Grofers, a booming hyper local startup is making the news but for the wrong reasons. Last year, they had recruited several students from elite colleges across India, only to cancel the offer days before the joining.

In retaliation, the students have filed a case in the court. Grofers has hit back stating that the letters issued to the students were only letters of intent and their employment was subject to confirmation from the company

Other startups such as Flipkart have been responsible for delaying joining letters in the recent months. The volatile nature of the markets in which startups operate and the correction in the funding space has taken its toll on the heavyweights and the new recruits have been one of the hardest hit. While the recent tussle might see Grofers win eventually, the implications have been more damaging. Several campuses have become wary of such incidents, making more stringent rules for startups to recruit. Some have even gone to the extent of banning startups from recruitment this year.

There are two things that are worth noting: 1. Denying or delaying jobs is not a new phenomena. IT stalwarts have been known to warm “benches” and keep candidates waiting for even years if not months. 2. Elite colleges such as IITs and IIMs have only recently been hit by the phenomena. Till now, it has usually been second and third – tier colleges.

What is the reason for this uproar? Is it because for the first time, the elite are being affected, that they have decided to raise their voices? Or is it because startups have gained celebrity status? They are the first ones to be praised and the first to be criticized even when other IT giants have been doing the same for decades.

Whatever be the reason and the output of this uproar, eventually both startups and the elite colleges will come to a truce. The ones who will remain suffering are those, who owing to a shortage of jobs will have no option but to join an IT firm only to be left waiting.

Originally published for the Dainik Bhaskar Group on 12th Aug, 2016.

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