a Stand for Its Students

That is pretty much what IIM-A is arguing about. IIM-A’s placement committee Chairperson Asha Kaul wrote a strongly-worded letter addressed to Flipkart’s Executive Officer Binny Bansal, Chief People Officer Nitin Seth and Executive Chairman Sachin Bansal. The letter clearly conveyed it was disappointed with Flipkart’s decision as its students, who have turned down “multiple opportunities that the campus had to offer”, now “feel cheated”.

Sachin Bansal (left) and Binny Bansal (right). (Photo: Flipkart)

IIM-A, IIT Demands

The institutions want Bansal to ensure that their grads have secure jobs in hand for whenever a joining date is finalised. In addition, the letter strongly disproved of the large sum of money given at the start date, instead, it argues that the compensation should be in the form of a monthly payment.

The compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh being offered is utterly unacceptable. Compensation should be in the form of a monthly payment starting June and not as a lump sum as joining bonus or arrears.

Asha Kaul has asked the Flipkart management to schedule a conference call to reach a mutually acceptable solution.


On the Flip Side

Flipkart, however, told The Economic Times that it has written to Kaul saying all 17 graduates it has hired will be taken on. It added that compensation will not be increased as it is cutting on costs and restructuring. Flipkart mentioned to Kaul that this was not the first time campuses have faced such a situation.

The decision to defer joining for 6 months has been taken after due evaluation of all possibilities and keeping in mind the timelines to complete the organisational restructuring at Flipkart. We are committed and absolutely confident of having all our trainees on board in December 2016.
Flipkart Statement

So as of now, the start date has been pushed back to December 2016 and new recruits will receive a joining compensation/bonus of Rs 1.5 lakh.

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Topics:  Flipkart   IIM-Ahmedabad 

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