Ecomm Firms Embark On a Hiring Spree

BOOMTIME Snapdeal, Paytm to double headcount by FY16; Companies are open to poaching talent across geographies Flipkart is looking to hire for technology and leadership roles
It’s raining jobs in the booming ecommerce sector, with firms like Amazon India, Snapdeal, Paytm, and Flipkart in the process of ramping up workforce across various functions.“As more people turn to etailers for furniture, groceries, medicine, clothing and a gamut of other needs, it is logical that expansion in this sector needs to be supplemented by the right manpower,“ said Somesh Dasgupta, national president of National Institute of Personnel Management.

Thanks to a growing user base and wider availability of merchandise online as opposed to brick-and-mortar stores, the Indian internet market, which was valued at only $11 billion in 2013, could rise to $137 billion by 2020, according to a recent Morgan Stanley Research report titled, `The Next India: Internet -Opening Up New Opportunities’.

Snapdeal is looking to double its current headcount of 5,000 by FY16. The company is hiring across its primary functions of technology and products, as well as for its sales, supply chain and marketing divisions.

“We are hiring from the top engineering colleges, including the IITs and NITs, and MBA graduates are hired from the IIMs and other business schools. Apart from these, we also look at NIFT and NID for recruits for our fashion category ,“ said Saurabh Nigam, vicepresident of human resources at the Delhi-based firm.

Amazon India is also getting aggressive on hiring outlook as it looks to scale up operations in the country. The online marketplace is hiring across its software development, product and marketing, machine learning, quality assurance, web development, operations, studio and photography divisions, and MBA hires will be placed in operations, consumer business, HR and finance. While the company keeps the IITs, IIMs, ISB and other engineering colleges and B-schools on its radar, Raj Raghavan, director-HR, said talent should meet the hiring bar irrespective of where they graduate from.

“The roles offered are aimed to provide enough exposure for students to build long-term careers at Amazon,“ said Raghavan. “Our employee base in India -which has grown by 48% in 2014 as compared to the previous year -serves both our Indian and global operations.“

The firm has also been hiring experienced people from the FMCG, offline retail, shipping and logistics sectors.

At Paytm, those with a `fire in their belly’ will be favoured “We want to hire candidates who can do things differently who can grow within the orga nisation, meet constant chal lenges and prove that they are performance-driven,“ said Amit Sinha -vice president o business and people. Like Snapdeal, the company plans to double its headcount in FY16. While a bulk of the hir ing will be done at the fresher level, there is also expansion expected at senior roles “We’re looking at the talent pool across consulting and FMCG firms, as well as from the banking and financial sec tors.“ Lateral hires will be poached from firms like McKinsey & Company , Boston Consulting Group, and Bain & Company .

At India’s largest e-commerce firm Flipkart, hiring is being done for the technology and leadership roles. “An increase in employee base by itself isn’t necessarily a large indicator of success. We’re more concerned about hiring people who have the ability to innovate, who have the humility to accept that their knowledge isn’t absolute and there’s so much more to do,“ said chief people officer at the Bengaluru-headquartered firm, Mekin Maheshwari. “We’re looking at massive growth over the next three to five years, and we’re sourcing talent from all kinds of spaces,“ he added. An appreciation for technology and an ingrained customer understanding are the most important aspects for potential hires at Flipkart.

As each of these firms gets bullish on hiring numbers, the strategies they follow to ramp up headcount from among a shrinking talent pool are vastly different.

Amazon India, for instance, doesn’t think skills forward but thinks customer backwards. “We build capabilities and learn skills based on customer needs,“ said Ragha van. “We’re not just looking at educational qualifications, we’re looking for smart, flexible and customerobsessed candidates who can play a significant role in helping Amazon raise the bar for the online shopping experience in India.“

When top talent is at stake, companies will go all out to poach it, even crossing geographical boundaries in the process. Snapdeal, for instance, has recently hired Idi Srinivas Murthy as senior vice president of marketing, poaching him from his role in Johannesburg as regional marketing director -Africa, at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. The company has also hired Vivek Patankar as senior vice president of finance; Patankar was previously leading the financial planning and analytics vertical at Unilever, London.

Flipkart, on the other hand, is excited about attracting foreign nationals. “It’s almost a reverse brain drain; India is becoming a destination where global citizens are coming on board and wanting to solve things for the Indian market,“ said Maheshwari.

The firm has three foreign nationals joining in senior positions within the next two to three months.

Source: The Economic Times
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Author:

Neeraj; an entrepreneur & a visionary in the field of Railway, Defense & Automobiles, is a graduate in commerce and a Harvard Business School Alumni. He’s an expert in govt. liasoning & contracting and has an exceptional network & connections at both local as well as global level. He’s an expert in Market Strategy & Planning and has served number of overseas companies as an advisor/consultant. He takes a profound interest in upcoming startups & is very receptive towards ground-breaking ideas & innovations. He likes to brainstorm those ideas and if the values & philosophies matches; he is even ready to invest his resources, serve as a mentor or act as an incubator to futuristic businesses.

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