Competition is an integral part of startups, and it separates great companies from the ordinary. Sometimes cut-throat competition and aspiration for scale also force entrepreneurs to compromise with ethics. The Indian startup ecosystem has witnessed the ugly fight between several direct competitors, including OYO-Zo Rooms and Meru-Uber.
OYO had levelled data theft allegation on Zo Rooms and dragged the Tiger Global-backed firm in the court. Making similar allegations, Meesho has slapped legal notices to nine ex-employees for joining its competitor GlowRoad.
The notices alleged that ex-employees had stolen confidential data and GlowRoad had actively poached these employees to utilise the data to their benefit. The Facebook-funded company also initiated a case against GlowRoad and nine of its ex-employees in Bangalore civil court.
In a blogpost, Meesho claims that GlowRoad has been engaged in unlawful and unethical business practices, methodically poaching employees and accessing the data that was generated by the company. It claims to have proof of data theft and GlowRoad forcing people to steal data and solicit employees.
As per Meesho, the court has restrained GlowRoad from utilising the confidential data gained through the former employees of Meesho.
However, GlowRoad’s co-founder Shekhar Sahu strongly opposed the move taken by Meesho and called it an act of unprofessionalism and corporate bullying.
“Meesho is threatening our employees, most of whom left the company a year ago,” Sahu told Entrackr. He further questioned the timing of the legal notices, as they are served after six months or a year employees left the company.
Just because we are doing better than them in growth aspects, they are resorting to harassing our employees, added Sahu. In a Linkedin post, he said that Meesho legal notices to its employees are against freedom of choice.
“We will strongly reply to these frivolous legal notices sent to some of our employees by Meesho so that this case can be set as a landmark example for any company that tries to take freedom of employees away, “he said.
Both Glowroad and Meesho compete in the social commerce space.
In the last two years, GlowRoad has raised $24.3 million. The company claims to have more than 6 million resellers currently. Whereas Meesho has raised more than $200 million and claims to have over 10 million resellers on its platform.