Indian Food Delivery App Swiggy Created Fake News, Say Whistleblowers

A few days ago, Indian food and delivery app Swiggy flaunted news headlines boasting growth and progress. Today, the company’s co-founder Sriharsha Majety woke up to a pestilent blog post, which divulged disturbing details about the mobile app and its operations.

The post on Tumblr hurled a slew of accusations at the Swiggy management — from ill-treating employees to looting restaurant owners.

The blog post, authored by four people, three of who are current employees, revealed that Swiggy has been duping small business owners, investors, customers, and the media.

The whistleblowers also confessed that the app has been planting fake reviews on the app store and social media. Customer reviews that portray the company in a bad light are often removed or deleted, they said.

“In the sales team, one of our core jobs is to sign up restaurants for the Swiggy platform. This largely includes signing contracts that we know we are going to go back and renegotiate every few months. That is highly stressful, it eats into our conscience, and takes away a little piece of us every time we are made to do this. Most of these restaurant owners are small businessmen and they can’t see how they are being taken for a ride. Unfortunately, if we are to retain our jobs, we can’t tell them either,” the employees said.

Reality is reverse?

Although the company, when inviting job applications, asserts that it is zeroing in on applicants who are concerned about customers, the reality seems reverse. The whistleblowers claimed that the company is not customer-centric and the employees have been asked to dupe their customers. Employees were also made false promises about equity and bonuses. At any given point, 10–15 percent people are always on PIPs (performance improvement plans) and shown the door, the post said. “All the hiring in the last year is done just to cover up the numbers for the press,” the employees said.

According to whistleblowers, the top brass, including the heads of engineering and recruitment have already left the company. The employees also alleged that the company keeps changing its policies to avoid paying variable salaries to the employees. “On one hand we talk about creating thousands of jobs for delivery boys. On the other hand, a lot of the delivery guys we currently have in the system are not paid on time and treated with absolute disrespect,” they said.

Fake news

Recently, Swiggy won ‘The ET Startup of the Year’ award. However, the figures shared with the media, which won them the award could have been manipulated. A recent article published in Economic Times mentioned that Swiggy has crossed four million orders a month. But the employees call it “fake news,” as the company’s dashboard a few days ago showed that the volumes were less than three million orders a month.

On Twitter, Swiggy’s co-founder Sriharsha Majety called the blog post an “ill-intentioned narrative.”

“We are coming up with our version very shortly and will share a blow-by-blow account of why this is wrong on many levels,” he said. He, however, admitted that the company has its imperfections. “While we definitely have our imperfections and areas for improvement, we have zero tolerance for such ghastly things as pointed out. We’ll share all we can and let the world decide what the truth is eventually. We request everyone not to please jump to conclusions,” he said.

Swiggy released the following statement to the Inquisitr.

“The recent blog post from an anonymous source is targeted at maligning the reputation of Swiggy as an organization. The article carries inaccurate facts regarding business and order numbers. It not only references employee departures from a year and a half back, but also presents details on our partners out of context and with mischievous intent. Swiggy has grown over the last few years on the back of strong support from our restaurant partners, employees, delivery executives, consumers and investors. Our restaurant partners are at the heart of our success – our joint vision of providing a complete food ordering and delivery solution from the best neighbourhood restaurants inspire us. Our employees are the keepers of our soul – as a start-up organization, we take pride in the culture of mutual respect and common purpose that has helped us grow thus far. We are committed to winning together with all our stakeholders who we have always engaged with, in complete transparency and integrity.”

[Featured Image by Sarah Crowder/AP Images]