27 May 2016 21:10 IST

Flipkart’s flip on job offers has
B-schools scrambling

Internet companies Paytm, Shopclues to extend job offers to students left in lurch

After Flipkart deferred joining for all the management trainees it had hired during the final campus placements from top IIMs and a few other B-schools, the institutes have sprung into action to extend placement support to their students who were affected during the process.

Apart from the 17 offers at IIM Ahmedabad, the e-commerce firm had made 11 offers at IIM Bangalore which, too, have been deferred.

The sudden e-mail came as a shock to those students who had refused multiple offers to choose Flipkart during the campus placements.

“These students had opted for Flipkart over other offers from reputed firms,” said Sapna Agarwal, Head, Career Development Services of IIM Bangalore. “They are very disturbed, as there is no certainty that the offers will be honoured even after six months.”

Two other internet companies, CarDekho and Hopscotch, which hired from IIM Bangalore, have also deferred their offers but had communicated this to the students well in advance. Each firm had hired four candidates during the placement process.

"From amongst the management graduates that we offered jobs to, a few have already joined work, a few are joining in July and we have asked some to join in September," said Ankur Agarwal, CPO, GirnarSoft, which owns CarDekho.

Wary of uncertainty

IIM Bangalore has reached out to its regular recruiters to seek employment opportunities for these students. “We have mailed the resumés of these students to other companies, and they are much interested in hiring them,” added Agarwal.

MDI too is currently seeking opportunities for two of its students who were hired by Flipkart. Sources revealed that Paytm has been in touch with MDI, and is considering interview opportunities for the students.

Deferring the offers will certainly affect Flipkart’s image as a top recruiter on campuses, according to the MDI Placements Chairperson, Kanwal Kapil. “The students will be highly reluctant to join the company if there is such uncertainty in the coming placements as well,” he added.

There is no resolution from Flipkart yet on the issue. The company may send out revised offer letters to the students with new joining dates. But that is yet to be confirmed.

Start-ups step in

Some internet companies, such as Shopclues, which are in a robust hiring mode, have shown interest in hiring the candidates whose offers were deferred. “A few of these students have reached out to us. We are considering the matter and a final decision will be taken once we are through with our hiring process,” said Shikha Taneja, HR Head of Shopclues.

After IIM-A reached out to Paytm for placements, the internet mobile wallet company, which has recently hired about 50 management graduates from top B-schools, has shown interest in hiring these candidates. “Paytm is growing rapidly and currently has the hiring mandate. We are currently in talks with the IIMs and are discussing the student profiles with them,” said the Paytm spokesperson.

“We will evaluate these students’ profiles, interview them, and hire them accordingly. Things are currently in discussion phase and it will take two-three weeks for the entire process to be completed,” she added.

Among the probable e-commerce players looking to recruit these students are Amazon, Voonik and Infibeam, according to sources.

More woes for Flipkart

Meanwhile, Flipkart which is currently going through a corporate restructuring, has more to worry about, as Morgan Stanley further reduced the value of its (Flipkart) shares to $87.9 per share (for March 2016) down from $103.97 in December 2015.

In February, the minority investor in the e-commerce giant had written down its holdings in the company by 27 per cent.

(With inputs from Rutam Vora, Ahmedabad)