Grocery delivery startup Grofers, which got into a legal tangle for revoking 67 offer letters of graduates just two days prior to their joining date, has denied promising jobs to the students.
In a response to the legal notice sent to them by 17 of the 67 affected students, Grofers has clarified that the letters issued to the students were only letters of intent and their employment was subject to confirmation from the company. HT has a copy of the legal notice as well as Grofers response.
“From the wordings of this particular offer it seems that even accepting it would not constitute an acceptance. We work with clients who practice the highest ethical standards and with every one of them, acceptance of an offer is seen as a completion of the recruitment cycle, unless the company has specific conditions, including qualification checks or background verifications. In several cases, companies issue appointment letters on the date of joining. However, irrespective of the legalities, an ethical commitment is made on the acceptance of the offer and is unfailingly adhered to,” says Dony Kuriakose, director, EDGE Executive Search.
Rahul Singh (name changed), a graduate of the National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal, was one of the 67 students, whose job offer was revoked by the company. “Grofers came to our college in August last year in the first month of placement. As they were one of the first companies to come for placements, they made us an above-average offer, and due to their constant communication, we trusted them completely.”
“We were made to believe for months that we have a job in Grofers due to the constant communication between us and the company. We even got an email on June 10, asking us to bring all documents on the day of joining. But on June 28 Grofers’ HR called us, informing us of their decision to revoke the offer letter.”
Singh, who lives in Noida sector 3, even booked a flat in Gurgaon, for which he had to shell out a security deposit of Rs 50,000 and an advance rent of Rs 13,200. Grofers had provided students with temporary accommodation for 14 days from July 1 onwards. “It led to huge monetary loss,” Singh said.
Some students even travelled from Bangalore, Lucknow and even Dubai to relocate to Gurgaon, according to sources.
“Such situations have become a trend, and strict legal action can hopefully set the right precedent going forward. Grofers in their response to the legal notice has denied any liability towards the students. The students are now going to consult their lawyers and are likely to file a case against Grofers,” said Vasundhara S, legal head at MyAdvo.in, the legal tech startup assisting students on the matter.
Stand-offs between colleges and startups have been in the news ever since India’s largest e-tailer, Flipkart, deferred offer letters of about 15 graduates from IIM-Ahmedabad.