Zomato Founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal has (rightly) hit out at his alma-mater IIT-Delhi for India’s premier engineering institute’s age-old placement policies. This comes when Zomato was denied a Day one placement slot, a highly coveted one, reportedly due to a lower salary offering.

It all started when Deepinder Goyal, founder of one of India’s most valued startups wanted a day-one slot in IIT Delhi to recruit students from the campus. This slot, has been traditionally reserved for companies like google, Microsoft or Facebook and is usually not given to private limited startups or new-age, funded companies.

Venting out his frustration, Deepinder Goyal said,

The placement officer told us our salary package was too low to be given the day-one slot. Campus placements in India are broken. Placement cells optimise only for money. Growth, esops, quality of work is secondary.

Zomato said that it would offer students it wanted to hire about Rs. 16 lakh in annual compensation and employee stock options worth Rs 10 lakh. Employee stock options (ESOPs) have become a very favourable and lucrative deal for startups looking to hire top talent from within the country.

Quite a lot of funding (to the north of $2.5 Billion) has poured into India’s aggressively growing startup ecosystem in the past year. And with such aggressive growth pace, startups are going all out to hire top talent from within the country to reach target deadlines. In the process of hiring though, they have to compete against giants like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, etc. to hire the right talent.

IT-Delhi’s campus placement officer A Madan said that

the company which has to compete for a slot has to match the cash salary offer and Zomato did not match the salary offer

To which, Zomato CEO responded on twitter,

Exactly our point. They don’t understand ESOPs.

According to a published data, average salary package of IIT Delhi’s students who are graduating this year is of about Rs. 9.33 lakh per year. Out of 201 full-time offers, 58 were offered more than Rs. 10 lakh package while 148 were offered packages between Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh.

Zomato, while needs no introduction, is perhaps one of the biggest mobile restaurant search and discovery platforms in the world. It has received a staggering $163.8 million in seven funding rounds from three investors. Zomato has also been famous for its rapid acquisition spree, which included the $52 Millin UrbanSpoon acquisition, thus helping the startup to establish presence within 22 countries in less than an year.

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