At a time when companies like unicorn e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal, real estate platform PropTiger, multinational consumer electronics conglomerate LeEco, and ethnic fashion online seller Craftsvilla have been making headlines for large-scale layoffs, e-commerce market leader Flipkart has bucked the trend with its hiring plans.
The company, which appointed its new CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy in January 2017, has announced that it will hire 30 percent more employees this year.
Flipkart COO Nitin Seth told PTI:
“Our 2017 hiring plans are calibrated to the growth momentum we are seeing and we expect it to be somewhere around 20-30 percent higher than last year, spread out as per requirements across verticals. We believe this offers us the right mix of talent needed to power the next phase of growth at Flipkart.”
A confident Flipkart seems to be clear about its path ahead. "Growth is back since last quarter and in line with that, we are planning to add to our workforce. We are constantly expanding into newer categories to drive growth at Flipkart beyond the usual electronics, mobile fashion for which we need talent," Seth told The Times of India. The new recruits would largely come with an average of three to four years of work experience, the report added.
With the recent launch of its private label – Flipkart Smartbuy, which will include consumer electronics, home, fashion, and furniture – Flipkart is aiming for major growth, which should ideally lead to profitability and, in turn, IPO. “If you want to grow 200 percent annually, you will grow the team accordingly,” says an industry expert.
But senior level exits at the 10-year-old company have dampened sentiment a little bit. Flipkart has lost quite a few of its top management since January 2016. Mukesh Bansal, Founder of Myntra and Flipkart’s head of commerce, and Ankit Nagori, Chief Business Officer, were among the first to go. Chief Product Officer Punit Soni and Head of Seller Business Manish Maheshwari soon followed. Before the end of the year, Mausam Bhatt, Head of Mobile Commerce, Sanjay Baweja Chief Financial Officer, and Peeyush Ranjan, Chief Technology Officer, also left the company. Flipkart also laid off about 700 people in July 2016.
The first half of 2016 saw Flipkart have a row with top institutes like IIMs and IITs for deferring placements of 17 IIM-A graduates by six months on grounds of restructuring. Flipkart was not the only one – Runnr and ClickLabs were among those that irked the premium institutes. (About six startups were in fact barred from placements at IITs for either withdrawing offers or reducing original pay package.)
IIT graduates usually command average packages of around Rs 9-12 lakh per annum. But Flipkart and Amazon offer higher packages – up to Rs 18 lakh. However, instability on the part of companies like Flipkart and Ola at that time had made the premium institutes to take into account their funding before allowing them to recruit from their campuses. But with reports of fresh fund raising to the tune of more than $1 billion, Flipkart remains a reliable brand. Recruiting from top institutes like IIT, IIM, ISB, and XLRI should not a problem for them.