Millennium Post

IIT-Bombay bans 9 startups for revoking, delaying placement offers

Premier tech school IIT Bombay on Thursday blacklisted nine companies including startups like Portea Medical and Chinese firm Johnson Electric from placements for one year as a penalty for a variety of violations like, revoking the offers to some of its graduates. 

The action follows a controversy over a host of companies, majorly startups finding the going tough, either revoking the offer letters or delaying joining dates which have impacted students. Online pharmacy player Portea, which has reportedly raised $46.5 million in two rounds, has been blacklisted for one year for revoking an offer, the school said in an official statement. 

Similarly, the NCR-based Peppertap that was into grocery sales, has also been penalised for revoking offers. Johnson Electric of China has also been penalised for revoking offers. Others who faced action for revoking offers include GPSK and Cashcare Technologies, the statement said. 

For delaying the joining dates of the selected candidates, consulting companies IndusInsight, and the Houston-based American company LexInnova have been barred from placements for a year, it said.
A company named LeGarde Burnett Group was also blacklisted for both revoking an offer and after it was found “fake” with no proper office address, it said. 

Another company Mera Hunar was found to have come up with a different name and hired students for another startup, which attracted the penal action of one year.  It can be noted that since IITs have a centralised placement panel called the All IITs Placement Committee and in all likelihood, the action by IIT-Bombay will automatically bar the startups from approaching any of the IITs in the country for placements next year.

Meanwhile, an international start-up conference being held here from September 3 will see 12,000 participants attending workshops and deliberating on a wide range of issues related to emerging companies. 

The fourth edition of the conference, ‘August Fest’, is being supported by the Telangana Government. 

The two-day event is being organised by Eat, Sleep, Drink (ESD) start-up with support from the State Government, T-Hub and Indian school of Business (ISB), said Kiran Maverick, founder of August Fest. “This year 107 speakers and 12,000 participants will take part in the event, where there will be 125 start-up pitches and 20 workshops,” he said. For the first time, non start-ups and members of general public have been allowed to participate, he said. “Since last year we are working on measurable growth for start-ups. Last year, we picked up five start-ups that have seen exponential growth. 

This year we are picking up to 10 start-ups in different sectors and add value in terms of mentorship and guidance for funding and build success stories right here in Hyderabad,” Kiran said.

Telangana IT Secretary Jayesh Ranajan said “August Fest has contributed immensely in developing start-up ecosystem in the city. The Government’s focus is not just on T-Hub (a startup incubation initiative of the Telangana Government) alone. 

“I am on the board of T-Hub, which recently decided that start-ups outside the ambit of T-Hub, too, should get the same benefits as those in the T-Hub Incubation,” he said. “We own the fest. We feel proud of the fact that it has scaled up so fast,” Jayesh said. Among the key speakers would be Carman Chan from Hong Kong, Ernest Sanchez from Spain and Soundarya Rajinikanth (Rajinikanth’s younger daughter), Kiran added. 

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