Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Employee-Unfriendly Side of Flipkart

Probably this article would gain me more enemies than friends, as I’m going to talk against one of your favourite brands, Flipkart. Yes, they are one of the leading e-commerce companies in India. The customers that they’ve gained over the years know Flipkart as one of the trusted ways to buy products online, for their prompt delivery and efficient service.

There is something more you need to know about the brand Flipkart. Though they are customer friendly, they aren’t employee friendly. By saying that they don’t favour the employees, I mean to say that they don’t hire young mothers as employees.

I was one of the victims who went through this trauma a couple of years back. Before I was called for the interview, I had disclosed that I was a mother of a 4 year old. They were fine with it and called me for the interview. One whole day was spent there in written rounds. After clearing all, I also cleared the interview with the senior editor. After that the Catalogue Manager (not disclosing his name here) took the interview. He had a mobile in his hand and was behaving as if he was about to break his latest Temple Run record. I was prompted to tell him “Excuse me sir, I suppose this is a round of interview and I expect you to keep that device aside and focus on the interview.”, but kept quite as I didn’t want to screw up the interview reaching the last stage.

The questions shot at me by Guru (the Catalogue Manager) didn't have a professional touch. All I was asked was if I could stay back after working hours if there is a need, if I could stretch till late nights even if there is no cab to drop me, and all such questions, to which I responded in a positive way that my husband will pick me up from office however late it is. I almost felt I was being interviewed for a call centre or a BPO. 

After waiting for nearly an hour, I was informed by the HR exec that I didn’t clear his round. What?! What did he ask me to know my knowledge regarding the work I’ll be assigned?! I asked the exec for an explanation. When she was sure that I won’t leave her till she gives me a reason, she said “Maybe the management thought you wouldn’t be able to handle work and your child together. Please don’t get disheartened. You can still apply after 6 months of a freezing period.” I was totally broken. I thanked her and left the premises.

Here I’m attaching a response of a reader to a Forbes article that spoke against the ethics of Flipkart. To my surprise, her reply wasn’t taken into consideration by the Flipkart authorities. Once a brand grows and reaches a certain level, anything is possible. No bloody person is gonna question you even if you do such shit to the public.

I was stopped by my family against filing a complaint against this. They all feared that I would get into a controversy and ruin my career and my life. For a moment, I thought all these dirty things happened without the knowledge of the higher-ups. I wrote a personal message to one of the Bansal brothers on Facebook. As expected, there was no response.

This post has only one intention behind it – to make others aware of what’s happening in Flipkart and on what grounds the employees are being recruited. Till that day, even I was a fan of the brand, but now I am sure it is one of the words I hate to pronounce. We women deserve much respect. No one can just underestimate a woman only because she is a mother to a young child. If the company is not to recruit young mothers, let them make it clear while calling the candidates for an interview. We better choose to live unemployed than being employed at such an organisation. Thanks.

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