Amit Kesri, who has just completed his post-graduate degree in business administration, received a mail from an Andhra Pradesh-based recruitment agency, asking him to mail his job application to email@example.com and deposit Rs 10,000 in the agency’s bank account. Last week, Kesri was delighted to receive a reply from the agency, directing him to appear for a job interview at the Tata group’s Bengaluru office.
Kesri’s world, however, came crashing down when, at the reception of the Bengaluru office, he was told no such interview was slotted. In any case, the Tata group doesn’t charge an application fee for recruitment.
Shreya J, who has completed a course in company secretaryship and law, also responded to a similar mail, depositing Rs 8,500. A fortnight ago, when she went to the group’s office in Pune for an interview, she was told she might have been a victim of fraudsters.
These are only two examples of a stream of e-mails and other modes of correspondence the Tata group is receiving every day from job seekers who have become targets of job syndicates making fraudulent employment offers to youngsters. A Tata Sons spokesperson told Business Standard 10 cases had been registered with the police in this regard, adding these were being pursued.
The group isn’t alone on this front, with quite a few of India’s largest employers receiving such complaints. But Tata tops the list, as it employs about half a million employees across its operating companies, which number about 90. At a 10 per cent attrition level, the group requires at least 50,000 replacements every year; the actual numbers are much higher because of the group’s new businesses and newly-created positions, according to changing business need. All these make the group an easy target for fake job syndicates.
Such advertisements are being rolled out in some newspapers, released through mails or despatched in coaching classes across the country. One such advertisement, which includes an application form, reads, “Tata group of companies requires 9,200 candidates for multiple locations around the globe and for different companies. Please rush, as the interview is slated for the first week of April in Bengaluru.”
On its part, the Tata group has taken the fake recruitment schemes seriously. It has appointed a high-level team comprising Brand Custodian and Chief Ethics Officer Mukund Rajan and Chief Human Resource Office N Rajan to conduct a massive awareness campaign against such schemes.
A Tata Sons spokesperson said, “We are aware that such hoax schemes take place. To pro-actively make the citizenry aware of such fraudulent schemes, we have put up guidances on the Tata group website, tata.com, and on the websites of Tata companies such as Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Consultancy Services and Tata Power, which are the main targets of such fraudsters. Periodically, we also advertise to create widespread awareness.”
The spokesman added the group treated these cases very seriously and took appropriate legal action against fraudsters to ensure the name Tata wasn’t used to deceive people. “With the help of the administration, efforts are being made to bring such fraudsters to book, and criminal proceedings are going on in courts. These proceedings, at present, involve about 10 such cases, in which individuals have actually been deceived,” he said.