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Six start-ups that withdrew their job offers and reneged to hire graduates from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will be blacklisted across all 16 IITs in the placement seasons to come, the All IIT Placement Committee decided at the meeting held in Mumbai on Friday, 3rd June 2016.
Babu Viswanathan, Placement Advisor at IIT-Madras informed that these start-ups will be debarred from placements in 2016-17. The names of these companies remain confidential.
The blacklisted companies will have to appear before the placement committee in order to participate in placements next year.
Start-ups that intended to cut down the salaries that were originally promised to students are also at a risk of being debarred if they do not accept the students at the package that was initially promised, Viswanathan added. The decision followed considering the 5 companies that had reduced salaries by as much as 25%.
“We are giving these companies a week’s time to respond. If they don’t respond, they will be blacklisted,” he said.
Start-ups make of 20-30% of the companies that come to IITs for hiring graduates. 13.7% students of IIT Madras joined start-ups in 2014-15, this figure rose to 33% in 2015-16.
“Their presence is growing. So, to avoid any fallout, we want to send the message that only if you are serious about hiring our students, come to the IITs,” he added.
Disagreeing with the decision, T.V. Mohandas Pai, former Infosys CFO and a prominent investor in start-ups, said that it was an immature and insensitive decision on the part of the IITs.
“It is a mercenary system. Students want to go to highest bidder and the highest bidder in turn is governed by market conditions. Moreover, these students also leave in about six months, so it is a very unfair decision to blacklist companies,” Pai said.
Not surprised by the decision, Amit Sinha, Vice-President (business and people), Paytm said, “Blacklisting is an expected outcome. Relationships with campuses are long-term; so, a blacklisting does hurt the reputation of the company on campus for a certain amount of time. So, companies should be a little cautious about hiring and plan better.” Paytm hired almost 50 students from IITs and other top engineering colleges in December, 2015.
Flipkart, Roadrunnr and other such companies – that delayed the joining dates of students – have been spared considering that they have already tried to find alternative solutions, said Kaustubha Mohanty, Convener of the Placement Committee.
Flipkart came up with paid internship opportunities as an alternative in about 10 start-ups like Rivigo, a logistics firm, and GreyOrange, a robotics company. Rs.50,000 per month will be paid to the students during the internship. The option of retaining the position with the startup or joining Flipkart in December will also be provided to the students.
An IIT alumnus whose joining date was deferred by Flipkart said, “It is a good move. This is definitely better than doing nothing. But the internship opportunity is not really like what I would have gotten at Flipkart. It is still a compromise,”
Decision like placement slots and whether or not students can accept more than one offer, will be left upon individual campuses to decide.