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Grofers vs Students: Who Will Win The Battle?

Grofers vs Students: Who Will Win The Battle?

The legal tangle between Grofers and the students who have filed the case against the company has taken a dramatic turn. In its response to the notice sent by the students, Grofers said, “denied any commitment to provide jobs to the students.”

Earlier this year, Grofers had revoked the offer letters of over 67 students from colleges all over India – DTU, NIT Allahabad, PEC Chandigarh etc. As claimed by the students, they had already shifted to Gurgaon after receiving confirmation on June 27 in order to begin their professional life. However, on June 30, their offers were revoked. “Owing to market conditions and changes which affect their business”, as told by HR head of Grofers to students.

Grofers has received 17 such notices and the company has marked this as a colluded attempt to cause harm and bring disrepute to the company.

The response reads,

It is commonplace for candidates to be issued letters of intent, which by their nature are legally not binding on either party. While your client may have been shortlisted by the company as a part of the recruitment process followed by it, until acceptance of the offer by execution of the Company’s ‘Appointment Letter’, there exists no employer-employee or other contractual relationship between your client and the Company. As such, either your client or the company may have chosen not to proceed with the offer made until the contractual relationship was made.

The notice was released on July 29, 2016 and was received on August 4, 2016. The company has further asked the students to withdraw the allegations within 14 days.

“Any ill-advised action that your client may seek to take shall be vehemently opposed by the company and shall be at the sole risk and cost of your client, any costs and expenses incurred by the company in defending claims shall also be sought to be recovered from your client,” is stated the notice by Grofers.

Sahil Grover of MyAdvo, said, “Currently the reply by Grofers is being discussed by the lawyers and the students. Further strategy will be informed when it’s formulated. The matter will be taken to litigation.”

It seems like Grofers is openly challenging the student community. When a company goes for placements in any college, it’s not only the brand that attracts the students but also a trust factor was associated with it. In a majority of the institutions, students who once get an offer letter, are not allowed to even apply for other campus placement opportunities. And when a company like Grofers, selects the brightest minds from renowned institutes with above average salary packages, then it put the students high in the sky.

The below email by one of the student clearly depicts the current state of mind of most of the students out there,

In total, around 67 of us got their job offers revoked on 28th June by 4PM. We were made to believe for 9 months that we have a job in Grofers due to the constant communication between us and Grofers. We got a mail on June 10th regarding all documents that we are required to bring on the day of joining. From June 20th to June 28th, we got a call and email from Grofers almost daily confirming our presence for the job. Grofer’s HR called us on 28th June, 2 PM telling us the schedule for 1st July, but at 4 PM, we got the mail which changed our lives drastically. Grofers came to our college in the 1st month of placement i.e August 2015, took the brightest students as they were one of the first company to come for placements, they made us an above average offer and due to their constant communication, we trusted them completely. They ruined lives of the brightest talents of the country with their lives. Startups like these (think) that with the money they have, they can get away with anything and nothing will affect their business. I hope startups like this are punished for playing with lives of young bright students.

Grofers, Flipkart, Zomato, Snapdeal, a large number of companies have been delaying or revoking job offers of students. They might be correct on legal grounds but on moral grounds, these are highly unethical acts. Sooner or later, this will definitely impact the hiring process of such companies and will also deteriorate the existing reputation, thus making it difficult for them to attract good talent in the future.

Author

Meha Agarwal

Inc42 Staff

Meha has engineering and MBA degrees, but she has always been a writer at heart. It was the perfect combination of utilising her research and analytical skills and her enthusiasm for writing that sparked her interest in writing about the Indian startup ecosystem – the latest tech and gadgets and the startups that create them. She is always on the lookout for industry-specific stories in niche areas of interest such as ecommerce, fintech, greentech and more.

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