Employment and Employability are two of the major concerns for India. Layoffs and hiring freezes are likely to continue in Indian IT industry, but there is still hope. The speeding success of startup biggies like Flipkart – which offer better skill development and growth opportunities – has led them to be more cautious with hiring.
For Flipkart, recruitment has picked up momentum after a two-year lull in hiring. The Bangalore-headquartered online marketplace has created 700 new job openings up for grabs. The company has decided to increase headcount in the areas of tech functions.
A spokesperson of the company confirmed, “Flipkart is aggressively hiring in tech functions. Over 4/5th of all current open positions at Flipkart is for technology functions.”
The majority of positions are related to profiles like – Data science, tech program managers, software developers, UI/UX designers, product solution engineers, service delivery and IT infrastructure, etc. The ‘niche skills’ involving Artificial Intelligence(AI), Machine Learning and Big Data and analytics are in top demand for tech solutions.
Almost two years back, right after the acquisition of Jabong, Flipkart decided to show the door to hundreds of employees. The under-performing professionals were given a choice to either resign or opt for a severance pay. The E-commerce giant claimed that this cleanup was a part of the regular process. Also earlier in the same year, Flipkart received negative publicity for deferring the placement of 17 IIM-A MBA grads by six months.
Last year, Flipkart unveiled ‘AI for India’ program for a better understanding of Indian consumer’s mindset and buying behaviour. The company has already initiated innovations in AI, Machine and Deep Learning to create the next-gen technology solutions. Sachin Bansal, Co-founder and Chairman, has said, “Flipkart wants data scientists and Engineers to build AI for India”.
Perhaps, this might be the reason for keeping 50 data science positions up for the taking.
The big shot Amazon’s presence has grown significantly in India over the past few years. Flipkart is facing a tough battle in recruitments too. As of November last year, the main rival Amazon stepped up its recruitment by 25% from the previous year. Flipkart, after skipping placement seasons in IITs and IIMs, got back in campuses but its numbers are much lower than its competition.
At a recently concluded campus placement, Flipkart has reportedly made offers to at least 20 grads from the Indian School of Business (ISB).
In all the jobs posted by startup unicorns within the timeframe of Oct 31, 2016 to Oct 31, 2017, when these giants were on a hiring spree, Flipkart could just achieve a mere 4% in terms of total job postings. Snapdeal being at the top with 53% job postings.
The recent return to the job market indicates that Flipkart’s recent churn is over and it is looking forward to increasing its professional workforce.
“In 2017-18, we are certainly looking to increase the headcount by 20-30% higher than the previous year,” Nitin Seth, Chief Operating Officer at Flipkart, told The Financial Express.
The hiring drive comes after the company’s corporate workforce fell from 15,000 at the end of 2015 to just 8,000 employees and had to trim costs in 2016 and 2017. Flipkart is currently valued at about $11.6 Billion and has a cash burn rate of $60-$65 million per month which it is aiming to cut to $40 million. Since the company has received a funding of $4 billion last year, it has been eyeing profitability by cutting costs with reduced hiring and lower logistics-related expenses.