Anjli Jain, Managing Partner, EVC Ventures, has come in the line of firing from LinkedIn users, for posting data that Snapdeal’s ex-employees were overpaid by 1.5 to 3 times, which many thought was “unethical” and “an insensitive post”.
Snapdeal, last month, announced to restructure the company, and in the process laid-off more than 600 people. Jain, along with many other industry leaders, had reached out on LinkedIn to the people affected at Snapdeal, to contact the venture firm for jobs at EVC Ventures’ portfolio companies.
Three days ago, Jain, again posted on LinkedIn: “After receiving over 1,000 applications for jobs from Snapdeal or xSnapdeal (sic) employees, our experience is that, aside from exceptions, 1) high quality talent 2) overpaid by approximately 1.5-3x. No wonder why these startups are failing.”
LinkedIn users have not taken the insight kindly and are dubbing the entire “noble gesture” as “an analytics matrix.”
Ravi Kikan, Growthhacker for Startups, and Mentor, commented, “What am I surprised is that a noble gesture turned out to be an analytics matrix and where the salary parameters are being discussed. I know a lot of Snapdeal employees from management to the grassroots and they are aptly paid as per their experience and level. The VC here is being missed who had continuously put bets on the firm… but back to the point, why are employee stats being discussed after collecting them? Just seems wrong.”
Snapdeal employees take offense
A Snapdeal employee (name withheld) — a training professional with over 13 years of work experience — who probably had applied with EVC Ventures, echoed, Kikan’s post. “Thought you were really willing to help people, but it was just groundwork for your analysis on the salaries. Sad to see people falling prey to such posts. Even I was one!” she wrote.
Jain, however, assured the lady in question here that EVC Ventures was indeed trying to help.
“Incorrect. We are trying to help where we can. We have made approximately 25 offers to xSnapdealers (sic). However, if a 3 years of experience Snapdeal Business Analyst is making 25 Lakhs (INR 2.5 million = US$37467.225) while the rest of the market is at 10 (INR 1 million = US$14987), what do you expect us to do?”
Another Snapdeal employee, a Senior Account Manager-Key Account Management at Snapdeal, called Jain’s post insensitive and “unethical”. “An insensitive post, gathering data in an unethical way and posting analysis. There are lot of speculations, discussions and feedback around what has happened in Snapdeal and with their employees. All these analysis and theories are being posted by non-Snapdeal people just like what this lady has done.”
She felt that despite being at the receiving end, no Snapdeal employee was posting any negative comment about the company.
“You know why? Because we take immense pride to the fact what we have achieved until yet by being a part of such company. Second, my Company is sensitive enough to take care of the financial loss of each and every employee. Anjli Jain look at yourself and analyse what you are doing at such a reputed position, ruining your organization’s credibility and faith by giving false hope to employees for the sake of your fabricated and baseless analysis which would not be of any use in the industry.”
Rahul Dahiya, Head-Corporate Relations at UBS & Cardiff Metropolitan University, felt that Jain “hit below the belt” with her post and was “highly unethical and unprofessional.” He thought that there should have no problem with her posting the analysis, had she “not invited their CV for openings” in the firm’s portfolio companies.
Are VCs to be blamed?
Sumit Kumar Singh, Business and Product Head at TimesPoints.com, a Times Internet vertical, felt that at times, much of the blame for high salaries could be pinned on to VCs as well. “I am sure, it’s happening in your portfolio companies too. Its OK to pay higher. The question is how to set the right expectations with respect to the delivery that they make. I hardly see more than 10% of the folks solving a real world problem. Most of them just copy paste from other markets without even doing an ground consumer test. That’s a bigger problem than money.”
Only very few, Raghuram Sarabu, a Murex analyst, have been kind to Jain. He wondered why there was “so much outrage when trying to point one of the major reason for the failure of the startups.” He felt that these were valid reasons that were making people jobless and “bringing them to streets. It’s up to the firms to analyze their failures but nothing wrong posting analysis (sic).”
Anirudh Sharma, Digital Product Management Leader, ACTIVE Network, too felt that there was “misdirected outrage” in comments. “Snapdeal is squarely responsible for this fiasco. Where will the former employees find employment that matches their former pay grade? Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly okay to pay your employees well, but where is the business model to SUSTAIN this ecosystem in the long run?” he asked.