Flipkart off the hook, IITs blacklist 7 startups

Published: 04th June 2016 06:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th June 2016 06:48 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: Just as the axe was about to fall, Flipkart made an eleventh hour offer to students ending the month-long imbroglio with IITs. But, seven other startup firms, that withdrew job offers, have been banned from the IIT placement drive (2016-17) that starts on December 1. The names of these firms were not revealed.

All-IITs Placement Committee (AIPC), which met in Mumbai on Friday, decided not to initiate an immediate action against Flipkart following a verbal offer made a few hours before the meeting began. “We had a lengthy discussion and felt the offer was made in good faith. So, we gave the firm another chance,” says Babu Vishwanathan, placement advisor at IIT Madras. In the new offer, Flipkart has promised to give a paid internship of E50,000 per month to all the recruits with initial accommodation and signing bonus. Earlier, Flipkart offered to pay E1.5 lakh as signing bonus for deferring the joining date, which IITs termed as unacceptable. 

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The firms blacklisted by the IITs still can make a comeback next recruitment season, provided they  spell out their future course of action. “The AIPC will give an opportunity for the blacklisted firms to explain their actions. If they come out with a satisfactory reply the ban will be revoked only in the following year 2017-18,” Babu Vishwanathan, Training and Placement Advisor, IIT Madras told Express soon after the AIPC meeting.

In the new offer, Flipkart has promised to give paid internship of Rs 50,000 per month to all the recruits with initial accommodation and signing bonus.  Earlier, Flipkart offered to pay `1.5 lakh as signing bonus for deferring the joining date from June to December, which the IITs termed as unacceptable.

“What we heard from Flipkart was only an oral offer. The company said it would make a formal offer in a couple of days. On signing bonus, representatives of the company said they have to consult the board. The actual terms and conditions of the new offer will be known only after written communication,” Vishwanathan said.

The apex placement committee had divided the start-ups that have trouble with IITs into three categories. First is companies that have deferred appointments and the second category is those firms willing to take on board students for a lesser pay and the third category is companies which have withdrawn the offers.

AIPC has blacklisted seven companies falling in third category and the axe is looming large on five other start-ups, now put on a week’s notice within which they have to honour the original terms and conditions of the offer.

In the first category along with Flipkart, there are two other firms, Road Runnr and Click Labs. Road Runnr has come forward to take on board the students by September 30, which IITs didn’t see as a major problem. Click Labs has also been given a week’s time to respond.

Even though there was some consensus, AIPC has said the individual IIT placement cells could allow students to consider alternative job offers. “It’s is left to the discretion of the students to choose alternative job offers, if they find interesting and suitable enough. Some good companies have already shown interest,” an AIPC member said.

Startups still on premium list

Initially, AIPC was considering blocking start-ups from occupying premium slots like Day 1 and Day 2. However, the committee chose not to intervene since the premium slots are student driven.

Other Options

AIPC has directed IITs to allow affected students to consider other job offers if they wished as some companies have shown interest

Back on track  Roadrunnr said it would take on-board students by Sept 30, which IITs don’t see as a problem. Click Labs given a week’s time to respond. AIPC has not blocked startups from hiring on day-1 of placement



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