Flipkart, a name that every metropolitan urbanite uses in daily conversations. ‘Hey! Any idea where will I get this phone at a reasonable rate?’ , replying to this as: “Flipkart pe dekh le!”(Have a look at what Flipkart has to offer). From latest mobile phones to kid’s apparel, Flipkart is a on-stop-destination. With the largest piece in the Indian e-tail pie , Flipkart held its valuation at $15 billion , however facing a great setback on may 2016, when the valuation of the company had fallen to $11.1billion by Morgan Stanely ( a 25% downfall), further to $9 billion, now. Most probably it’s a result of uncertainty among the company’s investors whether the online retailer, “poster boy of Indian startups “, Flipkart would give a tough hand to the growing market share of AMAZON and it’s other giant rivalries.
Bona fide sources have claimed that the fall could be the aftereffect of reshuffling of management heads, as the long-term face of Flipkart , CEO, Sachin Bansal stepped aside to let his co-founder Binny Bansal to take the charge. Even, old and long employees, Mukesh Bansal , Ankit Nagori and Sillicon Valley returned, product division head, Punit Soni have left the shelter to start their own – ventures . In February, this year, Flipkart had shut down it’s grocery app, citing low consumer demand. Also, T Row, renowned investors of Flipkart since 2014, marked down its stake over the company by 15%. Some of the even early investors of the largest Indian E-commerce player, have also called -off their stakes in as signs of “under-confidence in investor “ sentiment. IDG for example, which was an early investor in Flipkart, recently sold off its remaining 0.9% stake after selling close to 1% last year , as reported.
A rumor spreading across had claimed that Flipkart had turned to the common backer of all : God of big Indian e-commerce businesses, ‘the mighty’, Alibaba, .But to no avail, as it refused to drop in fresh capital to the venture at the current valuations. Trying to cover some of its burns, Flipkart is making attempts to reduce its fixed cost burden, according to a report of ET.
Pessimism and misfortune spread all over, Flipkart seems to be witnessing gloomy days for quite a long time. Maybe, it could be the ‘great tumble’ or an unexpected rise of the giant E-commerce jock. But for now, only catastrophes seem to have been coming in the way of Flipkart’s fate. Latterly, Flipkart had seemingly grab attention of all the news channels and national daily, wherein the e-commerce hulk had screwed up with its recruitment details for the chosen 18 IIM- Ahmedabad graduates.
IIMians , the super geniuses , now on “sticky wicket” as Flipkart , the promiser of “100% Guarantee” had deferred the joining dates of the fresh recruits from June to as late as December . So far , the reputed IIM- Ahmedabad has reported the issue ,sending an extremely tenacious – worded letter to Flipkart , marking other B-schools as well, like , IIM- Bangalore , IIM- Lucknow and Faculty of Management (FMS) Delhi. Confirming the reply to which, both the institutes, IIM-L and IIM-B have mull to take further legitimate actions. Flipkart’s representatives, in their statement have justified to have taken this step by stating that “.the ongoing restructuring, the campus program will also go through a comprehensive overhaul to ensure that it is in line with our new business structure and that our campus recruits start working towards larger company goals from Day One. “, basically goofing-up the recruitment process for a benefit of the freshers, at large. Disappointed students, unsatisfied to such statement, have nothing left but to look only for other job alternatives .
Flipkart has definitely made them deem to one of their campaign’s tag line of “#ACHAKIYAJONAHILIYA” . But as it seems to be, it has done actually no good to the IIM pass outs. Paying heed to the undergoing stress of the students, Sapna Aggrawal , head of Career and Development services , IIM-A and IIM-B , has proposed a joint call with the stakeholders and other B-schools . She has also made a statement regarding the dilemma of the flummoxed students over either to wait till settlement of the issue or look for alternatives, as mentioned in a press. In consideration to which , Nitin Seth, Chief people Officer ,Flipkart , had addressed the situation ‘difficult’ to come up with a just solution , and further said that “It is important for us to bring our new campus recruits into an environment that is conducive to their learning and overall development,”.
Sadly, the incident has shaken the entire pool of ‘talented’ students who had prior belief over the strength of the brand. As per one of the official blogging content, the incident shall carry the bitter traces in future as well, since prospective engagement of Flipkart with b-school campuses is bound to be stirred, as mistrust and lack of transparency can never be beneficial for any professional relationship. Also, the amount of 1.5 lakh offered as joining bonus hardly qualifies as compensation for seven months of forced unemployment. The unilateral decision shall severely affect the students who have gathered huge loans to pursue their education at such premium institute, financially. Resurfacing the urgency , the decision taking faculty at IIM with the campus perception of recruiters trickling down from one batch to the next, can significantly hurt Flipkart as a established brand, on campus during subsequent rounds of campus hiring in the years to come.
The ‘Anti- Flipkart squad’ of all placement heads and placement committees of all colleges, have decided to come forward in support of the affected students and would like to have a common conference call with the present CEO (Binny Bansal) to find an amicable solution. Further, the committee has demanded an undertaking signed by the CEO guaranteeing that every one of these selected students will be absorbed when the date of joining is finalized, no later than December. Also, that ‘either the period of deferment needs to be scaled down or the quantum of compensation for deferment needs to be ramped up (1.5 lakhs for a period of seven months is, to put it mildly, utterly unacceptable) to reflect x% of package’. The obligations are definitely minimal and are thus, required to be fulfilled in shorter span of time, for the satiety of both the parties.
Following the similar steps, Snapdeal , the evil stepbrother of Flipkart ,along with other booming companies like OLA, Uber and Quikr have significantly slashed the joining bonuses by 50 % and linking the pay to the performance of the individuals. The monopolist in e- payment, Paytm and the upcoming startup, LimeRoad have even declined to adhere to the policy of joining bonuses.
Making hollow commitments of hiring E-commerce biggie Flipkart is likely to lose its ‘day one’ status in Indian Institutes of Technology’s (IIT’s) campus placement programs, as a consequence of its clash with IIM . Due to cut-down shares and profits, increasing the growing numbers of doubtful investors, these tech-giants have been more cautious in selecting the recruits and their pay. With the funding frenzy cooling down and concerns of a valuation bubble rising, the tech-biz gurus have even become out of sight in campus selection days.
The Superhero startups seems to be going through a ‘ struggling phase’ all over again , since their beginning .all that can be asked for is that , Flipkart should hold on to its words of promise, i.e., “AB Har Wish Hogi Puri (Now, every desire shall be fulfilled) to win over the lost trust of its shattered, broken- hearted recruits. Also the “ Dil ki deal” of Snapdeal should give fair deals to the fresh talents who are eager to take a sight into the new ideas of business.
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