Employees of the company have come forward claiming they had been asked to lie to customers and work 12-hour shifts
After gobbling up over Tk311 crore from its customers, Evaly has now decided to throw its employees under the bus, asking them to look for better job opportunities as it is unable to pay them.
On August 23, in an internal meeting, Evaly Managing Director Mohammad Rassel told his employees that the company has no money except for funds received from the T-10 campaign.
He told them not to expect any salary before October-November, said sources with knowledge of the matter.
Asked about this directive, Evaly Chief Marketing Officer Arif R Hossain said they are just reducing the number of employees but “it is not forceful; whoever wants to leave, they can. We are unable to pay salaries on time.”
But having worked for a company accused of running a Ponzi scheme does not exactly sit well with prospective employers, something that ex-employees of the company have begun finding out.
“It feels like we were involved in smuggling or some other criminal activity,” said one former employee of Evaly.
“Our careers have been hampered, and now our capabilities are being questioned in the job market as almost everyone at some point seems to have bought something from Evaly,” the employee told Dhaka Tribune.
Several employees involved with the customer service wing have also alleged that they were asked to lie to and withhold information from customers.
“We were not given any information that would help the customers with the queries. We had to continuously repeat to customers that they would get their delivery or refund without even knowing if that was actually the case,” another ex-employee said.
Many even had to work 12-hour shifts, they added.
Employees said they have also faced harassment and threats from consumers and resellers of the platform.
Another former employee said the platform would spend “excessively without any regard for sustainability.”
According to many employees, the top management positions were occupied mostly by family members of Evaly Managing Director Rassel and Chairman Shamima, who were incapable of managing the organization and did not rely on the acquired talents for whom the company had initially spent a lot of money on.
They also said the organization incurred huge losses just in branding and incentivizing employees.
Evaly had allegedly spent huge amounts of money on luxury office tours and gifts on several occasions, but that ultimately led the company to bleed so much money that it can no longer pay back customers or pay its employees.
Rassel could not be reached for comments on these allegations, and a senior official of the firm refused to give any quotes.
Although many ex-employees of Evaly have already joined other companies, they said they faced extreme difficulties and aggressive questions during interviews because of Evaly’s reputation.
The difficulties faced by the former employees have even caused several department heads of Evaly to vouch for them on social media.
Mrida Md Saiful Islam, the head of Social Communication at Evaly, wrote in a Linkedin post: “If you are looking for well-trained and expert executives… or managers for your company, you can knock me. I have some loyal and reliable resources to be referred to with confidence.”
Osman Goni Nahid, chief technical officer of Evaly wrote in a Facebook post: “We are struggling as a company, going through a hard time. As we could not provide salaries on time, team members are struggling financially to serve their families and financial needs, it is totally impossible for few members to continue and wait till our recovery.
“Some of the employees from the engineering team are looking for jobs to move as early as possible. If you or someone you know is looking for some good and highly capable resources, please let me know. I can recommend some good and valuable resources for different positions. I can assure you that they are really good at what they are working on and able to make an impact. Thanks in advance.”
Meanwhile, Jamuna Group’s investment in Evaly has yet to reach a final decision as the conglomerate is still awaiting an audit of the financial statements of the e-commerce platform.
Also Read - Evaly Chair and MD sued for fraud, harassment
Rassel and his wife Shamima have already been sued for fraud and harassment.
Previously, the Commerce Ministry had asked consumers to file cases with the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP) who have not been issued refunds.
In a response to the queries by the commerce ministry regarding Evaly’s liabilities, the company had shared a figure amounting to Tk543 crore of owed liabilities — much higher than the amount found by an initial probe of Bangladesh Bank.
With liabilities that high, it is unlikely the business can be sustained.
Professor Mustafizur Rahman, a distinguished fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said that there is doubt if Evaly will be able to pay off its liabilities even if it is allowed to operate longer.
“Suppose its liability is Tk90 and it has Tk10. Will it be able to recover such a huge gap with only what it currently has?” he explained.