26 May 2016 21:06 IST

IIM Ahmedabad takes on Flipkart for delaying students' joining

Asks the company for assured joining in December; insists ₹1.5 lakh as joining bonus utterly unacceptable

After e-tailing major Flipkart delayed the joining dates of its new campus recruits and management trainees, IIM Ahmedabad has made its displeasure and concern known in a letter written to the CEO, Binny Bansal, and Chief People Officer, Nitin Seth.

The management trainees were to join the company in July, but now, it has been delayed till December 2016.

The letter by IIM-A placement committee chairman says, “Most of the students had chosen Flipkart over other well-reputed recruiters on campus because of the strength of the brand Flipkart. Your decision to defer the date of joining, comes as it does so close to the earlier promised date of July 2016, is sure to make this talent pool regret their well thought-out decision.Talented students fresh out of campus, on the eve of starting successful careers, feel cheated out of multiple opportunities that the campus had to offer, through no fault of their own, just because they chose Flipkart. With campus perception of recruiters trickling down from one batch to the next, this can significantly hurt the brand Flipkart on campus during subsequent rounds of campus hiring in the years to come. (sic)"

Read: As part of organisation revamp, Flipkart rejigs campus hiring process

In return for the deferred joining, Flipkart is offering the new recruits a joining bonus of ₹1.5 lakh, to which IIM-A responded: “The amount of ₹1.5 lakh offered as joining bonus hardly qualifies as compensation for seven months of forced unemployment.”

The letter also said that the placement heads and committees of all (affected) colleges have decided to support IIM Ahmedabad students and that they would like to have a common conference call with Flipkart to “find a more amicable solution”.

The letter has asked Flipkart to consider extending an undertaking, signed by the CEO, guaranteeing that every one of these students will be absorbed when the date of joining is finalised, no later than December.

The letter also demands that either the period of deferment be “scaled down or the quantum of compensation ramped up (₹1.5 lakh for a period of seven months is, to put it mildly, utterly unacceptable) to reflect x per cent of package”.

Flipkart fires back

To this, Flipkart responded on its official blog that the company is going through a restructuring process as a part of which, their campus programme too will go through a comprehensive overhaul.

"As we work on redesigning this programme, we have taken a decision to postpone the joining of new recruits by a few months. Instead of June 2016, the new recruits will now be part of the improved campus programme in December 2016," Flipkart said.

“To allay the students' pain and disappointment, we will offer them an additional joining bonus of ₹1.5 lakh to all recruits who join us in December,” adds the blog.

To the question raised by IIM-A about the delayed joining affecting the students’ ability to pay back their educational loans, Flipkart responded, “Loan repayment starts a year after the end of studies or six months after the student gets a job, whichever is earlier (this is known as ‘moratorium period’ or ‘repayment holiday’). Candidates can seek an extension on this period by submitting their revised offer letters to the bank.”

The e-commerce giant has assured, in the blog post, that all the trainees will be on board in December 2016.

The Flipkart blog, however, has garnered strong reactions, with readers posting comments criticising the company's decision. “Flipkart knows well that IIM-A grads are unlikely to sit around for six months doing nothing and most will find an alternate offer to accept thus absolving Flipkart of doing the unpleasant business of not honouring its offer (sic)," commented Sanjit Misra on the blog.

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