Hard times for the startup industry and the students at IIT

By : |May 10, 2016 0

These are hard times for the startup industry. Amidst uncertainty about funding and pressure on profitability, startup sector is not the most sought-after for placements anymore at Indian Institutes for Technology.

With many startups withdrawing job offers at IITs in Delhi, Bombay, Roorkee and Guwahati either due to shutting down or scaling down, students are shying away from the enterprises according to placement managers at these campuses.

At IIT Delhi, two startups withdrew job offers after they closed down, while another two made offers but could not keep the commitments, saysAnishyaMadan, industrial liaison officer, training and placement at the institute. “This is not a good sign. This leads to a lot of uncertainty,” she adds refusing to name the startups that withdrew the offers.

E-commerce companies such as Ola are finding it difficult to take on students they’ve hired and are delaying the process. Startups that have withdrawn offers at IITs include Zimply Home Shopping and PepperTap.

“While one startup withdrew offers given to six students, a few others are saying they will come up with later joining dates as some businesses they had hired for are not doing well,” saysAyushLakhotia, placement coordinator at IIT Bombay. “There is a lot of suspicion and concern among students this time when it comes to startups.”

However, it isn’t that new startups aren’t coming to campus but the hiring from big names like Flipkart, Ola and Snapdeal has dropped significantly from last year as investors are putting pressure on companies to save costs and improve cash flows, says a placement official.

“In January, Zimply Home Shopping said they are ceasing operations in certain cities and cost-cutting. They had taken five students from IIT Guwahati but withdrew all five offers,” says Harish Bohara, student coordinator of placements at IIT Guwahati.

InMobi and Roadrunnr have delayed joining dates to October and December, respectively. Roadrunnr, a hyperlocal delivery startup, has stated it is expanding, while mobile advertising platform InMobi hasn’t provided any reason, according to Bohara.

IIT Roorkee is no different.Here three startups changed offers made to students. One cancelled the offer in the first week of February and the other two delayed the hiring of 10 students. “Normal date of joining is in July. They have so far delayed it till November. Students are pretty tense. There is a slowdown in startup market and established startups are going down. Students are now looking for backup,” says HimanshuBansal, placement coordinator at IIT Roorkee.

According to BabuVishwanath, professor of mechanical engineering at IIT Madras, “We have not seen this in our campus so far, but I’m hearing about it from other IITs. Placements at IIT Madras were delayed due to floods in December. Top e-commerce firms including Flipkart, Ola and Snapdeal backed out after registering to visit.

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