The Flipkart fallout: IIT-Madras may let start-ups recruit in April

IIT-Madras, where placements begin in December, plans letting start-ups recruit after the financial year ends, when they have better visibility on hiring needs


Flipkart’s decision to defer joining date of recruits upsets students with high CGPAs who choose popular start-ups on the first day of placements over other companies. Photo: PTI
Flipkart’s decision to defer joining date of recruits upsets students with high CGPAs who choose popular start-ups on the first day of placements over other companies. Photo: PTI

Bengaluru: E-commerce company Flipkart Ltd’s decision to defer the joining date for students it hired from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad has proved costly not just for the company, which has since moved into serious damage-control mode, but for the sector as a whole.

After IIM-A’s scathing letter to the company on Tuesday, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras is rethinking its approach towards start-ups.

“We are thinking of letting start-ups recruit in April, after their financial year ends, so that they have better visibility on their hiring requirements,” said Babu Viswanathan, placement advisor at IIT-Madras.

Placements at the IITs begin in December. Last year, Flipkart along with core companies made offers to students at the IITs on the first day of placements, offering annual salaries between Rs.20 lakh and Rs.30 lakh.

“On Day One, some of the brightest talent gets placed. These are students with high CGPAs. So it is naturally upsetting that these students who chose companies like Flipkart over other companies now don’t have a safety net,” said Babu.

At the all-IITs Placement Committee, which is conducting a meeting next week, some of these terms will be discussed and evaluated, said Babu.

Over the last two years, start-ups have become regulars in schools such as the IITs during placement season. Students too, seem to prefer the high-energy, high-intensity environment of startups. At IIT Madras, the number of students joining start-ups rose from 13.7% in 2014-15 to 33% in 2015-16, said Babu.

Flipkart made fewer offers at IIT Madras in the 2015-16 placement season (7) as compared to the previous year when it made 19. But it hired people at premium profiles, said Babu.

India’s largest e-commerce firm Flipkart.com has deferred by six months the joining date for graduates of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) to whom it made job offers, as the company looks to cut costs amid a funding crunch.

Mint learns that the company was considering doing the same with its recruits from other premium schools, including the IITs, but has had a change of heart following the ruckus its decision has caused.

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