Monday, 29 June 2015

Transfers: Employees flip out, mull quitting Flipkart

Transfers: Employees flip out, mull quitting Flipkart
The resignations — when the company is trying to get more sellers onto its platform — have management in damage-control mode

E-commerce giant Flipkart's decision to transfer hundreds of its employees to business process outsourcing (BPO) firm Serco has not gone down well with the middle-level staff. Many of them are now contemplating resigning as they do not want to be downgraded on the brand-scale.
"Why should I work for a BPO?" asked a Flipkart employee who had two options before him — either quit or join the BPO. The employee, who did not want to be named, said he had worked with Flipkart for two years, and moving to Serco, according to him, is nothing short of a demotion.
"Flipkart has made it very clear that our names will not appear in its records and, instead, we will be on an outsourced payroll. How can I go from an established brand to a lesser-known BPO? It will not only reflect negatively on my resume, but will also change other socio-economic dynamics," the employee said.
There are many, in the batch of at least 300 Flipkart employees transferred to Serco, who have either already put in their papers or are contemplating quitting after failing to come to terms with the change in the name of the brand they work for. Bangalore Mirror spoke to several employees and each one of them seemed disgruntled. Most of the transferred employees are from the marketplace team (that interacts with the sellers).
The resignations, which come at a time when Flipkart is rolling out an aggressive campaign to bring more sellers onto its platform, has put the management in damage-control mode.
When contacted for their reaction, Flipkart authorities sent out a statement that read: "Flipkart's decision to outsource a few roles is a strategic move which will help us scale faster and also grow the partner ecosystem around us. Around 300 of our employees are moving to an MNC partner. We believe that re-aligning the organisation to business priorities is critical for keeping pace with the dynamic environment that we operate in."
However, employees say the main point behind the shift was to sack employees. Another employee, who did not want to be named, said, "To make sure there are no legal implications on their sacking activity, the company has offered all employees an option to work with Serco. I was given two options — either resign or shift to Serco India BPO. They also told me that there will be a 10 percent salary hike. But for me, it is like degrading myself. On quitting, I was not allowed to serve my notice period. Instead, I was just asked to leave the office. Also, as per the general practice, in my next job I can demand for a 20 to 30 percent salary hike."
While the process of shifting is still on, the employees believe that most people have either already quit or decided to quit post the announcement. A Flipkart spokesperson said, "To ensure that they are well taken care of, we have rolled out a generous financial package including a salary hike for each one of them. Additionally, we can confirm that this move has not resulted in any resignations."
Explaining why he did not accept the Flipkart offer, another employee said: "The Flipkart office is on Hosur Road and Serco office is in Bommanahalli. Since I have been working here, everything is planned for my family and me around the area. A sudden shift is not possible. As a Flipkart employee, I had certain benefits such as transportation and timings. I might not have any of those in the BPO. It is better to quit than join the BPO."
Meanwhile, the fear among other employees is compounding with speculation rife that another 800 employees will be shown the exit soon. A current employee, on condition of anonymity, said: "Instead of a company firing me, it makes more sense that I quit. At this moment, I have not been asked to shift, but the day does not seem far. The next target could be me. As an employee, I joined Flipkart because it would be good on my resume. I am not sure the other company will benefit my career prospects. I think people are quitting because people want to choose the company they work for and not be forced to work in some company."


The company speaks
Flipkart's decision to outsource a few roles is a strategic move which will help us scale faster and also grow the partner ecosystem around us. Around 300 of our employees are moving to an MNC partner. We believe that re-aligning the organisation to business priorities is critical for keeping pace with the dynamic environment that we operate in.

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