Desperate times call for desperate measures. COVID-19 wrecked the foot traffic physical stores used to generate pre-pandemic. This is why global retail giants are now increasingly pivoting their focus towards their digital presence and hiring for the same in India.
According to sources, in Bengaluru, Target leased a fresh space of 28 lakh sqft in Manyata Embassy Tech Park and is planning to double their headcount to over 6000 employees to head their digital initiatives.
Now, that being said, when spoken to a Target spokesperson, she didn’t confirm the plans and instead said that they currently employ close to a 3,400 member team in Bangalore whilst they surely are committed to growing this number with new positions in marketing, technology, finance, supply chain, in-house engineering and so on.
Walmart which is Flipkart’s parent company is taking strides in a similar direction as well. Over the past year, their tech arm in India as added fresh new 2,000 employees in their Bengaluru centre while 800 people in Chennai which now makes their total strength to over 5,000.
A spokesperson from Walmart Global Tech India said that they are focused on building a diverse workforce who are equipped with new-age skills such as AI, ML, data science, product management, UX design and so forth.
Even JCPenney, which recently survived bankruptcy amid the pandemic, is ramping up their hiring efforts in India to focus on transforming the brand digitally. They are currently hiring technologists in Bengaluru as well.
The US home improvement chain Lowe’s has hired over 1,000 individuals in 2020 itself, thus taking their total headcount to over 3,000 employees. Ankur Mittal, Lowe’s India VP of technology said that this trend will continue in the next year as well because the company is focussed on building technological capabilities to transform its parent company Lowe’s.
According to the VP of industry initiative at Nasscom KS Viswanathan more than half a dozen GCCs which includes Ikea and H&M happened to be added in the last year itself and thus it goes to show that despite the pandemic, the Indian retail GCC story is continuing to gain traction as retailers are now hunting talent real-time analytics, demand forecasting and last-minute fulfilment.
Because of this ongoing trend of establishing tech presence in India, the furniture giant Ikea’s headcount in Bengaluru is now expected to become even bigger than their three other global business operation centres which are situated in Poland, China and the United States which employ close to 1,000 employees.
Lastly, Lalit Ahuja, the founder and CEO of ANSR, a firm which establishes and operates GCCs for global enterprises, in a statement about the same, said that global retailers do not view India as a tech centre outposts but as a mainstream enterprise which has the ability to emerge as distributed teams complementing their digital strategies on a wide scale.
He also said that the next two years will see more 20 global retailers setting up their tech centres in India. Therefore, one can see how the pandemic was a blessing in disguise for the country as retail giants are now beginning to tap into India’s potential in driving technological transformation. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.