Zomato Blacklisted By 6 IITs for Campus Placements; Students Warned Against Contacting Them


Deepinder Goyal Zomato

7 year old Zomato, which is the poster-child of food tech based startups in India, having expanded to 22 countries and generating 1.9 million views page traffic in a month; having a valuation of more than $1 billion have been blacklisted by IITs from campus placements.

Atleast 6 IITs – Delhi, Bombay, Kharagpur, Madras, Guwahati and Kanpur have confirmed this development.

Atal Ashutosh Agarwal, Vice-President, Technology Students’ Gymkhana at IIT-Kharagpur, said, “Any company which violates the procedural guidelines laid down by the AIPC may be blacklisted,”

Meanwhile, another placement official at one of the IITs have said, “No company should take the IIT system for granted,”

Back in July, Deepinder Goyal, founder of Zomato had lashed out against IIT Delhi, the place from where he had graduated. The issue was that Zomato was not provided day 1 slot for campus interviews, as the salary + ESOPs offered by them amounted to just Rs 26 lakh, a figure way too less for IIT Delhi’s standards.

He had said, “Campus placements in India are broken. Placement cells optimize only for money. Growth, esops, quality of work is secondary.”

Mohak Mehta, former placement manager at IIT Bombay says, “There are startups which get very egoistical about getting an early slot.”

At that time, IIT Delhi had responded by saying, “Any company which has to compete for a slot has to match the cash salary offer. Zomato did not match the salary offer,”

The issue didn’t end, it seems. Placement heads from 6 different IITs have now ganged up, and entirely stopped Zomato from entering their premises for any placement related activity.

As per Times of India, the main reason for Zomato’s blacklisting may be the recent layoffs, wherein their management had fired 10% of their employees in one single go. IITs do tend to give a warning in case of such unprecedented actions by recruiting companies; and blacklisted in case of severe actions.

Students Warned Against Contacting Them

An unverified circular from IIT Delhi is making rounds in the social media, which explicitly warns students from contacting Zomato in any form. As per the circular, Directi, a domain and web hosting company along with Zomato are blacklisted from campus placements, and if any student is found aiding them or contacting them, on or off campus, then strict disciplinary action would initiated against them.

This is most probably for the first time in history that IIT students are being warned from contacting a billion dollar startup!

IIT placement Blacklist Mailsource

We are still trying to verify the authenticity of this circular.

Meanwhile, blacklisting of Directi, which was implemented last year, may be revoked for 2015-16 placement season. They were blacklisted over placement interviews at IIT Kanpur last year. Placement heads at one of the IITs said, “Since IIT-Kanpur was the most aggrieved party, the decision to revoke the ban has now been left to them,”

Recently Deepinder Goyal came into news for sending out a hard hitting email to their sales team, detailing how they are missing the targets and more firing may become a necessity. The stern tone of this email surprised one and all.

We had earlier covered how Deepinder Goyal performed poorly at Reddit India AMA; and we had shared his 16 weird answers.

Is this recent blacklisting an issue of ego clash or a personal vendetta against Zomato? We will keep you updated as more details come in.

  1. […] premier educational institutions like IIT, IIM and ecommerce startups have always been dicey. After Zomato was blacklisted by 6 IITs over their campus placement policies, its the turn of Flipkart to get some bad karma over their […]

  2. sameer says

    Favourite Superhero … Rahul Gandhi ?
    Thats Honest answer…Way RG destroying long built party like Congress, Goyal is destroying Zomato which otherwise could be great business with great economic moat

  3. Bawaji says

    How can a college dictate to the students where they should apply for a job? It’s like saying “Students are hereby warned not to become entrepreneurs”. And the students actually listen to this shit?

  4. Vijay Kumar says

    Zomato is a company it shouldn’t worry about the shit IIT’s, There are more genius candidates from ordinary institutes, universities who cares the overhyped IIT! Deepinder Goyal just ignore these shit campuses IIM/IIT/IIS and all egoistic staffs working in it think as if like great. There is a reason why companies don’t want to recruit from worstful IIT’s.

  5. Siddhartha Bagchi says

    Well any institute can blacklist a company, provided there are guidelines on how and why that should come about. The CEO’s personal opinion about placement cell’s functioning should not be a reason.
    To gang up on a company is ridiculous; even more, the circular dictating it’s students not to contact them. Heard of Free Market, anyone?

  6. Chinmay Das says

    One thing which strikes me is the fact that the article quotes ‘The issue was that Zomato was not provided day 1 slot for campus interviews, as the salary + ESOPs offered by them amounted to just Rs 26 lakh, a figure way too less for IIT Delhi’s standards’. The salary figure is high enough to be given a day 1 slot.

    As far as I know the process which is followed in the IITs, the Placement Committee doesn’t upset the big consults and other day 1 regular recruiters. Making way for Zomato by kicking any of the regular recruiters wouldn’t be pragmatic, and to some extent fair as far as the system is concerned. Some of the comments are based on my experience and hence, need not be quoted.

    Mohak’s comments, however, startle me. I’ve seen the big consults being sentimental and foul-mouthing other firms to get the best candidates and nobody talks about it. The article presents his comments in a way that he blames the startups for trying to get an early slot. I don’t know whether he or the article is to be held accountable for such blame upon startups.

    Startups like Zomato, Olacabs, e-commerce firms offer excellent opportunities but they’re never given the kind of respect they deserve in the IIT placement processes. I guess that’s a drawback of the enormous societal pressure of grabbing nice salary packages out of premier institutes like the IITs.

    As for Ashutosh Aggarwal considering the placement system to be broken, I’d have to agree to some extent, sadly though.

  7. Malick says

    All that glitters is not gold in Indian startup scenario?

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