Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart recently announced that it will create over 2 million jobs through its marketplace and ancillary services in the year 2015. 60% of these jobs will be in the logistics and warehouse sector. Ever since Flipkart moved to a marketplace model back in 2013, the focus has been heavy on building the capability of sellers on the platform. In June 2014, Flpkart signed an MoU with FISME (Federation of Indian Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises) and NCDPD (National Center for Design and Product Development) to boost manufacturing and entrepreneurship in the country. Then in August, it started an initiative called 'Kaarigar Ke Dwaar' by tying up with the Labour Ministry.
Flipkart training sessions have been conducted across 20 cities (Jaipur, Meerut, Varanasi, Coimbatore, Noida, Gurgaon etc) so far. These sessions are either one or two day long or brief sessions for one to three hours. "Over 300 sessions have been scheduled for the month of April and May. We aim to scale up our training presence across 40 cities within the next 6 months," says Ankit Nagori, SVP – Marketplace. He added in a statement
e-commerce has contributed a lot towards generation of employment opportunities along with enabling SME’s and local artisans. Sellers on our marketplace have been directly responsible for driving employment within their own communities. In fact, e-commerce support facilities like merchandizing, buying, packaging and cataloging have generated more than 75,000 jobs in the last one year.
The Flipkart SME training program aims to contribute towards generating well-trained employees for this industry. These courses are available for the following entities: SME owners, SME employees, Potential entrepreneurs and eMarketplace service providers (Cataloging and photo shoot providers).
Currently, Flipkart has over 30,000 active sellers on the platform. The focus is to empower sellers, ancillary service providers and other partners to generate employment. "As every sellers business grows, their requirements for man power will increase, which in turn will result in more job creation. We foresee creation of atleast 20-25 jobs per seller in the upcoming months," says Ankit. (check out the seller platform)
Snapdeal has also been very active on this front. With more than 1 lakh sellers online, Snapdeal launched CapitalAssist which enables sellers on the platform by helping them meet their growing working capital requirement as they scale their businesses. It also came up with Seller Zone App for Android powered mobile phones which allows merchants to check and manage inventory and pricing of their products listed on the platform. Paytm is the third horse in this race (and there's Amazon ofcourse) with its mobile only marketplace. Alibaba recently took 25% stake by investing $575 million in Paytm. "Most of the marketplaces in this country have a dormant merchant base. If you see India, it’s not more than 5,000 merchants selling online," said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm. The numbers might differ and the claims might be exaggerated but for all the marketplaces, efforts to help sellers become more comfortable online will be top priority. More and more jobs will be created and these companies will also be investing a lot in educating the sellers and empowering them with online tools to boost their business.