After a bunch of high profile hires from Silicon Valley failed to yield results, ecommerce giants in India have been lying low for the past couple of years. But it looks like they have now begun looking abroad to set up shop.
Palo Alto is a city in the San Francisco Bay Area, accommodating the world’s startup centre Silicon Valley and Ivy League’s Stanford University.
After Flipkart which opened its office in Palo Alto two years ago now it is the turn of Flipkart-owned online fashion marketplace Myntra.
With the aim to reinvent fashion ecommerce with deep tech, Myntra is now investing heavily in data sciences. Myntra SVP and CTO Jeyandran Venugopal tells YourStory, “We want to go where the niche talent is – in computer vision, natural language processing (NLP), speech, and deep learning. We have found some right talent in the Valley.” He adds that they have already hired the Head of Data Labs and a senior researcher. It will be a small lab in the first year, with 5-10 people.
A clear cut strategy
Myntra’s data sciences team (in India) here is split into four verticals:
- In born supply chain (done around demand forecasting and fashion through Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Store-front technology (around personalisation, size recommendation system, search algorithm, etc.)
- Operations research (for optimal fulfillment and warehousing)
- Consumer experience (for instance, when a customer calls Myntra, the company wants to know already what she is calling about, and can answer her straight away rather than put her through a complex selection process on the call centre line).
Jeyandran adds, “We do a lot of Machine Learning (ML) and AI-driven solutions for managing customer problems on delivery lags. If we miss the promise, how do we compensate automatically? We are working on such problems.”
Myntra’s data science team in India works closely with the business teams and tries to solve problems. “Data science is all about how you create business out of the data you have. You can apply functional expertise like NLP, speech, deep learning or computer vision, across any of the four verticals,” Jeyandran explains.
The small team of functional experts that specialises in such technology domains and sub domains within AI and ML, which Myntra is hiring in Palo Alto, will work with its data science team in India, to help solve problems in business use cases.
“We are also hiring deep domain experts from India too for the team here,” Jeyandran adds.
Among those who have already opened shop in the US are Indian unicorns Inmobi and Zomato, as well as FreshDesk, Mojo Networks, and Sirion Labs. Data analytics unicorn Mu Sigma, founded in 2004 by Dhiraj Rajaram, is headquartered in Chicago. Chinese giants Baidu and Tencent are also present in San Francisco.